FOCA Elert - November 2016
Recap of the 2016 FOCA Fall Seminar
We had a full house at our latest member seminar,  held Saturday, November 12, 2016 in Toronto. The event, "Reverse Engineering successful Lake Associations,"  featured lively panel discussions about association success stories, how to work with your municipality for the good of the lake, trends about lake associations in 2016, and tips for looking for the next generation of lake leaders. 

FOCA Members: access all the Fall Seminar materials online here:

Note: You need your Member Login for this web post. Contact the office if you need assistance: 

Our event attendees were greeted by a video address from the Ontario Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray. Click the video link below to listen to his message:

Many thanks to our speakers, our Board of Directors and all the attendees who participated in this energizing day of peer-sharing. 

BORROW THIS IDEA: We have heard back from one member attendee who has already booked a meeting with his own cottage municipality to discuss what he heard at the FOCA Fall Seminar about effective communications tools being used by rural municipalities to reach more seasonal residents!

Political Affairs & Policy Updates

Energy Update
For the first time in eight years, electricity rates per kwH in Ontario did not rise on November 1st. However, distribution rates will change as of January 1st, 2017, and will impact many FOCA members. Get details here:  

Algonquin Land Claim: AIP is signed
After many years of negotiation and consultation, the Algonquins of Ontario signed the Algonquin Land Claim Agreement in Principle (AIP) with the Governments of Ontario and Canada in mid-October 2016. This is the end of one phase of the process, and the start of another. Get info:

Cottage development restrictions on Crown land in Northwestern Ontario
Read this Thunder Bay News Watch article, posted October 23rd, 2016.

Waterfront Living

Early Winter Weather Forecast
The Environmental Visualization Lab of NOAA (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) reports that the temperatures of the Great Lakes are the warmest they've been since at least 2010 for this late in the month of November.  Extra warm Great Lakes could mean later freezing, and heavy lake effect snows. To see related maps and graphs, click the image, or this link:  

Flood Matters
According to FOCA's colleagues at FloodSmart Canada, most Canadians don't realize they are at risk, and don't have a plan to protect themselves from flood. Even if you don't live near water, your home or business could be at risk. Download an info sheet by clicking the image, or this link:

FOCA in the News

FOCA Featured among 100 voices of Science
Science Borealis created a social media sensation last month, with quotes from voices across Canada in support of the importance of science communications. FOCA's Executive Director was among the voices chosen for this campaign! Click the image below to see a few of the comments:
For all 100 voices, visit: 
FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors

CottageLINK Rental Management
Cottage Life

Environmental Reports & Updates 

Restoring lost protections for fish habitat
Recent consultations on updates to the federal Fisheries Act could lead to significant improvements in the approach to our shorelines and our waterways. The proof will be in the delivery of any new policy approaches. See what FOCA had to say about it, and more, here: 

Annual Report from Ontario's Environmental Commissioner
October 26 - In her first annual Environmental Protection Report, Small Steps Forward, ECO Dianne Saxe warned Queen's Park that the provincial government must fill several key gaps. 
"The government often talks the talk when it comes to conserving Ontario's biodiversity, but that's not enough-- they need to walk the walk," said Saxe. "New laws like the Invasive Species Act are commendable, but most of the hard front-line work is still left to municipalities, conservation authorities and private landowners. They can't do it all without provincial guidance, help, co-ordination or funding." [emphasis above added by FOCA]

Federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development - Fall 2016 Report
image: Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick
FOCA was among a group presented with the findings from the latest reports from Federal Commissioner Julie Gelfand, released last month. The reports covered a wide variety of issues. Notably, they indicate that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission could not show that site inspections were sufficient to verify that Canadian nuclear facilities were complying with all their requirements, and that there were significant gaps in the information that Fisheries and Oceans Canada had about the health of Canada's major fish stocks. 

Commissioner Gelfand also measured Federal government progress towards sustainable development in Canada. To learn more about Sustainable Development Goals and the implications for our lakes and rivers, visit FOCA's webpage on the topic: 

Plastic Pollution Update
According to recent research about our lakes and rivers, plastics are throughout the water column, and in sediments and, "They're definitely ingested by fish and other organisms," notes a scientist with the US Geological Survey (see Oct.26 news item at the link, below). More work is underway to determine the impacts on fish health. See more on this recent US research, and get more information and links from FOCA, here:


U.S. F.D.A. declares antibacterial agent "harmful" while Canada says it's OK
According to a news article in the Globe and Mail last Friday, the Canadian federal government has determined triclosan is not hazardous to human health, and will continue to allow the chemical to be used as an ingredient in hand soap and other personal care products, even as the United States implements a ban. See more perspective, and link to the most recent news here: 

Cottage Succession

Our members asked:  Does the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) change announced in October  related to principle residence exemption  affect me or my cottage planning? 

Estate Lawyer Peter Lillico answers:  Read the Lawyer's reply.  
NOTE: All FOCA members can Login to access this Members-only resource. 
Need your member Login? Start here.

NEW Video: Cottage Sharing Agreements 
FOCA is pleased to announce the release of a new video which was recorded during a FOCA event earlier this year.  Cottage Sharing Agreements (DVD)    is ideal for those who were not able to join us in person at one of our 2016 events, or those who want to review this important topic with family members over the holidays.  The video covers topics such as: What is a Cottage Sharing Agreement? When is it needed? What are some advantages, restrictions and pitfalls along the route?

This is the second video in FOCA's series with estate lawyer Peter Lillico. For a general intro to start your cottage succession plan, see:  Keeping the 'Family' in the Family Cottage (DVD #1).  

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors


Recent Events

Great Lakes Public Forum 
Oct.4-6, 2016, Toronto - FOCA's Executive Director Terry Rees moderated a panel at the Great Lakes Public Forum in Toronto,  which brought together leaders from Canada and the US on the subject of the Great Lakes.  (Terry is at far left in the panel image.) For more, see: 

Kawarthas, Naturally Connected
Oct.19, 2016, Bridgenorth - FOCA participated in this official launch event for a Kawarthas Natural Heritage System and mapping tools.

Lake Links Workshop
Oct.22, 2016, Perth - FOCA's Executive Director spoke  about trends in cottage country residency, as part of the annual Lake Links Workshop.  

NALMS Symposium 
November 1-4, 2016, Banff, Alberta - FOCA's Terry Rees took part in this prestigious international event, the North American Lake Management Society's annual symposium

This year's event was titled, "Science to Stewardship: Balancing Economic Growth with Lake Sustainability," and Terry was part of a panel, "Building Bridges: Citizens, Science and Policy." For more info and links to the NALMS event program, see: 
FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Canadian Canoe Museum

Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Cottage Dreams
Notices & Opportunities

Ontario Municipal Board reform 
The Government of Ontario is reviewing how the Ontario Muncipal Board (OMB) operates, and its role in the province's land use planning system.  Town Hall Meetings have ended, but the public is still invited to comment by December 19th . Get details here.

Environmental Registry revision - Have your say
The Province of Ontario is considering a revamp of their online public notification system, the Environmental Registry, and your comments are needed  before December 21st, 2016  to make this tool more user friendly and effective. I f you have an interest in getting timely notices and relevant background on key decisions made by the Province on environmental legislation, regulations, or decisions,   visit EBR #012-7929, and take the short survey.  (Look for the survey link in red under "Additional Information," titled "1. Enhancing the Environmental Registry.")
Partner Profiles

Emerging Leaders for Biodiversity
FOCA was pleased to welcome Jackie Hamilton of Emerging Leaders for Biodiversity (EL4B) to our Fall Seminar for Lake Associations on November 12th! EL4B is a group of youth and emerging professionals. The organization exists to help channel youth's passion for biodiversity by focusing ideas and knowledge where it will make a difference across the province of Ontario. Find out more, and connect with them here: 

Updates from Lake of the Woods
Great work continues to move ahead in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed. Find out what our partners are up to in the latest version of the Watershed News.  Click here to download.  (PDF, 2 pages)

Water Doc - What Lies Below
FOCA followers will remember Lawrence Gunther's Blue Fish Radio Program, where our Executive Director was interviewed about Great Lakes issues, sustainable waterfronts, and the generational motivation behind much of FOCA's work. (Click here to review the podcast from April 2014.)

Gunther is featured in a new documentary, What Lies Below, which was released in late October 2016 at the Planet in Focus Film Festival. "My goal," says Gunther, who is a legally blind fishing advocate, "is to open people's eyes to what's really taking place out-of-sight beneath the surface of Canada's rivers, lakes and oceans." Click the image below to reach the documentary's website for a link to the trailer :
FOCA Member Associations

FOCA Achievement Award for Associations
Last call! - Nominate your local lake association for this award, celebrating the successes of FOCA member associations. It's quick and easy to apply.

We encourage you to share your association's  stories. Get details and a link to the Award application, here:

Members in over 50 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?
Sharing Cottage Dreams

Cottage Dreams
FOCA is a proud supporter of Cottage Dreams Cancer Recovery Initiative.
There are many ways you can help a cancer survivor: as a cottage donor, supporter, or by referring someone to the program. Find out more here: 

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years    |    705-749-3622    | 
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