FOCA Elert - December 2018
Environmental Update:

Save the ECO
On the day of the announcement, ECO Dianne Saxe spoke in Peterborough about protected spaces
On November 15, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced sudden plans to eliminate the office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO). The ECO is our environmental watchdog, supporting public participation through the Environmental Registry, as well as government accountability for decisions that affect our environment, now and into the future. 

FOCA opposes the elimination of the office of the ECO, and has written to the Premier and party leaders. Read FOCA's letter. (PDF, 2 pgs)  
Now, we need you to add your voice Help us show the government how much Ontarians care about the environment. 
What you can do: 
  1. Add your name to the online petition,, which has already grown to more than 4,000 names. You will see many of your lake association peers on this list.
  2. Tell your Ontario MPP you oppose the elimination of the office of the ECO. Find links to your MPP, here:, and echo the wording in FOCA's letter to the Premier. 
  3. Share this information widely with others in your lake association, with colleagues, family, and friends.

Thank you to everyone who has already copied on your messages! Keep up the good work.


NOTE: Today we learned that the Ontario Legislature will vote this Bill (#57) this Thursday, December 6th. Please reply as soon as possible.


FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


CottageLINK Rental Management
Sponsors support our work. Please, support them!
Policy Updates

Ontario Environment Plan Released
On November 29th, the Province of Ontario proposed their new environment plan, which is available for review and comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO)  by clicking here. Public comment will be received until January 28, 2019. 

Cormorant Hunt Proposal
On November 20th, the Province of Ontario posted to the Environmental Registry plans to list the double-crested cormorant as a game bird and to establish a hunting season from March 15 to December 31 each year. Public comment will be received until January 3, 2019. Click here to read the ERO posting

Read more on the developing debate about the proposed cormorant hunt, in this article from the Hamilton Spectator.

Governmental Affairs

Municipal Term Begins 
Following the Ontario Municipal elections in October, Councils are being sworn-in across the Province this week. These will be our municipal leaders for the next four years, delivering some of our most valued public services including roads, policing, land use planning, bylaw development and enforcement. Find out more about the Municipal level of government, here: 

FOCA notes: your new Council is about to set its Municipal budget, which has an impact on your annual property taxes. For more, visit: 

Survey: Connecting with Municipal Leaders
FOCA wants to know: Does your lake or road association border one or perhaps several Townships/Municipalities? How do you engage with these partners? Do you have a success story to share?
Please take a moment and add your voice to FOCA's newest survey about Associations connecting with Municipal Partners

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors


Cottage Life

Environmental Notices

Forest Management Plans
Public comment is invited on the development of 2021-2031 Forest Management Plans (FMP) for both the Bancroft-Minden and the Mazinaw-Lanark forest management units. Click the names above to download each notice (PDF, 1 page each).

For more about why YOU should get involved in forest management planning in your region, visit:

In related news, FOCA has been asked to forward a notice from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry - Bancroft District to recruit members for Local Citizens Committees for Crown Forest Management for each of the Bancroft-Minden and Mazinaw-Lanark forest management units. For an outline of the volunteer commitments and how to apply, click here. (PDF, 2 pages)

Lake Superior Link Environmental Assessment
Dec.10-13, 2018 at various north shore Lake Superior locations. Hydro One has released a Notice of Commencement, and has announced a series of community information centres along the project route for the Lake Superior Link transmission project. Find details, meeting locations, dates and times by clicking here (PDF, 2 pages).

Invasive Species Corner

Preventing the Spread of Asian Carps 
The U.S. Corp of Army Engineers has revealed new plans (and revised associated cost estimates) to keep Asian carps out of the Great Lakes, in an attempt to protect the region's $7-billion fishing industry. 
Read the update from CBC News (Nov.29, 2018). 

Are you confused with carp? 
Common carp is already present in southern Canadian waterways, but current efforts are intended to prevent four invasive species of Asian carps from entering the Great Lakes from the U.S. 

Get more information and comparative images (such as the illustration at the side), here:  

Economic Impact of WPO

Ongoing Interest in FOCA's Report
FOCA's 2018 report on The Role of Waterfront Property Owners (WPO) in Economic Development in Rural Ontario is featured in the current November/December 2018 edition of the  Ontario Planning Journal of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute. This issue is dedicated to rural Ontario, posing the question, "What does planning mean outside large urban centres?
Download excerpts from the OPPI Journal, including the article about FOCA's report on the economic development potential of WPO in rural communities, by clicking here . (PDF, 6 pages)

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors

Dock in a Box

Cottage Dreams


Nature Clean New Logo 2013


Canadian Canoe Museum
Recent Events

Kawartha Conservation Stewardship Strategy 
November 19, 2018 - FOCA attended the first Advisory Committee meeting for a Stewardship Strategy for Kawartha Conservation (KC), to help align their programs with the needs and interests of the community. As part of the advisory committee, FOCA will assist with strategy development to facilitate the success of KC's environmental stewardship initiatives.

Community-Based Water Monitoring: A National Discussion
November 27-28, 2018 - Ottawa. FOCA participated in two days of roundtable discussions with water colleagues from across Canada.  The event was convened by the Gordon Foundation, Living Lakes Canada and WWF Canada to bring  together Ministry staff, scientists, funders, environmental and indigenous organizations to identify steps the federal government can take to support community-based water monitoring across Canada. FOCA contributed our experience, working with the Lake Partner Program of volunteer water monitoring (see more, below). 

Program Updates

Lake Partner Program
Our lakes and rivers may be going dormant under a cover of ice for the winter, but at the Dorset Environmental Science Centre, the Lake Partner Program team is already starting to think ahead to next year's water sampling! Winter is the time for preparing the hundreds of water sampling kits for mail-out across Ontario in the new year. (see picture) 

FOCA members know Carmen Pereira already, from her work with the Queen's U. algae study
Long-term LPP Coordinator Anna DeSellas is now on maternity leave until October 2019. We are happy to know that Carmen Pereira will be stepping in, beginning December 17th, to work with Emily Shapiera, our LPP Lake Stewardship Assistant, who continues to be your main contact for the LPP hotline and email. 

Find out more about this successful long-term water monitoring program, here:

Safety & Preparedness

Precedent-Setting Ruling on the Canoe
image: Kirk Doughty
On the one hand, FOCA was unsurprised by an Ontario court ruling on November 15, 2018 that a canoe is, indeed, a vessel. (In fact, we suspect our members would say it is one of the BEST vessels from which to enjoy Ontario's inland lakes and rivers...)  However, in this case the question arose because of a lack of clarity in the Criminal Code of Canada about which water vessels are subject to impaired driving laws.  Read more online, from Muskoka Region News, by clicking here

Cade's Corner
Looking for another article for your Association's winter newsletter? Y our work is done, t hanks to our friends at Cade Associates Insurance Brokers , exclusive brokers of the CottageFirst insurance program underwritten by Travelers Canada! 

Click to download Winter Maintenance Tips (PDF, 1 page) with information about your heating system, utilities, key supplies and equipment, and other winter safety measures.

Digital Development

New DFO App to ID Invasive Baitfish
The Baitfish Primer, a key guide from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is now available as a free mobile app that allows recreational fishers to identify legal and illegal live bait. The new app has a unique ID tool that can be used by novices and experts alike to distinguish between baitfish. The app also allows users to report any aquatic invasive species to the Invading Species Hotline and the online tool, EDDMapS Ontario.

To download, search "Baitfish Primer" in your App store for Apple or Android devices.

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 55 years     |    705-749-3622    |  
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