SEA PAC 2020

Important SEA-PAC Announcements

The SEA-PAC Committee is already hard at work for SEA-PAC 2020, June 5-7, 2020. With a newly remodeled Seaside Convention Center, 2020 is sure to be a great year.

The 2019 Workshop, “Power and Communication When Everything Goes Dark”, was videotaped and the final production is available for viewing. The 5 workshop videos are now available on the SEA-PAC website ( ) on the “Workshops > Past Workshops” page along with the 10 sets of presentation slides that are available on the “Workshops>Past Presentations” page.

It’s with some excitement that the Committee announces the key note speaker for 2020’s Gala SEA-PAC Banquet, Dr. Scott Wright, K0MD, editor of ARRL’s National Contest Journal, “dedicated to covering the competitive contesting aspects of amateur radio.” Scott is a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and an active Ham since 1977. He travels the world as part of his medical responsibilities but this travel also affords him the opportunity to take Ham Radio with him around the world. Scott’s sure to have fascinating stories to tell about his life in Amateur Radio and his adventures in contesting. After Registration opens in February, buy your banquet tickets early as they always sell out before the convention.

And don’t forget the SEA-PAC Collector Pin design contest. Entries are due by March 1, 2020. Fire up your creativity and maybe you’ll win 2 tickets to the SEA-PAC Banquet. See the SEA-PAC website and click on the SEA-PAC Pins tab for more information.

SEA-PAC is totally volunteered-driven. The Committee has identified the following areas that need your support: Registration, Security, Exhibitor Hospitality, Prize Committee, Workshops, Seminars, Flea Market, Exhibitor Setup and VE testing. If you’re interested in helping to make SEA-PAC a continuing success, please send an email to and indicate your call sign, contact number and your committee preference, if you have one, so that a committee coordinator can call you.

As a reminder, SEA-PAC 2020 Registration will open on February 15th, so keep an eye out for the email announcement and for more information.

See you at SEA-PAC 2020.

[RAC-Bulletin] RAC Affiliated Club Insurance Program: Applications Open for 2020

Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications from Amateur Radio clubs across the country for our Liability Insurance Program for 2020.
RAC runs the RAC Affiliated Club Insurance Program each year to provide Canadian Amateur Radio clubs with liability insurance coverage – often needed by clubs in order to operate in public venues or for public events – at rates well below standard commercial coverage packages. In addition, all RAC members who are also members of participating clubs will see the liability coverage extended, automatically and at no charge, to their own individual Amateur Radio activities.
There are no major limitations or restrictions to which clubs may apply to the program, but they must be an incorporated club within Canada and be either affiliated with RAC or be willing to affiliate as part of the application process. 
Note: for a list of RAC Affiliated Clubs please visit:
More information about the RAC Affiliated Club Insurance Program – including details of coverage, fee calculations and a step-by-step description of the application process for new clubs – can be found on the RAC website at:
Clubs that are not currently participating and are interested in more information about the costs of the program may contact the RAC office and provide information about their club for an estimate of the potential fees. 
The RAC Office may be reached via email at or by calling the toll free number 1-877-273-8304. RAC Office hours are 10 am to 4 pm, Eastern Time, every weekday.
Applications are open now and RAC will continue to accept applications throughout 2019. Please note that if your club requires official documentation by January 1, 2020, then the application should be submitted either physically or electronically to the RAC office by December 20, 2019.
If you or a member of your club have any further questions about the insurance program, please feel free to contact the RAC Office for assistance. Thank you!
Radio Amateurs of CanadaSuite 217, 720 Belfast RoadOttawa, ON K1G 0Z5T. 1-877-273-8304E.

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

Canada’s Simulated Emergency Test Oct 19 (Ontario Oct 12) 2019

Date: Saturday, October 12

Note: In Ontario the Simulated Emergency Test will be held on Saturday, October 12 but at Emergency Operations Centres that are located in Municipal offices, that can’t get access on the weekend, the SET will also be held on Wednesday, October 9.

The Simulated Emergency Test is a North America-wide exercise in emergency communications, administered by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the RAC Emergency Coordinators (EC) and Net Managers (NM). Both the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS) are involved. The SET weekend gives communicators the opportunity to focus on the emergency-communications capability within your community, while interacting with NTS nets.

RAC administers our Canadian SETs. Among other objectives we aim to strengthen the relationship between ARES and served municipalities and relief agencies. It is vitally important that this be done at the local EC level.

The deadline for receipt of all reports is January 31, 2020.

Note: Please use the SET Report Form. No other format is acceptable for reporting SET activities.

After their chosen SET weekend, participating ECs, Net Managers or others must complete the SET forms online. Please send a copy to your Section Manager (SM) and to your Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) or Section Traffic Manager (STM) as applicable. Please see the SET Report Form to submit an email copy for your own records.

Purpose of SET

  1. To find out the strengths and weaknesses of the ARES, NTS and other groups providing emergency communications.
  2. To provide a public demonstration to served agencies, such as the Red Cross, of Emergency Preparedness and, through the news media, of the value to the public that Amateur Radio provides, particularly in time of need.
  3. To help Radio Amateurs gain experience in communications using standard procedures and a variety of modes under simulated-emergency conditions.


The scoring format reflects broad objectives and encourages use of digital modes for handling high-volume traffic and point-to-point welfare reports out of the affected simulated-disaster area. Participants will find SET an opportunity to strengthen the VHF-HF link at the local level, thereby ensuring that ARES and NTS are working in concert. The SET will give all levels of NTS the chance to handle exercise-related traffic.

Test messages should carry the word “TEST” before the precedence; that is, “Test Priority” on phone and “TEST P” on CW. The text of such messages should also begin with the words “TEST MESSAGE.”

Preparing for SET

Emergency Coordinators

  1. Sign up all available Radio Amateurs in the area under your jurisdiction and work them into your SET plans. Make special efforts to attract newly licensed Amateurs.
  2. Call a meeting of all ARES members and prospective members to briefly outline (no details) SET activities and to give general instructions. Do not divulge the exact time or nature of the test to them at this time. This should come as a surprise. Take this opportunity to register new ARES members and get up-to-date information on others. Hold an on-the-air meeting if it’s not possible to meet in person.
  3. Contact served agencies and explain the intent and overall purpose of the SET. Offer to send test messages to other branches of their agencies and invite officials to your ARES meetings and SET operating sites.
  4. Contact officials of any adjacent communities having no active Amateurs and offer to provide representation in Amateur networks for them as well.
  5. Arrange publicity in local newspapers and radio/TV stations by preparing an announcement and/or inviting the press to observe your group’s SET operation.
  6. Set up liaison with one or more NTS local/section nets (if you don’t already have liaison) so you will have an outlet for all messages out of the local area.
  7. Formulate your plans around a simulated disaster. Possible “plots” include: a flood, a serious fire, an ice storm, a missing person, a serious accident (automobile, bus, aircraft, for examples), a broken gas line, a tornado and so forth. Elaborate on the situation by developing a scenario but please be realistic.

During the SET

  1. Announce the emergency situation. Activate the emergency net. Dispatch mobiles to served agencies.
  2. Have designated stations originate messages on behalf of served agencies. Test messages may be sent simulating requests for supplies. Simulated emergency messages (just like real emergency messages) should be signed by an authorized official.
  3. Emphasize tactical communications for served agencies.
  4. As warranted by traffic loads, have liaison stations on hand to receive traffic on the local net and relay to your section net. You should also be sure that there is a representative on each session of the section net to receive traffic going to the local area.
  5. Operate at least one session (or substantial segment of a session) of the local net on an emergency-only basis. Or, if a repeater is on emergency power, allow only emergency-powered stations to operate through the repeater for a certain time period.

After the SET

An important post-SET activity is a critique session to discuss the test results. All ARES members should be invited to the meeting to review good points and weaknesses apparent in the drill. Emphasize ways to improve procedures, techniques and coordination with all groups involved. Report your group’s effort to RAC and TCA and include any photos, clippings and other items of interest.

National Traffic System

The main function of NTS in an emergency situation is to tie together all of the various local activities and to provide a means by which all traffic destined outside of a local area, section or region can be systematically relayed to the addressee.

NTS routing should be followed. A valid exception is the handling of emergency traffic which should be routed as rapidly and efficiently as possible, bypassing various levels of nets when delivery can be expedited. Another exception is when one station is loaded down with traffic for one region or section. At the discretion of the Net Control Station (NCS), the station may be directed to bypass a normal channel and go directly to a lower (or higher) echelon net.

The interface between NTS and ARES lies in the liaison function between local nets and other NTS nets, particularly at the section level. Responsibility for representation of the local network on the section net lies with the local net manager who may or may not be the EC. Although we usually think of ARES members being the representatives in section nets, it is equally valid to expect NTS personnel to act as liaison to local nets.

At least one net session or substantial segment of a session should be conducted on emergency power. Plan a surprise session or two. Advise the NCS just before net time. If the NCS is unable to operate on emergency power, then someone else must be net control. Only stations operating on emergency power may report in during this time.


One of the first steps on the way to a successful SET is to try to get as many people involved as possible, especially new Amateurs. In a real emergency, we find Amateurs with all sorts of varied interests coming out of the woodwork. Let’s get them involved in SET so they will know more about how emergency communications should be handled. Promote SET on nets and repeaters. Sign up new, enthusiastic Amateurs. Many of those offering to help will be inexperienced in public-service activities. It’s up to you to explain to them what’s going on and provide them with useful roles. They may like it so much that they will become a permanent fixture in your ARES or NTS group.

[RAC-Bulletin] Election for RAC Director Ontario South Region 2019

Deadline for return of ballots is Friday, October 25

Three nominations have been received for the position of RAC Director for the Ontario South Region.

Following a review of the documentation submitted and taking into account the constitutional and election process requirements, the Election Committee determined that the nomination papers were complete and in order for the following individuals. Their bios are provided below.

  • Phil A. McBride, VA3QR/VA3KPJ
  • Igor Slakva, VE3ZF/VA3YDX
  • Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT

The Committee recommended a Ballot by Mail pursuant to Article 6 (Method of Election) in the RAC Constitution, for the Director for the Ontario South Region.

The closing date for the return of ballots to RAC Headquarters at the address provided below is Friday, October 25 by 12 noon.

Please send the ballots to:

RAC Corporate Secretary

Radio Amateurs of Canada

720 Belfast Road, Suite 217

Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z5

For more information please see the Director’s Nomination Notice on the RAC website at:

Alvin (Al) M. Masse, VE3CWP

RAC Corporate Secretary


Candidate bios:

Phil A. McBride, VA3QR/VA3KPJ

Amateur Radio has been my passion for more than half of my life. First licensed in 1994, I hold my Advanced + CW Operator Certificate, and have recently joined the Quarter Century Wireless Association.

I have been a supporter of RAC since shortly after joining my first Amateur Radio club in 1995 and am currently a Maple Leaf Member. Previous to being elected to the RAC Board of Directors, I have served as both Emergency Coordinator and Assistant Section Manager in the RAC Field Organization.

During my first two terms as Ontario South Director, I have spent as much time as possible meeting and getting to know the Amateurs in my constituent area, and I have worked to solve whatever problems that have been brought to me by the membership. Additionally, I have brought my 19+ years of business experience to the RAC Audit and Finance Committee, where I help to manage the finances of the organization and ensure continued stability and viability.

I have worked with my counterpart in Ontario North-East to ensure that Amateur Radio operators in Ontario retain the ability to operate mobile under Ontario’s Distracted Driving regulations. We were able to secure an extension of the time-limited exemption, and we are looking forward to presenting our case for a permanent exemption with the Ministry of Transportation at the earliest opportunity.

Aside from my responsibilities as a Board member, I am the Training Officer and an active member of the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System where I am involved in training DND members in the use of HF radio. More recently, I’ve begun to give introductory talks on Amateur Radio to the cadet corps attached to the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, and I am actively working with the 33rd RCCS to expose more cadets to the hobby.

I am a member of Scouts Canada and the Contact Scouter for the 1st Acton Scout Troop, where I am in the process of building a permanent Amateur Radio station at the Acton Scout House to give local youth access to a complete HF/VHF/UHF station and to encourage those interested to pursue their Amateur Radio certification. Even though the hobby continues to show steady and healthy growth, I think it is important to continue to expose as many youth as possible to the wonders of Amateur Radio.

As I was in 2016, I am the permit holder, licensee and sole Canadian member of the 2019 CY9C St. Paul Island DXpedition, where we hope to add to the 64,000+ QSOs we made three years ago. I also had the great honour and privilege to operate the commemorative TM100VIMY station at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, France in April 2017.

This is the last time I am able to run for this office, and I hope to be returned to it by the membership so that I may continue the important work that RAC does for the Canadian Amateur Radio community and represent those members in Ontario South.

Igor Slakva, VE3ZF/VA3YDX

I set out on my personal Ham Radio journey more than 40 years ago. I received my first call sign when I was 15 as a member of a local radio club in Donetsk, Ukraine. Though just a few years later I not only proudly secured my place in the top 10 SWL of my country, I was entrusted to lead a Donetsk regional SWL club with 4,000 members.

I received the call sign UR3IDX when I entered the Donetsk Technical University and I led a student radio club UR3IWA there. For many years our team was awarded the title of Gold Medalist in various national championships.

I settled down in Canada 20 years ago and during the last 15 years I have organized and launched over 50 DXpeditions, mainly to the Canadian North.

I have built and led various teams that participated in different competitions achieving significant results. In particular, my leadership of the VA3RAC Team has been a key factor in continuously bringing us to the top of the RAC Canada Day Contests for several years.

In pursuing the CQ World Wide DX Contest, I launched and participated in seven DXpeditions to Northern Quebec (Zone 2) and with the call sign VE2IDX, I set 15 records at both the Canadian and North American levels.

In the last five years I completed a VIP Personnel Management training program. Skills that I acquired there, combined with years of extensive experience, allowed me to build a team of 20 rovers – Ham Radio operators capable of developing a mobile radio network in support of emergency and disaster management operations. The efficiency of our network has been recognized by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

In addition to Ham Radio, I actively practise martial arts and enjoy winter swimming at home in the waters of Ontario’s lakes.

Jason Tremblay, VE3XT

My background is in Emergency Services and Security, with success in personal business. I have spent time with the St John Ambulance and then with the Red Cross as an Instructor and a member of Disaster Services, where I learned about working with others and the critical need for great support and defined training systems.

I was licensed in 2014 and since then I have been the Emergency Coordinator for the Barrie, South Simcoe ARES team for three years, working closely with our local communities. During that same time, I was also the Director of Community Services for the Barrie Amateur Radio Club and served most recently as its Vice-President and I worked with the public and community groups and other organizations for public and educational events.

My focus has been on promoting and educating my local communities about Amateur Radio and the benefits of the service in our community. In the last two years I have taken on the role of District Emergency Coordinator for the Lakes District in Ontario.

I spent the last nine months working with Section Managers and Districts, through webinars, to build a stronger foundation in training and communications between ARES teams in Ontario, and encouraging teams to work together to build a unified and accountable training system throughout Ontario.

As a Director, I would like to be able to reach out to the Ham community and build a stronger relationship been them and Radio Amateurs of Canada and continue to work closely with Section Managers in Ontario to help define and build a stronger foundation for Field Services (Event Services, Educational Services and Emergency Services) as there is a need to build all three programs to make this great hobby even better.

I would like to promote Amateur Radio to youth organizations or even look at a youth or cadet program to be attached and promoted by the ARES groups in Ontario.

I would also like to provide a voice in Amateur Radio, not only in world affairs but right here at home, and help all Amateur Radio operators find what they need to succeed, and in turn hope they will then help support this great organization.


Deadline for Ballots

As indicated above, the closing date for the return of ballots to RAC Headquarters at the address provided below is Friday, October 25 by 12 noon.

Please send the ballots to:

RAC Corporate Secretary
Radio Amateurs of Canada
720 Belfast Road, Suite 217
Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z5

Alvin (Al) M. Masse, VE3CWP
RAC Corporate Secretary
Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

[RAC-Bulletin] RAC officials are attending XX General Assembly of IARU Region 2 in Lima, Peru

Lima 2019 – The XX General Assembly of the International Amateur Radio Union’s Region 2 is now underway in Lima, Peru and is being held from September 30 to October 2, 2019. Radio Club Peruano (RCP) is the host Member Society.
All IARU Member societies have a responsibility to attend this Regional Conference and Radio Amateurs of Canada is well represented by President Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA and International Affairs Officer Serge Bertuzzo, VA3SB.
The delegates will actively participate in meetings and in various Working Committees at the Conference including the Emergency Communications Workshop described below.
Lima 2019 will address many important aspects of the promotion and defence of the Amateur Radio band plans for HF, VHF and higher bands and other issues of importance to Member Societies in Region 2.
Emergency Communications Workshop
At the end of the IARU R2 General Assembly an Emergency Communications Workshop (ECW) will take place on Thursday, October 3.
The Workshop is intended to be a gathering of IARU Region 2 Emergency Coordinators and other national level Amateur Radio emergency communications experts to:

  • Share information on Amateur Radio response to emergencies and disasters in IARU Region 2
  • Increase the capacity for Amateurs in IARU Region 2 to respond to large-scale, multinational communication emergencies and disasters
  • Provide an opportunity for national level Amateur Radio emergency communications leaders to network and increase the level of cooperation and collaboration within IARU Region 2

Stay tuned for more information on the RAC website and via our Twitter  and Facebook accounts.
Background information about the IARU
The IARU was founded in a meeting in Paris in 1925 as the international representative of Radio Amateurs. In those times, “short waves” were barely understood and their commercial use was starting; this threatened the activities that Radio Amateurs had been carrying out for many years. Radio Amateurs needed an organization to coordinate their activities and to have a voice at international conferences.
The IARU is recognized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as the representative of the interests of member societies and of Radio Amateurs throughout the world. The IARU is a Member of the Radiocommunications (ITU-R) and Development (ITU-D) Sectors of ITU and participates in the Study Commissions of both sectors.
The IARU Constitution has been reviewed many times. The present Constitution was approved in 1984 and was modified slightly in 1989. It recognizes three regional organizations that represent the three radio regions defined by ITU for frequency allocation purposes. Each regional organization is autonomous and operates according to its own Constitution.
For more information about the IARU please visit:

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director