How to lobby the government

One of our members who lives in Ontario noticed that his local MPP was hosting a Saturday afternoon “get-together” for constituents at a local Second Cup coffee shop.

Taking some initiative, Joe, VE3OV, who is the ARES EC for Toronto North York, dropped by and talked to MPP Kathleen Wynne. Joe explained to Ms Wynne how amateur radio operators in Ontario were being negatively affected by Bill 118 and how the time-limited exemption from hands-free legislation should be made permanent. Joe said he got a fair hearing and Ms Wynne said she’d like to learn more about amateur radio and Bill 118.

This is how amateur radio operators in Ontario will get a permanent exemption to Bill 118. It’s called talking to your MPP. Do it respectfully. Use simple language to explain what’s at stake for the people of Ontario. But, most importantly, JUST DO IT!

3 Responses to “How to lobby the government”

  • Joseph Verdirame

    Kudos to Joe, VE3OV, for taking this initiative! Joe is an asset to our community, a true diplomat who has lobbied long and hard for our rights on many fronts. We will get nowhere by stomping our feet and throwing tantrums. :) Both you and Joe, VE3OV, understand very well that we need to maintain our credibility to have any hope at all of enacting changes to Bill 118.

    Joe, VE3LNU

  • Ken Grant, VE3FIT

    Please read this column from the weekend Tornto Star Wheels section. The Ontario Government continues to speak out of both sides simultaneously. I have asked the columnist to help clarify the gov.’s position regarding Hams and mobile radio. We can only hope.

  • Lobbying one’s MPP for such change, while a noteworthy gesture, is much like trying to drive your car with your foot on the brake and the gas pedal at the same time: You’ll go nowhere. That’s because politicians and regulators aren’t about to admit that they made a mistake.

    Rather than grant a blanket exemption to persons who hold licenses under the federal Radio Communication Act as other provinces have done, our Ontario Government chose to arrogantly play “we know best” and “cherry pick” exemptions to this new law.

    And, sadly, the ONLY way this nonsense is going to be overturned for we hams is by a legal test case that results in a court ruling throwing the whole Transportation Ministry’s myopic “three year exemption” nonsense in the trash as horribly inconsistent and therefore, blatantly unconstitutional.

    That is, it’s the Transportation Ministry’s attempt to cherry pick exemptions for SOME federally licensed radio users (but not others) that has make both the law (and the regulation implementing it) systemically discriminatory on its face. And I believe it’s that arrogant “we now best” regulatory approach that WILL eventually lead to a successful court challenge and a blanket exemption for ANYONE who holds a federally issued radio license.

    But, unfortunately, someone with deep enough pockets is going to have to first mount an (expensive) legal challenge to do it.

    I find it absolutely fascinating that our gormless “we know best” Ontario Government minions have now seen fit to grant a blanket exemption from the new HST for anyone who wants to sip a Tim Horton’s coffee from a paper cup while driving down the highway. Yet, WE must all be “hands free” by 2012! What a joke!

    The bottom line here is that the regulated application of Bill 118 was (and is) blatantly inconsistent on its face. And trying to get MPPs to repeal the law (or change the regulations) based on any other grounds is nothing but an exercise in futility. Obviously, most of these clowns don’t have the slightest clue as to what amateur radio is about… and could absolutely care less. They have “done something” about those horrible cell phones and that’s all that matters.

    Besides the fact that there is a glaring federal/provincial disconnect in the law itself over who has the authority to regulate access to the public airwaves, the blatant inconsistency in the way the Minister of Transportation has now arrogantly chosen to grant exemptions to a horrifically flawed law to anything other than unlicensed cell phones WILL eventually be struck down by a court order.

    Indeed, this nonsense would all be comic if it wasn’t so systemically discriminatory. And the need for someone to legally challenge such blatant regulatory overreach to change it speaks volumes about where our province… and our country… is now headed.

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