FOCA Elert - June 2019
FOCA on the Road

Welcome, Olivia!
Please join us in welcoming Olivia Huber, who has joined us for the summer of 2019 as FOCA's Outreach Assistant. Watch for her on-the-road at cottage country events, including local farmers' markets. Follow her activities on Twitter: @FocaOutreach

This outreach effort is part of FOCA's strategic priority to expand our audiences and to raise awareness of waterfront issues among those who may not yet be part of a local lake association. Education is a key component to change attitudes, whether that relates to boating concerns, environmental issues or "pinch-points" such as noise and light pollution in cottage country. 

Member Associations: Is there an event near you that Olivia should attend? Let us know:

Advocacy & Policy Updates

Electricity rates are on the rise
In July 2019, Hydro One will be implementing their Ontario Energy Board-approved rate increases for all rate classes, retroactive to 2018. This will result in a significant jump in your hydro bill. Watch your mail in the coming weeks for official notice from the company. 

In other rate news, FOCA is still closely following OEB's proposed elimination of the "Seasonal" rate class, which could drive up rates by $1000/year for 84,000 rural customers! FOCA will be actively involved in these discussions over the months ahead. Stay tuned for information, and follow the issue here: .

Tackling Cell Dead Zones 
EORN group announcment; Terry Rees with MNRF Minister John Yakabuski
On May 17, FOCA attended with politicians and partners from the Eastern Ontario Regional Network at the announcement of Ontario funding of $71 million toward the project to improve cell service and mobile broadband in eastern Ontario. Federal funding is still pending. Read more on page 24 of the new 2019 FOCA Lake Stewards Newsletter. (and see more about the Newsletter, below!)

Provincial Cabinet Changes 
On June 20, 2019, the PC government dramatically shuffled its cabinet. For details, see:

New Fisheries Act passes
Since the Act was significantly weakened in 2012, FOCA has awaited a renewed and strengthened Federal approach to fisheries. We look forward to the implementation of this legislation, and the accompanying regulations which we hope will more robustly protect fish and fish habitat. See more: 

Navigable Waters
With the passing of Bill C-69 on June 20, the Canadian Government hopes to broaden environmental assessments to include environmental, social and health impacts, as well as impacts on Indigenous peoples, jobs and the economy over the long-term. Learn more:

New Publications

FOCA Lake Stewards Newsletter
We are thrilled to announce the release the new 2019 FOCA Lake Stewards Newsletter! The print version is being mailed to the executive of Member Associations, but you can enjoy and share the digital copy, now: 


Lake Health Report Card
Terry picked up copies of the Lake Health Report at Robinson's General Store in Dorset
The Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Associations has released the  Lake Health Report for the Haliburton Highlands. The project is an amalgam of over 20 years of lake monitoring data including the Lake Partner Program, Love Your Lake, and additional Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks lake monitoring. 118 lakes are included in the report, which outlines water quality indicators, depth and size of each lake, trends and more. 

Purchase a copy through your local Haliburton lake association, or select other retail locations in the region. 

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors:     

CottageLINK Rental Management

Asian carp

New video release
FOCA's Executive Director is one of the partners featured in this video, released by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, on the subject of Asian carp and what is being done to prevent their spread into the Canadian Great Lakes. Watch the video:

Members along the Great Lakes: Please share this resource with everyone at your waterbody!

FOCA Programs

FOCA's Cottage Succession Seminar Series
One of Peter's recent presentations was at Balsam Lake on June 1, 2019
Plan to attend an in-person event with estate lawyer  Peter Lillico this summer at  the 2019 FOCA Cottage Succession Seminars.  Our next stops are:
  • July 6th - with the Cavendish Community Ratepayers Association. The topic is  "Trusts: Protecting the Family Cottage AND Saving Taxes."
  • July 7th - in Perth with the Lake Networking Group. The topic is the overview presentation in the series: "Learn how to Keep the 'Family' in the Family Cottage."
For more details and how to register:  

Lake Partner Program 
LPP volunteers are reminded to send in their pictures of local " Water Sampler Assistants" (kids, neighbours' kids, etc.) helping with LPP water sampling, to be entered into the FOCA draw that will take place on the Civic Holiday weekend in August. 

Email your sampling pictures to: to be entered into the running for a boating safety prize.

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors




Cottage Life

Funding Notices

Rideau Lakes: Lake Association Committee
FOCA congratulates the Township of Rideau Lakes, which has recently set up a Rideau Lakes Lake Association Committee (RLLAC) as a forum to discuss issues and concerns among lake association representatives, the mayor and township councillors. Committee meetings will be open to the public, and start July 4th.  Additionally, Rideau Lakes Council has initiated an annual grant to lake associations, "to support the important work they do"; for 2019, nine associations applied, and share about $20,000. What an excellent example to bring to YOUR local Council! For more information on this model, contact FOCA.

Kawartha Lakes Incentive Grant Program
A new program has launched in the City of Kawartha Lakes to provide incentive funding for landowners and community groups who undertake projects that will improve the quality of surface water across the municipality. Submit proposals soon, for initial site visits by July 19th! 
Contact Holly Shipclark, Kawartha Conservation by email or call 705-328-2271 ext.240. 

Rideau Valley Shoreline Naturalization 
June 2019 - the  Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is booking site visits to help property owners plant trees and shrubs al ong shorelines to help protect against future flood damage. Already this spring, RVCA staff installed a total of 11,500 native plants on 63 private properties across the watershed, and worked with community groups to naturalize public shorelines. For more, visit:  

Grants for Lake Associations Stewardship Projects
Apply by July 15th to the Daniel and Susan Gottlieb Lake Stewardship Grant Program, as announced this month by Watersheds Canada. The program will supply up to $500 per association for education and action projects that contribute to lake health. Get details, and the application, here:

Regional Notices & Upcoming Events

After the Floods
Muskoka - As the flood waters recede, we are left with all the damage to docks, shorelines and boathouses exposed. A committee has been initiated, comprised of federal,  provincial and municipal politicians, as well as key stakeholders including the Muskoka Watershed Council, as the Province has indicated that addressing flooding solutions will take time, but we need to start on it, now. The provincial government is also looking for public input which can be provided through notes from the Muskoka Lakes Association June "Newsbites")

LakeSmart Team hits the water!
Earlier this week, the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association's LakeSmart Team took to the water for the summer season, to share information on ways to live and play green at the lake. Find out more:

French-Severn Forest Work Schedule Notice
FOCA has over 125 Member Associations in the French Severn Forest area. The Annual Work Schedule for the French-Severn Forest has  been reviewed and approved by the Parry Sound District Office of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Click here to download the notice (PDF, 1 page), which includes where to view the plan. 

Sustainable Cottaging Day: Kawarthas
Saturday, June 29th - Juniper Island, Ston(e)y Lake. You're invited to the first-ever Sustainable Cottaging Day on the lake, presented by the Association of Stoney Lake Cottagers, the Stony Lake Yacht Club and the Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes. Meet experts on topics such as water quality, healthy waterfronts, invasive species, fire safety, septic systems, safe boating and more! Click here for the event poster. (PDF, 1 page)

Lessons from Southern Ontario's big lake
The Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority has published information about the top threats facing Lake Simcoe. Read all about it:

Great Lakes Action Plan
Building on the model of the U.S. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Canadian and Ontario governments have been handed a 10-year prescription for action on nutrients, toxins and flooding by an expert panel. Click here to download an overview about the Great Lakes Action Plan. (PDF, 4 pages) 

90% of FOCA's members are located in the Great Lakes basin, or directly on one of the Great Lakes. We all have a role to play, and our respective governments have a leading role.

FOCA recently joined CELA's Healthy Great Lakes Advisory Committee which is focussed on robust public policy and an engaged Great Lakes basin citizenry.

Safety & Preparedness

Fireworks & Flying Lanterns By-law 
The Council of Dysart et al has passed a fireworks by-law that bans the retail sale or use of flying lanterns completely, and limits fireworks within the municipality to New Year's Eve and the weekends of Victoria Day, Canada Day and the Civic Holiday. For a link to the new by-law, and additional information on the topic of flying lanterns, visit:

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Nature Clean New Logo 2013


Canadian Canoe Museum

Recent Events 

Inland Waters Monitoring Conference
Andrew Paterson, MECP Research Scientist
May 29, 2019 - Huntsville. FOCA was one of the sponsors of, and attended, this event for our science partners to meet and discuss multiple stressors on inland lakes, climate change modelling, the impacts of calcium decline, and northern science projects on lake trout, contaminants, limnology and road salt. 

Supporting this information exchange among science partners helps to fulfill one of FOCA's strategic commitments, to advance the understanding and application of topical environmental concerns in our broad areas of interest including water quality, invasive species, climate change, and important emerging issues.

Kawarthas Alliance Meeting
June 1, 2019 - Stoney Lake. FOCA participated with local lake association representatives at this meeting to discuss how regional alliances may respond in a timely and effective manner to issues that are broader than the mandate of individual organizations, especially municipal decisions affecting land development. 

FOCA at the Crystal Lake Cottagers Association
June 2, 2019 - FOCA's Communications Coordinator was one of the speakers at our member Association's AGM, about all the benefits of FOCA membership. 

To download your own copy of the FOCA Member Benefits sheet, visit:

Hastings Highlands Interlake Alliance Meeting
June 3, 2019 - Combermere. FOCA's President, Marlin Horst, participated on behalf of his local lake association, in the annual meeting of this Hastings Highlands group, alongside other lake association representatives and Vic Bodnar, Mayor of Hastings Highlands (standing in the accompanying picture). 

Septic Savvy Seminar 
June 8, 2019 - Plevna. FOCA was pleased to have been part of this workshop. Read about the Township of North Frontenac's septic reinspection program, and download presentations from the June 8th event on the Township website. (
Pictured: Mayor Ron Higgins with event organizer, and FOCA Director, Bruce Moore addressing the crowd at the Seminar.)

Algonquin Land Claim Stakeholders Group Meeting
June 10, 2019 - Peterborough. On behalf of our members in the claim region, FOCA continues to participate in stakeholder meetings related to the ongoing Algonquin Land Claim. For background on this file, visit

Road Summit 
June 15, 2019 - Havelock-Belmont-Methuen. This roads meeting was h osted by Belmont Lake Cottagers' Association. Preliminary results from FOCA's 2019 Road Survey were part of the event.  FOCA's slides are available here:

full FOCA Road Survey Report--with benchmark information on road fees, expenses, maintenance practices and more--will be released by FOCA to member Road Associations this Fall. To be notified of the release of the report, ensure you have provided us with consent to email you.

North Kawartha Lakes Association Meeting
June 22, 2019 - FOCA attended the NORKLA event, titled "Lake Health: What you need to do." (Pictured: Dr. Andrea Kirkwood of Kirkwood Labs discussing the threat of Starry Stonewort across southern Ontario lakes.)
Winning with FOCA! 

Boating Safety Prize Winner
The winner got personal prize delivery from a FOCA Board member! (Thanks, Daryle.)
At the Spring Cottage Life Show in March 2019, FOCA featured a draw for a boating safety prize pack, valued at $300. We finally got to connect with the Seguin-area winner in June, thanks to our Board Member Daryle Moffatt, who is a local Councillor, and picked up the prize at the FOCA office during the last Board meeting. 

The winner of the boating safety prize was: Dawn Sendzik

Municipal Engagement Prize Winner
Terry and Dave at the FOCA AGM
At the FOCA AGM in March 2019, we promised a final door prize to attendees: a draw for the upcoming book release from speaker Dave Meslin. We are very pleased to announce that Dave's book, Teardown: rebuilding democracy from the ground up, is out, and we have been sharing copies with partners. 

The AGM winner of the book was: 
Allan McKellar of the Paudash Lake Conservation Association.

Dave has been getting lots of good press! Check out this article from Maclean's:

Association Tools
Planning your Association AGM or Newsletter? 
FOCA can help with that.

ot an Association meeting coming up? Please include a quick update from FOCA for your members. Share information from the  2018 Year in Review , or 20/20 Vision: Strategic Framework .

Have a 5 or 10 minute spot on your meeting agenda? Show one of FOCA's videos! Stream them on YouTube if you've got internet access, or contact us for tips on downloading to a laptop:
Need an article for your Newsletter? Consider reproducing an article from FOCA's last Lake Stewards Newsletter on lyme disease, cyber safety, or other topics. Or visit the FOCA website to search for other articles, by topic:  

Got some extra space in your Newsletter? Please include this little FOCA ad (click the image at the side to download a PDF - reproduce at 4" width, maximum) to remind your members about our work and all the benefits they receive, as
 FOCA members! 

Contact the office for any assistance with any of these materials or file formats.

Your Board of Directors

Members of the FOCA Board of Directors met together in Peterborough in mid-June for a Board Meeting as well as a social at the Executive Director's home.

For more about our wonderful volunteer Board of Directors, and their individual cottage stories, visit:

Happy Canada Day Long Weekend

From all of our families, to all of yours, we wish everyone a very happy and healthy Canada Day. 

The FOCA office will be closed on Monday, July 1st.

Enjoy the long weekend!

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