Elert - February 2017
Register NOW for the FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar

Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Boulevard Club, Toronto
Please join us at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of Members and Spring Seminar for Lake Associations. 

In addition to the AGM at 1:00pm, the day includes presentation of the FOCA Achievement Award, and speakers on the topics of electricity and lake stressors.

This is a must-attend event for lake representatives: an opportunity to network with your peers, collect current information about top issues, and begin planning for a year of success for your association! See you there.
Whither Winter?
Inconsistent weather, including winter rains across parts of Ontario in recent weeks have made for challenging conditions for those of us that like to get outdoors! 

February 2nd was Groundhog Day, as this CBC News meme reminds us
Alt hough there's lots of weather yet to come before Spring, conditions for Ontario skiers  and snowmobile trails have been ever-changing. 

Winter is a fantastic time to enjoy the lake, but like all outdoor pursuits, we need to be mindful of the elements and be prepared for changing conditions. 

Click the image below to watch a short video reminder from FOCA, related to winter safety:

Ice Safety Reminder from FOCA

Political Affairs & Policy Updates

Greetings for 2017  
In January, FOCA received a letter from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, extending greetings to FOCA members for 2017.  "Organizations such as yours are vital," wrote Minister McKenna. Read the Minister's full message:   https://foca.on.ca/climate-change-and-waterfront-ontario/ .   FOCA encourages you to spread the word through association newsletters and conversations with your cottage country neighbours!

Read more about climate impacts and actions in FOCA's publication:   https://foca.on.ca/managing-your-waterfront-property-in-a-changing-climate/P rint copies will be available at the FOCA Spring Seminar, or share the link to the digital version with your members.

Provincial Politics  
In January 2017, FOCA's Vice President Jim Kaufman, and Executive Director Terry Rees had a lengthy meeting at Queen's Park with The Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Ontario  Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss a number of FOCA's key concerns and interests related to  water management forestry biodiversity invasive species , and  dock permits . FOCA looks forward to progress on these files. 

FOCA's Executive Director also met with Patrick Brown, Leader of the Opposition (Ontario) at a recent Ontario Progressive Conservative Party event in Peterborough, which featured  energy prices as a key theme. 

Public Comment on the Deep Geological Repository (DGR)
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is accepting public comment until February 17, 2017, on the latest information submitted regarding the Deep Geologic Repository Project for low and intermediate level radioactive waste near Kincardine, Ontario. Visit FOCA's website for more info, background and links:   https://foca.on.ca/radioactive-waste-storage-in-the-great-lakes-basin-overview/

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors

CottageLINK Rental Management
Cottage Life

Lake Partner Program (LPP) Notice

Important information for our LPP Volunteers
sample kits!
For the first time, the 2017 Lake Partner Program sampling kits will be shipped to most volunteers using a courier (Purolator) instead of Canada Post, in order to save on shipping costs.  There is NO change to the sample return method - please continue to follow the instructions provided in the sampling kids and mail back by affixing the Canada Post shipping label provided in your kit and dropping it off at your nearest Canada Post location.  If you have questions, contact the Lake Partner Program Coordinator, Anna DeSellas: anna.desellas@ontario.ca  1-800-470-8322 (or call 705-766-1294 if outside Ontario)

For more LPP sampling information, tips and video links, visit:

Lake Environments 

Grass Carp in the Great Lakes
Scientific analysis released January 27 indicates grass carp are present in Lakes Erie, Michigan and Ontario. Link to the news release and other resources:   https://foca.on.ca/asian-carp/ 

Plastics in our waters

In related news, FOCA sponsored a film screening on January 28th at the ReFrame Film Festival in Peterborough, for A Plastic Ocean, which investigates the broader issue of plastics in world-wide waters.  https://foca.on.ca/foca-sponsors-film-screening-plastics-in-our-water-jan-2016/ 

Waterfront Living  

Energy Efficiency
Improve your home's energy efficiency; lower your energy bills. 
If you reside in Enbridge Gas' Program Delivery Area, you may qualify for the Home Energy Conservation Program, whether you heat with natural gas, oil, propane boiler/furnace OR wood stove. Find out more:  http://en.knowyourenergyscore.ca/home-energy-conservation/.
If you reside in Union Gas' Program Delivery Area, their program is described here:  https://www.uniongas.com/residential/save-money-energy/rebates-promotions/home-reno 

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors


Upcoming 2017 Regional Events

3 Coastal Community Workshops - Lake Huron
February 7 - Huron County; Feb.23 - Lambton County; Feb.28 - Bruce County. The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation is working on the creation of a Coastal Action Plan for Lake Huron, encompassing the shoreline from Sarnia to Tobermory. Click here to download the event poster (PDF, 1 page). 
You may also wish to add your voice through their online questionnaire:  

Forests Ontario Annual Conference 
Friday, February 10 - Alliston. Join Forests Ontario as they discuss how "it takes a forest" to build healthy communities and a robust and prosperous society. Details here:   http://www.forestsontario.ca/community/annual-conference/ 

24th Annual Kawartha Woodlot Conference 
Saturday, February 11 - Lindsay. Register to attend this conference, titled: "Healthy Forest, Healthy Community" at Fleming College - Frost Campus in Lindsay. Topics range from managing woodlots as part of a natural heritage system, to invasive species, tree identification and plantation thinning, species at risk, and fun in the forest. Details here.

An Evening with Wildcats
Saturday, February 18, 7:00pm - Perth. This presentation by naturalist Sue Morse is part of two days of workshops on the wild cats of eastern Ontario, organized by the Lanark County Stewardship Council. Registration required. Details here.

Ottawa Cottage and Backyard Show
March 3-5, 2017 - Ottawa. Get a jump-start on summer at this trade show with a wide range of cottage country exhibitors. FOCA members can access a special 2-for-1 admission to the Ottawa show, by clicking here.

Spring Cottage Life Show
March 30 - April 2, 2017 - Toronto. Hold the date! Plan to visit FOCA's booth at the Spring Cottage Life Show!  Details here.

Muskoka Stewardship Conference 
Friday, May 12 - Port Carling. Hold the date! FOCA will participate in this year's Muskoka Stewardship Conference, titled "50 Shades of Green: all about algae." Details here  

Cade's Corner

Members in over fifty FOCA member Associations have already taken advantage of this FOCA benefit: access to the  CottageFirst  group insurance package.
When will you get your quote, to find out if you could be saving too?

Notices & Opportunities

Community Planning Permit Study for Shoreline Management - Innisfil
The Town of Innisfil is holding a Public Open House on February 7, and a Public Meeting on February 15 to address building on the shoreline, as they update their approvals process. Find out more, here: www.innisfil.ca/ourshore

Preliminary Notice of Road Improvements - Kawarthas
FOCA has received notice of a preliminary design study and class environmental assessment re: Highway 28/Peterborough County Road 4 Intersection in the Township of Douro-Dummer, County of Peterborough. Click here to download the notice. (PDF, 3 pages) 

Survey: Municipal Voting by Internet for Havelock-Belmont-Methuen (HBM)
The Township of HBM is considering offering internet and telephone voting for the next municipal election (2018). Your input is important! FOCA encourages waterfront residents to add your voice to the brief online survey:    https://forms.hbmtwp.ca/Internet-and-Telephone-Voting-Survey

Recent Events

FOCA at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference 
Premier Wynne and cabinet at ROMA
January 29-30 - Toronto. FOCA participated in the ROMA annual conference and trade show, with our municipal partners. Read more about the event, and get links to some of the presentations, here: 

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box

Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum

Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
Nature Clean New Logo 2013


About FOCA

Our Team
Frances Wilbur has rejoined the FOCA Staff as our new Programs Manager, to assist FOCA's member associations in building strong leadership and increasing local volunteerism. Welcome back, Frances! 

Find out more about all our staff and Board of Directors, here:  https://foca.on.ca/about/team/ 

Publications from FOCA

Shoreline Owners Guide to Healthy Waterfronts
FOCA Member Associations can access multiple copies of this handy guide, which makes a great addition to your New Member welcome package. 
Contact the office: info@foca.on.ca  705-749-3622  

You can also add a link to the digital copy of the Guide to your Association website:   https://foca.on.ca/shoreline-owners-guide-to-healthy-waterfronts/  

TIP: Are you coming to the FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar on March 4th? Bypass shipping charges by arranging to pick up your copies then!

More Tools for Lake Associations

ONCA Update
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) reiterated in January 2017 that ONCA remains on hold indefinitely. Get the update here: https://foca.on.ca/onca-on-hold/ 

We want you to share FOCA news updates and fact sheets. Members are always welcome to reproduce FOCA materials from  ElertsNewsletters and our extensive  online resources. Please credit FOCA as the source, and include our web address, where possible:   https://foca.on.ca

There are lots of additional resources from FOCA that are tailored to lake associations' needs. Start your search here: https://foca.on.ca/toolkit-overview/

Canada 150

FOCA is Proudly Canadian
As Canada celebrates 150 years in 2017, FOCA celebrates the legacy of Ontario cottage country, and the significance of these natural spaces to our health and wellbeing, to our families and to our identity as Canadians!

February 15, 2017 is National Flag of Canada Day. Click the "Canada 150" logo to link to more information from the Government of Canada about this year's celebrations.

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years

 info@foca.on.ca    |    705-749-3622    |    https://foca.on.ca 
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