So what is happening in Ontario with Bill 118? (This is the proposed Bill to ban the use of cell phones or other distracting devices while driving a moving vehicle.)
Radio Amateurs of Canada has been communicating with the Standing Committee which is creating the Bill. We have also participated in a hands-on demonstration of amateur radio equipment which was attended by Ministry of Transportation staff. These are the folks who are actually writing the Bill. A brief was sent to the committee requesting an exemption for amateur radio operation from a moving vehicle.
Work on Bill 118 continues and RAC has sent the committee another helpful document that outlines three recent situations where amateur radio operators served their communities in times of need.
Several interested Ontario amateurs have asked what they could or should do at this moment. We are suggesting that we await the decision of the Standing Committee in regards to the exemption. If none is proposed then we may wish to move to directly communicating with local members of the legislature.
In all lobbying situations, it’s critical for interested individuals or small groups to be seen by government as representing the overall community. Radio Amateurs of Canada has created a good working relationship with the Standing Committee and Ministry of Transport staff. This is working in our favour.
What any lobbying group would wish to avoid is overzealous or unsupported petitions or lobbying by well-meaning individuals. Speaking with a single voice sends a strong message to government officials including elected officials.
As the author of this post and as the moderator for the RAC Blog, I’d welcome any comments or offers of support . They can be sent to me (Peter West – VE3HG) directly at firstname.lastname@example.org