Canada’s Amateur Radio Population Continues to Grow

According to Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) President Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, Amateur Radio in Canada grew by 1,758 new licensees in 2018 — the largest number in the past 4 years.

In his March editorial in RAC’s member journal The Canadian Amateur, MacDonell reported that the country’s ham radio population jumped from 63,317 to 70,198 between October 2013 and December 2018. According to him, in each of those years, the number of new amateurs has been at least 2.5% of the total number of amateurs in Canada at the end of the previous year.

He pointed out, however, that the 70,138 figure, while positive, hides the fact that removal of the Amateur Radio authorizations held by deceased licensees has been what he describes as “haphazard.” In addition, it’s not possible to quantify the cohort of active radio amateurs.

In 2000, Canada became one of the first countries to make Amateur Radio license-exempt. Canadian radio amateurs are granted an “authorization” that’s valid for 125 years from the holder’s birth date.