(I’m posting a comment from Phil VA3QR who is replying to a post I did about Amateur Radio in Canada and our emergency preparedness.)
I saw your site come across my radar when you wrote about the directorial election in progress, and started reading and came across this article about Amateur Radio and emergency preparedness, and in the last paragraph you refer to a lack of a national Amateur Radio strategy.
There is one, but it’s not really where you’d think to look for it. It took me a long time to find it myself. RAC has tried (and failed) to build a national strategy before. If the Provinces don’t want to get along with each other, what chance does an organization like RAC have? None.
I joined the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System early this winter.
CFARS mandate has moved from one of providing phone patches between soldiers and loved ones (which is just no longer needed in the current age of satellite telephony) to one of national communications preparedness.
The last time CFARS was activated was by request of the RCMP through the Ministry of Public Safety when one of the ANIK satellites died, cutting off all communications north of Yellowknife, and there now exist inter-ministry MOUs that put CFARS in the position to create that strategy.
As much as the Provinces like to beat each other over the heads, if a disaster were to occur on a national scale, the Canadian Forces would be the ones in charge of rescue, relief and initial rebuild, which puts CFARS in the position of providing the national communications links that would be needed in those circumstances. So much so that DND has actually funded the purchase and building of Winlink RMS gateways that operate on our own frequency assignments, and some of those gateways physically exist at CF installations.
Canada doesn’t have a department like US FEMA, which takes control in the event of a disaster regardless of state lines, so RAC doesn’t have access to a national ministry or department to build that bridge.
RAC and CFARS do liaise with each other as there are RAC members who are also CFARS members as well.
Anyways, just my 2 cents (or is it 5 cents now?). I’m in the middle of writing a post about the relevance of Amateur Radio in modern day communications planning so I was already on a writing role 🙂
Have a great day!
Phil A. McBride, VA3QR / VA3KPJ / CIW601 (CFARS)
Acton, Ontario, Canada