As most of you know I have been very critical of the leadership of Radio Amateurs of Canada for a long time now but there are signs that things have changed and changed for the better.
My first indication is the leadership being offered by RAC president Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA. I don’t know how Glenn and his executive team and the RAC board of directors are getting along but I’m not hearing anything that concerns me so far and that’s a huge improvement from past years where internecine warfare between members was common.
Second, and very close to my heart, is the sage advice being offered in The Canadian Amateur when it comes to erecting your antenna tower. This was the issue that got me into RAC when neighbours took the nuclear option in opposition to my 15 meter tower on my 80′ X 180′ lot in Oakville, Ontario.
RAC was there with good advice and support based on the rules and regulations of the day which forced amateurs to consult with neighbours. I also wanted an exemption to put the tower up to 20 meters or so and I consulted with our town engineer who essentially told me that wasn’t going to happen and if I stuck to 15 meters the Town would have no interest in my tower. Good to their word, the Town eventually sent a cease and desist letter to one of my neighbours who – brace yourself – 10 years later has made up with us saying he wanted “bygones to be bygones”. I was gobsmacked and still think there was an invasion of the body snatchers next door. We’ve taken this guy to court to stop his continuous harassment over the years. Maybe he got religion or joined a 12-Step group. I don’t care and I’m thrilled to have a new friendly neighbour just so long as he doesn’t get interested in getting his own ticket!
Back to the future and here’s Marcel Mongeon, VA3DDD, RAC honorary legal council writing in The Canadian Amateur saying he is advising amateurs across Canada to proceed without consultation if your tower is 15 meters or under and does not encroach on a neighbouring properties.
He is especially adamant that you should NOT contact your town officials as this can be construed to constitute a “consultation” and create issues for you with your municipality and even with Industry Canada.
Regulations regarding towers in Canada can be found on the Industry Canada site. Look for CPC-2-0-03.
If you are reading this post and you are an amateur radio operator in Canada or interested in Canadian amateur radio issues then please join RAC and do it right now. Amateur radio in Canada needs your support.