Bill C118 more info

From the RAC Blog I get the following:

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Bill, VE3XT, North/East Ontario Regional Director for Radio Amateurs of Canada has sent the following to amateurs and clubs in his region. Bill’s comments should be taken to heart by all amateurs in Ontario.

Bill C118 is coming to a conclusion and we still don’t have an exemption for Amateurs. We need to make the Minister of Transportation and your local MPPs aware of the public service Amateur Radio Operators perform while operating from their vehicles.

Please contact organizers of groups that your Amateur Radio Club provides communications for and ask them to send a letter to Jim Bradley, Minister of Transportation and your local MPPs.  If your club provides communications for marathons, bikes races, cross country ski events or any other public services, we need their support now.

Their letter might suggest that without mobile amateur radio operators, the event may be compromised in terms of safety or they may have to rent commercial radios which could put the event into financial jeopardy. The MPPs need to know that we provide an important public service to many organizations.

They don’t have to mention the Bill, but just emphasize the fact that Amateurs operating from their vehicles and provide communications for their event as a valuable community service.

If you have any agreements with local police, fire, EMO, Salvation Army or first response groups you need to contact them and ask them to send a letter as well.

If you would like to send a letter that is fine, but a note from a third party will carry much more weight.  A letter from an emergency service is even better.  A local politician is the best.

Any questions give me a call or email.

Here is the contact information for Mr. Bradley.

Hon. James J. Bradley

Ministry of Transportation
3rd Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z

Here is a link to the listing of MPP’s and their mailing addresses.  A letter is better than an email.

This is important if you want to continue operating from your vehicle, do it now!

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Let me add my comments on this most important topic…  The fact that there are no exclusions at this time will adversely effect our hobby.  Many of our “newer amateurs” already have restrictions that impede their operations from a home location.  No one more than me knows how much work you have to do just to get a “poor signal” out on HF in an antenna restricted area.  The fact that they could be discouraged from operating mobile could keep them out of the hobby altogether…

This will not be a good thing for our hobby.

I know that here in Ottawa the local amateur community provides communications for the Canadian Ski Marathon, The Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour and the CN Cycle for CHEO.

These 3 events rely heavily on Amateur Radio for Safety and Control Traffic along with giving them a good base of bodies to use as needed in the regular running of the event.   If I am restricted in my mobile use of amateur Radio why would I bother keeping a radio in my vehicle.  Therefore why would I participate in the event when I have no mobile equipment to use.

In the case of the Canadian Ski Marathon, this event takes place in locations that has very poor cellular service and if there were no amateur radio communications then there would most likely be no event as they would have no emergency or command and control communications.

Please contact your local MPP and inform the “Honourable Member” what the long range implications of this Bill could be….

Do it today….


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2 Responses to “Bill C118 more info”

  1. Jamie VA3JME Says:

    I know I am holding off on spending my recent modest windfall on a mobile radio until after I see what bill 118 has to offer. I suppose I could just buy a headset, but would wearing a headset in the car be safer than using a simple handheld mic?

  2. va3qv Says:

    Jamie, although the Ontario Goverment has not really mentioned any exemptions I can find…. They might be out there but I have not seen any so far… I have noticed that the intent of the bill seems to be anti-handheld devices with a display screen. Handheld GPS, Cell phones, Texting style cell phones (blackberrys) seem to come to mind.

    In other provinces and states they seem to be leaving the “mobile” radios such as private commercial, CBs etc alone. They so far seem not to include a michrophone as a hand held device.

    If our province follows the same line that others have so far we should be fine… The officer will always have the option of laying a charge of dangerous driving if he thinks we were distracted by our toys but… so far they do not seem to be speaking directly to our toys…

    However APRS Text messaging with a VX8 could be “iffy” while driving…


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