Even after I resigned my post of vice-president of public relations for Radio Amateurs of Canada last year, I still get emails and the occasional calls from concerned amateurs wondering what is going or not going on with our national association.
I direct them to the current RAC president Geoff Bawden.
Here’s an example:
I got an email recently reporting back on the efforts by individuals from one of the oldest and biggest clubs in Ontario to talk with their MPP about Ontario’s distracted driving legislation Bill 118 which grants Ontario hams a soon-to-be-expired time-exemption from the law.
Our correspondent sent some information to their local MPP with a covering letter and then heard nothing back. No surprise. I suggested not leaving our successful lobbying in the hands of the MPP’s underpaid staff but to followup with phone call and book an appointment.
This is what RAC should be recommending every club and Amateur Radio group in Ontario do right now. Why this is not happening is beyond me. Very soon, it will be too late to do anything.
When I was attempting to garner support for a much needed RAC membership campaign, I suggested we make membership personal and that every existing member go ask at least 10 of their friends to join. I did it and so did a bunch of other guys. If you went to one club meeting or one flea market in the year you could easily reach 10 guys.
Not everybody was so enthusiastic. I actually got an email from one RAC member who said because they were involved in RAC doing public service they didn’t see why it should be their job to recruit new members.
I hope this guy and the many like him enjoy the camaraderie they now have in RAC because I guarantee you with this sort of an attitude RAC won’t be around much longer and none of us in Ontario will be using a hand–held microphone while we drive*.
Finally I noticed on the RAC Blog of Jan. 21 posting from Ontario STM VE3GNA/VA3OPN where among other questionable comments in a lengthy piece lifted from the Brass Pounders Quarterly a writer makes an allegation about the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) .
Reckless allegations of this nature could be considered legally actionable and have no place being republished on the RAC Blog. American and Canadian law differs when it comes to slander, libel and defamation of character.(These are the big three that any publisher must understand before the print, post or broadcast anything.) Just because it originates somewhere else doesn’t mean it should be republished by RAC here in Canada.
*To those hams who wrongly claim the Ontario government can’t pass legislation that affects our federally licensed hobby. Wake UP! It’s over. The legislation passed. It’s law. We lost.
Now if you really want to do something worthwhile write your MPP. Follow up that letter (not an email) with the telephone call and book an appointment to talk about why hams should be exempt from Bill 118. Get your facts straight (find a list of provinces and states that have exempted Amateur Radio from their distracted driving laws) and make a compelling argument based on information and not emotion. Don’t wait for RAC to get involved. And wear a tie 🙂 and leave the baseball cap with your call sign at home. (BTW I love my call-sign baseball cap. I just don’t wear it to business meetings….anymore.)