A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF MY
The word " radioman " is the
common denominator for most of what I did in my life. I
have spent most of my life in the wonderful world of wireless and radiocommunication, also known as the airwaves or the electromagnetic spectrum.
I began as
a Radioman in the Royal
Canadian Navy (RCN) in 1965, at the age of 17, and served as a radio technologist and
radio operator onboard ships, onboard submarines and at naval radio stations.
addition to serving at Naval Radio Stations NRS Newport
Corner, NRS Mill Cove and
NRS East Chezzetcook, I also served onboard
naval destroyer HMCS GATINEAU.
But most of
my naval service from 1965 to 1973 was spent as a radio ''sparker'' onboard
submarines HMCS ONONDAGA,
HMCS OKANAGAN and
HMCS OJIBWA of the First Canadian Submarine Squadron (CANCOMSUBRON
In addition to qualifying for submarine service, I also trained
as a scuba diver at Naval Diving Facility HMCS GRANBY.
Scuba diving was my secondary trade (Radioman being my primary trade). My main
responsibilities as a scuba diver was to search and detect mines under ships,
assist in rescues at sea, perform numerous tasks underwater and participate in special underwater
I left the Navy in 1973 to join
the Federal Department of Communications (DOC) as a Radio Inspector in
Scotia. I transfered to the St-Lambert de Lévis DOC Monitoring Station in 1974, and
then moved to northern Quebec in 1975 after winning a competition to take over
as Inspector-in-charge of the Senneterre DOC Monitoring station. The main activity
there was the monitoring and measuring of shortwave broadcast stations around
the world for the International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB),
a branch of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). I returned to the
Sydney District Office of the DOC in 1976 and served the next 4 years as a Radio Inspector
on Cape Breton Island.
I transferred to the
Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1980 as the
Associate Director for the Atlantic provinces, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I left the CRTC in 1982 and went on to the
private sector to work as a Broadcast
and Cable Television Consultant. I was successful in obtaining cable television
licences and LPTV over-the-air licences for 35 communities throughout New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia, mostly for local Acadian applicants. I also obtained
my own LPTV licence and created Codiac Vision to serve the Memramcook Valley
near Moncton, New Brunswick. In addition to running Courcy Communications and
Codiac Vision, I also worked as the Atlantic representative for
Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. (CANCOM) and
worked with cable operators to replace the Chamcook microwave delivery system
with a new satellite delivery system to cable head-ends in the Maritimes and
Newfoundland. I also assisted Acadian
groups in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in the planning of local FM
Telesat Canada in 1985 as
an Account Executive in Satellite Broadcast Services, based in Ottawa. My
first task was to get involved in the launch of Single Channel per Carrier (SCPC)
satellite audio services. Shortly thereafter, I
took the leading role in the establishment of the Montreal Teleport, a
multi-million dollar satellite uplink facility and video production complex
located at René-Lévesque and Papineau downtown Montreal which opened in 1987.
Upon completion of the facility, I moved to Montreal in 1987 and opened a sales
office in the new Teleport. I was successful in negotiating satellite uplink
services and space segment television channels on Anik B and the Anik Cs for
Super Ecran, TVJQ,
Le Canal Famille, Radio-Québec,
TV5, Musique Plus,
Sports (RDS), Télévision Quatre-Saisons (TQS) et
Météomédia. Following negotiations with General Instrument in
San Diego, I was involved in 1987 in the introduction of VideoCipher II Plus satellite
television scrambling services in Canada and launching the
AnikVision analog DTH
service in 1988. Some concerns were raised about Telesat Canada (a carrier)
being involved in DTH, so I purchased the AnikVision DTH service from Telesat
Canada in 1990 and created Satelbec Inc. to
continue the development of analog direct-to-home satellite television services.
The end of analog DTH came in 1995 when ExpressVu launched its new
digital services, so I moved on to new challenges in 1996 and I worked for a short
period in airport security communications systems.
I returned to the Federal
Government in 1997 as a Radio Inspector and Spectrum Management Officer for the
of Industry (Industry Canada) in Toronto. In 2004, after 7 years in Toronto, I
transferred to Industry Canada's regional
office in Moncton, New Brunswick where I served for the next 3 years as a Spectrum Manager in charge of
monitoring services and emergency telecommunications services for the Atlantic Region.
In 2007, I transferred to Industry Canada's
regional office in Montreal where I worked as a Spectrum
Program Manager. My portfolio included Automated Work
Methods and Spectrum Monitoring. I was also a member of the team which
developed PIRATES, a time-synchronized multi-site high speed DF wideband scanning
system in support of spectrum management activities.
multiple transfers as a Radio Inspector and as a Spectrum Management Officer for
the Department of Communications (DOC) and Industry Canada during my career means that I transferred three times to the Atlantic Region, twice to the Quebec Region and
once to the Ontario Region. My only regret is that I never transferred to the
Prairie and Northern Region or to the Pacific Region although I had the pleasure
of spending 4 weeks at the Prince George, BC Industry
Canada District Office in 1997.
of April 2011 was my 46th anniversary as a " Radioman ". I finally retired
from Industry Canada three
months later, on the 29th of July 2011. My "retired" status was suspended in May 2012 when I went back to work on a
temporary basis at the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean, Quebec.
This temporary assignment ended in October 2013 when I pulled the
plug and returned to my ''retired'' status.
In addition to being a "Radioman"
at work, I am also a "Radioman" at home. I have been a certified Ham Radio operator since
1968. I first operated onboard naval destroyer HMCS Gatineau under call sign
My first personal call sign was VE1AKM.
time in ham radio was on Cape Breton Island from 1976 to 1980 under call sign
VE1RI. During that period, I took an active role in the Sydney
Amateur Radio Club and became the editor and publisher of
The Cape Breton
Amateur. I was also involved in many ham radio events, such as the 1977
International Girl Guide Camp and the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the
first west to east radio transmission across the Atlantic by Guglielmo Marconi
from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. I was also involved in the early promotion for the
establishment of a
Marconi Museum which exists today in Glace Bay. During the 1980 NSARA convention
''Ham Ceilidh 80'' in Sydney, I was elected
Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Amateur Radio Association. My term was short
since I was transferred out of Nova Scotia a few months later.
I was also
quite active in ham radio from 2004 to 2007 in Moncton, New Brunswick under call
sign VE1CY. One of my main involvement was
in the coordination and provision of emergency communications training and
exercises for ham radio operators. In addition, I served as the President of the
Tri-County Amateur Radio Club in 2005 and 2006.
former naval CW operator, I never lost the love of morse code. I also enjoy long
distance communications via the ionosphere using a minimum of power. This is
why one of my favourite activities is QRP CW (communicating with countries
around the world using morse code and less than 5 watts of power fed into an
inverted V wire antenna or a ground mounted vertical).
I have lived and worked in
five Canadian provinces, and I have operated under many call signs in the past,
including VEØNB, VEØNS, VEØND, VE1AKM, VE1WP, VE2FC,
VE1RI, VE1CF, VE2CF, VE3PFD, VE2SAT, VE2BHA, VE2KO, VE1DJC, VE2BHA, VA2FQ,
VE3XZ, VE3TV, VE1CY, VE9CY, VE2DM, VE2GG, VE3ECW, VE2CW, VE3PU VE1CG VE2CNX and VE1SS. My present call sign