ve6tn ve6tn at shaw.ca
Mon Apr 4 12:21:18 EDT 2005

I thought I would add a bit of trivia and a perspective that may help in this particular debate.

1.  The huge score is a result of a tremendous operator, using a world-class station, and here is the last key . . . . from a QTH location that is absolutely killer into Europe.  For us contesters in VE6 land, we can only dream.  My friend Don Moman (VE6JY) with his full-size 4 element 80m yagi is challenged to even work Europe while someone in VY2 land is able to run station with a dipole all because of location.  Location, location, location.

2.  If we consider location to be an unfair advantage, then West coast stations will likely charge that the entire East Coast is an unfair advantage.  Where do you stop in trying to equalize things?

3.  It is the FCC that has chosen to restrict band usage to above 14.150 MHz.  For a Canadian station to park themselves below that limit is really not an advantage, as fewer DX stations even go down that low to look for signals.  It could even be considered a detriment.  I know from experience that I can park on 14.147MHz and call CQ till the cows come home with little to no action.  I can move up to 14.225 MHz and be very busy quickly.  It should be understood that VY2ZM choosing to run below the 14.150MHz not so much for a competitive advantage, but out of "consideration" for others and ensured that a spot in the crowded band above was free for someone else.  The action was just being Canadian and being considerate!

4.  Amateur Radio crosses borders.  There is a unique and special relationship that has existed with the ARRL and Canada is like that of no other relationship in any other government/commercial entity anywhere.  It transcends nationalism.  For a large part of Amateur Radio history, Canada has been a full participant in the ARRL in the same manner as that of other states.  The relationship is a special one.

5.  There are legal, tax, cultural, and regulation differences between Canada and the US that necessitates some separation.  In my 29 year history as an amateur radio operator I have always felt like the ARRL made an extra effort to not alienate Canadian Amateurs.

6.  To this day the ARRL President or his designate has a seat at the closed door board of Directors meetings of Radio Amateurs of Canada where the most intimate details affecting Canadian Amateurs is discussed and decided upon.  And the RAC president has a seat at the ARRL board meetings.  This is a special relationship, something no other "DX" entity has.

7.  Amateur radio is supposed to build bridges and overcome barriers to separation and segregation.  Separating Canada so as to not compete as part of the ARRL contests as we have historically done with our American brothers . . . . . . well this seems to be a bit "extreme" and one-dimensional thinking.  The current rules are based on inclusion and consideration and not ones of isolation.

No, the historical relationship of Canada being considered for inclusion within ARRL is broad and across all ARRL activities including contests.  Sweepstakes, Field Day, CW, DX and others are all part of our Amateur contesting culture treat VE as a W.  I see no good reason to change things.

As amateurs we need to be careful so as to not go down the road of building barriers of isolation.  The arguments seem to be based not so much on the so called band advantage, but more based on nationalistic sentiment to keep the ARRL exclusively American, to exclude Canada but include Alaska/Hawaii/PR/USVI.  Doing so using strong nationalistic feeling towards Canada being a separate country, is to ignore the long history of the ARRL and the deliberate efforts of its founders and stewards to include Canada in everyway possible.  The current situation with respect to the ARRL is that Canada is "NOT" in the same category as DX.

I am happy to be an ARRL member and a RAC member.  The contesting rules reflect the greater purpose of amateur radio, that barriers should be removed not walls built.

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