Ontario A.R.E.S. Section Restructure Process

08 Feb 2012


As you are aware significant change is coming to Ontario in terms of the way RAC affairs will be managed. In the past the Ontario Section has been served by one elected official – the Section Manager – who was responsible for the operation of a Field Service. For the last six years I have had the honour and pleasure of serving as your Section Manager overseeing the ARES, NTS, Official Bulletin Service and the Official Observer Service on your behalf. I have had the opportunity to work with manywonderful and knowledgeable assistants and Amateurs in these services, and the wealth of experience inthe province is second to none.

However, it has been recognized for some time now that a communications gap exists between RAC as an organization and the clubs and individual Amateurs that it aims to serve. An extensive analysis resulted in VPFS recommending, to the President, the implementation of a full Field Organization containing both administrative support functions to the clubs as well as the established Field ServiceWith 60% of Canadian Amateurs resident within the province, VPFS also recommended to the President that Ontario be restructured to improve representation. The Ontario Restructure Commission consulted with the clubs and individuals and brought forth a recommendation to divide Ontario into four Sections RAC Bulletin 2012-006E. The RAC Board of Directors approved both the Field Organization and reorganization recommendations, and VPFS has initiated the restructure process effective immediatelysee RAC Bulletin 2012-007E for the overall transition plan. The purpose of this Bulletin is to add more detail on the inaugural Section Manager Appointment process within that plan.

The transition process is now in progress. The first step is to select and appoint the four new Section Managers with a target date of 1 May, 2012. The four Section Managers will then form a Transition Council which, with VPFS advice and support, will guide the remainder of the transition process. The Transition Council will become the Ontario Provincial Council on 1 September, 2012 when the new section structure becomes official. During the transition period the new Section Managers will participate in a VPFS-led training period, establish provisional Section operating procedures, and recruit section
staff. In the meantime, the Ontario Section will continue official operations it is stood down on 31 August, 2012.

As your present Ontario Section Manager, VPFS has asked me to fulfil my current mandate as the inaugural Ontario North Section Manager, the new Section that I am resident in. VPFS has asked me to administer the process of accepting candidates for appointment to the remaining three Sections. Following the precedent set by the Restructure Commission, I am looking to the clubs and ARES groups to nominate appropriately skilled and capable candidates. It is important to take into consideration that the role of the Section Manager has changed. As most of you know I am a firm believer in face to face contact something I could not do as one person for Ontario. This is why I am excited about the new focus on developing a two-way relationship between the section staff and the clubs. Developing this new partnership calls for leadership and innovation on the part of the Section Managers, their volunteer staff, and the club executives.

A new job description for the Section Managers under the new Field Organization has not yet been developed. This task will take place within the VPFS Council once the Ontario Transition Council is operational and the Ontario Section Managers have joined the VPFS Council. A provisional job description has been provided by VPFS as an interim guide (attached). The scope of responsibility has increased, but under the new Field Organization structure there are new administrative support mechanisms at section and level to conduct the work. In particular, the role of four of the new Section component heads combine to facilitate a communication loop between the Section Manager and the club executive. The job description highlights the importance of selecting a candidate with the personal and leadership attributes required to guide the introduction of the Field Organization at Section level. 

Following the principles of the election process described in the RAC Administration Manual, nominations should be in the form of a nomination letter signed by 10 Full RAC members, covering a biography of the nominee, as well as a letter from the nominee accepting the nomination. Given that this is a unique circumstance, where a club nomination is arrived at by consensus or vote, a nomination letter signed by the club president is acceptable (this is not restricted to Affiliated Clubs). The nomination  documents should be mailed to me at my home address, to arrive no later than 31 March, 2012:

Allan Boyd VE3AJB
Ontario Section Manager
P.O. Box 208,
Little Current, ON P0P 1K0

A selection committee, composed of the two Ontario Directors and myself as chair, will be convened in early April as soon as copies of the documents can be distributed. The recommended candidates will be proposed to VPFS for approval and the President for confirmation. It is important to know that as a Section Manager for the North I do not have a vote on who is selected as the other Section Managers. This is to be completed by the directors for Ontario and VPFS. The nominees will be informed first of the final result, followed by an Ontario Bulletin with the official announcement.

I invite all Ontario Amateurs, clubs and ARES groups in the new Ontario East, South and GTA Sections to discuss the issues and nominate a candidate who you feel has the initiative and leadership skills needed to create a Section team, implement the new Field Organization structure, and initiate the consultation mechanisms between the clubs and the Section Manager.

As your present Section Manager for the past 6 years I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you that have supported me and my field services members over the years. Your commitment to the program has been proven many times over. I look forward to serving the members of Northern Ontario as your Section Manager until such time to re-elect the position. As always I am open to any questions or concerns that you may have. Please feel free to contact me at anytime. I look forward to this new process and the exciting times ahead for field services and RAC.

Yours Truly
Allan Boyd
Section Manager
Radio Amateurs of Canada

Attachment: Provisional Appointment Description - Section Manager


The Section Manager is elected by the RAC member’s resident in the Section to provide leadership in the delivery of RAC programs and services within the Section. The Section Manager has two reporting accountabilities:

1. to advise the Regional Director on general matters of RAC policy as it affects the Amateur community within the Section, and to keep the Regional Director informed of Section activities; and,

2. to the Vice President Field Services for the efficient and effective delivery of RAC programs, membership services, and the operation of the Field Service, within the Section.

The Section Manager serves as a member of the Director’s cabinet facilitating an open line of communication between the two elected officials responsible for RAC policy and field operations within the Section. The Regional Director should be included as an information addressee on all relevant correspondence or information distributed to the members of the Section. The Regional Director should be an ex officio member of the Section Manager’s advisory group, and receive an information copy of all official correspondence.

To coordinate the delivery of RAC programs and services nationally, and to provide collective advice to the Vice-President Field Operations on matters of operations policy and procedures, the Section Manager serves as a member of the national Field Organization Council chaired by the Vice President of Field Services.

To carry out his/her responsibilities to the Amateur community within the Section, the Section Manager is assisted by eight (8) principal officers, each of whom has the status of Assistant Section Manager. Each officer serves as head of a component within the Section field operation. The Section Manager is free to appoint additional Assistants or Special Advisors, as required, to manage projects or to provide specialist advice. The eight component heads are:

Provincial / Territorial Government Liaison (PGL). The role of the PGL is to remain abreast
of provincial/territorial government affairs as they affect Section-level field organization responsibilities, and to serve as the Section Manager’s representative to government authorities when authorized. This appointment would normally be made by a provincial council where the jurisdiction contains two or more sections.

Public Information Coordinator (PIC). Working with the Vice-President Public Relations and other Executive-level officers, the role of the PIC is to facilitate the exchange of newsworthy information to and from club Public Information Officers (PIO), to facilitate the delivery of appropriate material to the Bulletin Manager, and to serve as the principal spokesperson to the media on behalf of the Section Manager.

Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC). The role of the ACC is to assist clubs with internal
administration advice where appropriate and consistent with the Affiliated Club President’s
Workbook, assist club’s with keeping club contact information current on RAC websites,
promoting joint club activities and programs across the Section, and encouraging clubs to join RAC as an Affiliated Club.

Technical Coordinator (TC). The role of the TC is to facilitate club and local Technical Specialist (TS) involvement in RAC technical committee activities, to facilitate responses to Industry Canada papers and enquiries, and to assist with questions of spectrum management or interference.

Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC). The role of the Section Emergency Coordinator is to advise the SM on provincial (territorial) government legislation, regulations and policy as it affects the provision of auxiliary communication services by the Amateur Radio community. The SEC is the senior official in the Section’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and provides the leadership and guidance required to ensure that ARES Groups are trained and qualified to provide auxiliary communication services commensurate with the expectations of municipal level governments and Field Service standards.

Section Traffic Manager (STM). The role of the STM is to supervise the Section’s traffic handling organization all traffic efforts within the section, regardless of mode or National Traffic System affiliation, so that routings within the section and connections with other networks and digital traffic nodes will result in orderly and efficient traffic flow.

Section Bulletin Manager (SBM). The role of the SBM is to collate and produce weekly information bulletins containing international, national and intra-section topics of interest to the Amateur Radio community. The SBM is assisted by, and supervises, a network of Official Bulletin Stations (OBS) who read the bulletins during local repeater nets or publish them via such means as club websites.

Official Observer Coordinator (OOC). The role of the OOC is to recruit and oversee volunteer Official Observers (OO) whose function is to monitor on-air activities, alert operators when there is the possibility that a station may not be in technical conformance with government regulations, and to coach operators on good operating practices.

These eight officers collectively are the principal members of the Section Manager’s Cabinet as described in the Section Manager’s Survival Guide available at the RAC website. The first four officers are primarily concerned with the management and oversight of Section Manager’s administrative responsibilities; the last four collectively form the Section’s Field Service. Of the eight components, an effective emergency communications capability is considered vital as this public service is perhaps the main reason that the federal government supports the existence of the Amateur Radio Service in Canada.

The Section Manger is encouraged to appoint personal assistants to serve as the secretary to the cabinet, and for such other administrative support functions as required.

In discharging his/her responsibilities, the Section Manager:

makes a monthly written report to the Vice President Field Service on the status of Section activities;

conducts personal visits to clubs, hamfests and conventions to the greatest extent  possible;

writes, or supervises, preparation of a monthly "Section News" column for the inclusion in TCA;

to encourage member participation in the RAC programs in the Section.

The term of office for all RAC elected officials and executive officers is two years, for a maximum of three terms, and this guidance should be considered when making Section appointments. A key Section Manager function therefore is succession planning. Every opportunity should be seized to recruit capable volunteers, mentor them, and encourage them to progress onward to the more challenging (and personally rewarding) Section responsibilities. No opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of these volunteers should be missed. The most important of all the responsibilities that a Section Manager has is to groom a successor. Ideally this person will have served as a component head and is active within the Section ARES program, and served on a club executive. In particular, participation in a properly functioning cabinet is key to mentoring the Section Manager’s successor.

Recruitment of new hams and RAC members is an integral part of the job of every appointee. Appointees should take advantage of every opportunity to recruit a new ham or member to foster the growth of Field Organization programs, and our abilities to serve the public.

Requirement: The Section Manager is required to be a Full RAC member, and possess the Incident Command/Management System certifications expected of an ARES Amateur Radio operator.