Amateur Radio is free; including licensing as well as the technology. Your only cost is hardware for building, or buying, a radio. One of the modern, popular uses of Amateur radio is APRS. Another popular usage is Satellites, as well as homebrewing, including the building of Antennas.
This is the actual ham radio exam in Canada: Download ICP.exe from this website
Once you get get 70%, you'll get your basic license. Over 80% and you'll get your HF (under 50MHz) privileges.
List of Canadian examiners once you think you're ready. Although technically free, I agreed to give my examiner $20 for his time when I wrote my basic.