The RAC blog

The RAC blog is a new initiative of your RAC executive team but…there’s always a but…it comes down to one guy (me – VA3QV) to moderate and edit the site.

It’s my intention to develop a wide readership both within the ham radio community in Canada and around the world. To accomplish this objective I need your help.

If there’s anything you’d like to see posted on the RAC blog site, please send it to me directly at va3qv@rac.ca

I won’t promise that we’ll publish everything that comes in but I do promise that if you send anything to me I’ll let you know that I received it and I tell you what I intend to do with it.

So the bottom line is this: If you send it, I’ll most likely post it. The more you send, the more I’ll post. If this gets out of hand I’ll recommend to the RAC exec that we turn the blog into a wiki but we’re a long way from that happening

9 Responses to “The RAC blog”


  • Harry
    A great initiative and picture!!
    Good to see you and the gang in Dayton
    73
    Dan VA3MA
    Bobcaygeon

  • Joseph Verdirame, VE3LNU

    Hi Peter,

    I would like to congratulate you and RAC on the blog – it’s a great initiative and over the past few weeks I have been checking it faithfully for news on Bill 118, for instance.

    However (and you know there’s always a “but”, to use your own words), I am disappointed that I had to find out about the blog through a Google search – actually I came upon it by accident while looking for Bill 118 news. Perhaps RAC should consider advertising this services to all hams, or at least to the few of us who are faithful RAC members. :) This might be done through an email or at least by repeatedly mentioning it in TCA.

    On a related note, I have been disappointed by the dearth of Bill 118 news in TCA. If you look at the cover stories (or any story, for that matter) over the past few issues, not one in my opinion is more significant to Canada’a ham population (and the membership) than Ontario’s Bill 118. If there are 5,000 of us in this province, that’s a significant chunk of the country’s ham population that will be affected. Why hasn’t the President or the editorial board of TCA thougth that perhaps a story on Bill 118 should be included in your fine magazine? It would have gone a long way toward heading off all of the innuendo and false rumours, and would have showcased RAC’s efforts. Similarly – current Bill 118 info is hard to find on the RAC website.

    Anyway, I know you are just one person and I won’t throw the weight of the world on your shoulders – but I would appreciate it if you shared my comments with more of your colleagues at RAC.

    And thanks for doing this very useful blog.

    73 and take good care.

    Joe Verdirame, VE3LNU

  • Joe, VE3LNU makes some very good points.
    I too would have expected more significant and prominent posts on the RAC website, as well as in the TCA over Bill 118.
    In fact I would say that RAC appears to have not adequately represented Ontario Hams over this issue.

    I am aware however, that that with the TCA being published only every 2 months, there may not have been much usefull to write about Bill 118 at the time of the press deadline for the September-October issue.
    So lets see how its treated in the next issue.

    I was surprised to hear about the blog and have found it very useful.
    Thanks Peter for doing this.

    By the way, You can find links to the Candian situation on the ARRL website, where I am sure many Canadiian Hams first heard about it.
    http://www.arrl.org/

    Don Dorward
    VA3DDN

  • In regards to Don’s comment about RAC not doing enough I’d like to point out that over the last year RAC sent scores of emails to the Minister and staff at Ontario’s Ministry of Transport.

    RAC representatives attended several meetings with staff who were writing the Bill including a formal meeting involving all stakeholders.

    RAC reps received and placed scores of telephone calls to the Ministry staff as we navigated through the various issues and questions that came up. Finally we urged hams to contact their local MPPs as we did on numerous occasions via email.

    RAC also requested Ontario hams to get involved and take some responsibility for getting an exemption to this law.

    Thankfully we were joined by representatives of the Ontario Road Rally Association (which uses Amateur Radio) and representatives of the Toronto FM Society and individuals like Joe VE3LNU who worked so hard.

    Publishing anything in TCA which only publishes every second month and has a four month lead time would not have been useful or productive. The blog was the only way to keep all Ontario hams and not just RAC members informed of what was happening.

    Overall, for the last year this has been job number one for many of us in RAC and other interested groups.

    Now we have three years to work on securing a permanent exemption from Bill 118 and I’d invite Don and others to lead the charge by getting directly involved. Perhaps they’d like to form the committee to lobby the Ontario government over Bill 118?

    If so, I’d be pleased to publish that information on the blog and to be as helpful as possible in getting other hams to step up and show some leadership.

  • Well Peter……..obviously RAC didn’t do enough did it ??!!!!!!

  • As to Liam’s comment posted here in regards to an article that appeared in The Lindsay Post I sent him this email directly:

    Hi Liam:

    When you say RAC didn’t do enough, to whom are you referring? RAC is made up of its 5,000 members which represents the roughly 20,000 licensed amateurs in Canada. The executive committee is made up of about dozen volunteers from across the country. I’ve put in some hours working directly with government officials, legislators, staff and interested amateurs over the last year to help secure the time-limited exemption for Ontario amateurs, myself included.

    In the Lindsay situation, a police spokesperson, who obviously didn’t read the law made a mistake which (thanks to RAC) he’s admitted and corrected.

    So when you say RAC didn’t do enough, I suppose you’re referring to me and my efforts here in Ontario.

    Liam, may I ask, what have you done aside from sending this comment??

    By the way I am posting your comment and this response online.

    Best regards,

    Peter – VE3HG

  • Afternoon;

    I have been gathering material from across Canada to try to put together a presentation to our local MP and the new Minster of Transportation here in Ontario requesting a permanent exemption for Ontario Amateurs regarding the use of our radios in our cars.

    Regarding the statement about whether RAC did enough in Ontario or not, I would refer you to the cell-phone legislation passed in British Columbia and Manitoba as a starter.
    Amateurs have a permanent exemption in those provinces. The question is, why did RAC not obtain the same results for Ontario Hams?

    I have a copy of the extensive letter sent by Bill Gibbs in BC to the Government there. It is the best bit of writing I have ever seen. I intend
    to draw on his material to help form a presentation for use here in Ontario.

    An article published in the Peterborough Examiner on Friday which originated with the Lindsay Post has not been corrected or retracted in the local paper here in Peterborough.

    Here is a question to consider. If I get issued a ticket, would it be a credible defense to call upon the Canadian Bill of Rights and make a claim the Ontario law is discriminating against me because it treats me differently then the Manitoba or BC. law?

    By the way, although I have not been able to get copies of the cell-phone laws in any of the eastern provinces, I understand that when those governments passed their law, they completely left out Amateur Radio activities and strictly stuck to addressing cell-phone usage alone.

    We have almost 3 years left and I intend to keep working to the best of my ability to get a permanent exemption for Ontario Hams added to Bill 118. As the old saying goes, ‘Its not over till its over.’

    Cheers and my regards… Bill – VE3MEW
    Peterborough, Ont. CA
    Activities Director – Peterborough Amateur Radio Club.

  • A few thoughts..
    It’s obvious that since we were only given a 3 year reprieve that not enough was done by the “Amateur Radio Community” in Ontario.
    To me that responsibility does not fall solely on the shoulders of RAC, but on everyone involved with Amateur Radio in the province.
    I have thought of RAC more being our voice with Industry Canada rather than the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
    Some questions that come to mind are:
    What was done in BC and Manitoba that was not done in Ontario?
    Are the Provincial Legislatures in those provinces more sensitive to the activities of Amateur Radio and the role it can play in emergencies or volunteer support of community events?
    Do MP’s in Ontario feel that Ham Radio is outdated technology and not needed with cell phones and internet access?
    Is it possible commercial interests lobbied in Ontario for increased use of hands free technology?
    Did our law makers take the easy way out and just say “that’s it, no exceptions” and move on to the next agenda item.
    What support did we get from Municipal or Regional Emergency Services?
    Just a few questions that I have, and no idea of where to find the answers.
    Respectfully,
    Logan Demeray
    VA3DLE

  • When i joined RAC the first time i was expecting a scaled down version of arrl and qst magazine — what i got was only useable service the qsl bureau and a magazine that talked about “the good old days” of tubes and military stores etc ares was only mentioned as an after thought. I dropped my membership after 1 or 2 years BORED !! I decided to try again about 2 years ago not much had changed, there is a little bitty bit more technical and the ares (my primary interest) is usually a reciting of an eastern event and net reports more boring…
    What RAC needs is direction not a rehash of the old days. ARES could be a valuable part of that direction. What that needs is things like pictures and descriptions and reasons “why” for go-kits, ecom trailers, EOC setups. Since we ARE a technical hobby there needs to be how to articles. Things like, types of power supplies – advantages dis–, audio gadgets to receive or transmit with, tuners, antennas, proper station grounding (safety issues), low power effective lighting for the shack or emergency use, turn our appliance operators in Hams. People have enough interest to take a course and pass an exam all they need is to be shown “how to”. Once they have a taste of the joy of building it themselves they will get excited and become an advocate to bring others. Membership drives need more excited members doing one on one “selling” than a dozen mail outs which get recycled not read. We definitely need to involve kids, the “old boys” can take the lead and demonstrate their relevance to the rest of the hobby — they often have more time to spend in schools. Here in Victoria there are some older one that have a weekly net out of a school and the response has been very good. The same old same old will result in the death of RAC and no one will morn at that point. John VE7RO

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