This Elert is jam-packed with important news. Hang in until the end! You'll know you're there when you see this banner image again.
FOCA Elert ~ March 2022
FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
FOCA Year in Review
Read the 2021 FOCA Year in Review for our reflections on the year that was, FOCA’s enduring role in waterfront Ontario, and what's next: FOCA Year in Review (download PDF, 12 pages). Please share this information with everyone at the waterfront!
register now: ONCA: the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 12:00pm - 1:30pm
ONCA has arrived - what do incorporated associations need to know, and what should they do next? Join FOCA and Community Legal Education Ontario for a webinar event exclusively for FOCA members. Get details and the registration link, on our webpage:
webinar event recap: FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar for Lake Associations
held February 26, 2022
Missed the FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar? No worries! Members can login on the event webpage to access the Event Summary, including the presentation slides:
  • Property Assessments and Voter Enumeration by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)
  • LDD moth - an outbreak overview, and data collection techniques, by the Ontario Forest Health Program Provincial Lead
  • Floating Container Homes - an emerging issue presented by the Gloucester Pool Cottagers' Association
  • Great Lakes DataStream - an overview by the Gordon Foundation
  • plus the FOCA Annual General Meeting, presentation of the FOCA Achievement Award (more on that below) and FOCA programs, membership benefits, and hot topic updates!
Associations are reminded to share this information with your members.

NOTE: you will need your FOCA member login to access Members-only materials like these on the website. Don't have, or can't recall, the login? Contact us!
FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
Floating Container Residences
At the 2022 FOCA Spring Seminar, the President of the Gloucester Pool Cottagers' Association (GPCA) presented to fellow FOCA-members about a floating residence constructed from shipping containers that appeared on their waterway in 2021. A saga has ensued, to determine if this is a permissible structure, and if so, under whose authority. FOCA members are encouraged to review the presentation slides and read up on this issue. Details are online here:
related news: Ministry holding Information Session & ERO posting
The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry has invited FOCA and interested member representatives to a virtual information session next Monday, March 28, 2022 from 9:00am to 10:30am. The meeting ("Seeking input about the use of floating accommodations on waterways over Ontario public lands") is intended to outline the current Public Lands Act regulatory framework, and provide an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

The Ministry has also posted to the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO), asking for public input on the same issue by April 19, 2022. No regulatory changes are being proposed at this time; this is described as a posting for consultation purposes to "inform consideration of potential future changes" to address concerns about these types of structures.

Visit FOCA's land use planning webpage for a link to the ERO posting, and more details about the virtual information session:
Source Water Protection: "Best Practices" Guidelines released
Most waterfront landowners in Ontario are not included in a Source Water Protection Area. Now, the Province of Ontario has released a guide detailing best practices for source (drinking) water protection. In FOCA's opinion, the Province's proposed voluntary approach - without technical resources, implementation or enforcement provisions - is not an acceptable substitute for clear, effective and enforceable rules. Get a link to the Best Practices guide, as well as a public survey where individuals can provide the Province with feedback about how helpful this approach is:
FOCA's Gold level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
Ontario's Biodiversity
Conserving Ontario’s biodiversity is important because healthy ecosystems sustain healthy communities and healthy economies. Biodiversity also helps us better mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
For over 15 years, FOCA has been a member of the Ontario Biodiversity Council (OBC). As part of the mandate of this group, every five years we produce a State of Ontario Biodiversity Report (SOBR). Read the latest report, and learn more about the importance of biodiversity on FOCA's webpage:
New "Septic System Basics" Video
The Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) has released a new video for homeowners, addressing the basics of how a septic system functions, as well as best management practices.
Please share this great resource! FOCA posts additional videos and related information on our webpage:
FOCA webinar recap: New Invasive Species & Watercraft Regulations
March 9, 2022 - FOCA was joined by Jeremy Downe of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry for a lunch-and-learn webinar to discuss changes to the Invasive Species Act, including new regulations on the movement of watercraft that came into effect on January 1st, 2022. View the webinar recording from a link on FOCA's webpage:
upcoming partner webinar: Invasive Species: Lake Ontario's Most Un-Wanted
April 21, 2022 at 12:00pm EDT - A webinar about invasive species prevention and management, with Canadian and U.S. experts speaking about invasive species in Lake Ontario, why they're a problem, and what steps are being taken to prevent their introduction and spread in the Basin. Get details & register here.
Great Lakes Ice Cover
The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tracks ice cover on the Great Lakes, and long-term changes as a result of global warming. Review animations of historical Great Lakes ice cover, and investigate current conditions (like the image of Lake Superior at the side), on their website.
FOCA Champions Safe & Affordable Rural Living
Reminder to remove Ice Huts
The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry reminds anglers who have ice huts on lakes to remove them by the listed dates in Ontario's Fishing Regulations Summaries.
image: Kirk Doughty
Remove by March 15:
  • FMZ 14, FMZ 16, FMZ 18, FMZ 19, FMZ 12 (below Lake Timiskaming dam)
Remove by March 31:
  • FMZ 9, FMZ 10, FMZ 11, FMZ 15, FMZ 12 (above Lake Timiskaming dam)
Details and maps of the various Fisheries Management Zones (FMZs) are online here:
Preparing for the Freshet
The "freshet" is the Spring thaw of snow and ice in our watersheds. Quick melts and heavy rain can result in flooding, as ground that is still frozen cannot absorb the moisture. Those who live in an area with a Conservation Authority (CA) may want to sign up for local alerts. Get links to provincial and CA emergency messages, watches and warnings from FOCA's webpage:

Here are related safety messages from Kawartha Conservation, and some more tips from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority:

Should flooding occur, the first response is up to you! As a property owner, you need an emergency plan to minimize flood-related property damages. While our flood forecasting and warning program is responsible for providing timely, accurate flood predictions, your municipality is responsible for emergency response in the event of severe flooding. Now is the time to explore your municipality’s website, get to know its emergency preparedness plan and dig out your local emergency phone numbers.
Eastern Ontario Telecom Progressing
The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) provided a status update on the project to close gaps in mobile telecommunications service in eastern Ontario, with upgrades by Rogers Communications now completed for 97 of about 300 existing towers, and 300 more planned for the region by 2025. 5G coverage has been extended to 10 new areas. Read more in the EORN and Rogers news items posted to FOCA's Rural Utilities webpage.
Starlink Price Increase
SpaceX has informed deposit holders about price increases for Starlink satellite internet service - both for the kit, and monthly service charges. Link to the details in the Starlink news item posted to FOCA's Rural Utilities webpage.
Parks Canada reminder
Lockage and mooring permits for the Trent Severn and Rideau waterways remain on sale until the end of March 2022. A seasonal lockage and mooring package (which includes one seasonal lockage and one seasonal mooring permit for the same vessel for the upcoming season) normally runs $20 per foot. If you buy by March 31, you can get it for $17 per foot. A standalone seasonal lockage permit is available for $7.60 per foot until March 31, down from $9.50 per foot. And a seasonal lockage permit for a canoe or kayak is available during the sale period for $4.75 per foot, down from $9.50. Order them now at:
FOCA Cottage Succession Seminars:
2022 season - planning is underway!
FOCA and estate lawyer Peter Lillico have been teaching families about cottage succession planning for the past decade. These events are free to FOCA members, and the slides are shared with registrants after the events. Our traditional in-person events have shifted to digital over the past few years, and we're now lining up our 2022 season.

If your FOCA Member Association is interested in hosting a Cottage Succession Webinar in 2022, please email [email protected] for information.
FOCA's Silver level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
A message from FOCA's Technology Sponsor:
Spring is here! Get your cottage ready with reliable internet.

Rogers has been ramping up our network’s reach to connect more homes to reliable and fast internet with the help of our wireless internet home product.

We are now present in communities like Bracebridge, Trent Lakes, McDougall, Gravenhurst, Ennismore, Port Carling, Tiny, Bobcaygeon, Lakehurst, Ramara, Torrance, Rosseau, and many others. Visit to learn more.

Also, Rogers will be at the Spring Cottage Life Show in April. Come visit our booth to chat with our reps and get some amazing deals.
Partner Updates & Regional Notices
Spring Cottage Life Show
April 7-10, 2022 - Get ready for cottage season at the Spring Cottage Life Show with builders, docks, gazebos and grills, innovative building products, green solutions, decor and style, arts and crafts, food and entertaining, water toys and more. Visit the show website for details.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR FOCA MEMBERS: To celebrate the return to in-person shows, the Spring Cottage Life Show is sharing an exclusive promotion: use the code FOCA to save $3 off general admission tickets. Although FOCA won't be at the show this April, many of our partners and sponsors will be, and we look forward to the next opportunity to participate in person again soon!
Public Comment Period: Plan 2014
Public comment on the Report on Phase 1 of the expedited review of Plan 2014 (regulating Lake Ontario outflows) is invited until April 18, 2022. The feedback received in this public comment period will be considered by the International Joint Commission, and will inform its own findings and recommendations that will be submitted to the governments of Canada and the United States. Learn more, including how to share your input, on FOCA's webpage:
webinar series recap: The Best of Two Worlds: Lessons for sustainability from Indigenous ecological knowledge and western science
held January 26 - February 23, 2022

Learn from western and Indigenous environmental professionals' approaches to stewardship of the environment. In order of weekly appearance, the series speakers were: Norman Yan; Susan Chiblow; Neil Hutchinson, Richard Nesbitt, Brenda Parlee & Caroline Coburn; David Pearson; and Henry Lickers. Review recordings of each of the sessions, here:
Member Associations in action:
Lead Fishing Tackle Buy Back
Here is a great member initiative worth talking about: the Wolfe Lake Association (Westport) is launching a 1-year voluntary program starting on March 31, 2022 to incentivize local anglers to exchange their existing toxic lead fishing tackle for a $10 voucher to purchase non-lead alternatives at participating retail locations. This has been sponsored by a grant from South Frontenac Township, together with program partners and sponsors. Read more about lead toxicity, and the program, here:, or reach out to Margie Manthey, Fishing Director at WLA(W) to learn more about how your lake association could get involved.
"Yours to Protect" Earth Day events
April 22 - 24, 2022 - The Yours to Protect Movement is holding a three-day event around Earth Day weekend in April. If your organization or community will be holding any event in Ontario with an environmental focus on those dates, you are invited to post it on the map that has been created. Review the online guide with details about how to get involved, and learn how to register your event to get it added to the growing map. Come on, FOCA folks: let's see how much of Ontario we can cover!
Porter Airlines Toronto-Muskoka service
Summer service will resume from June 24 to September 6, 2022. Read the news as reported by Northern Ontario Business.
FOCA Fosters Community
FOCA Achievement Award Recipient & Honourable Mentions
Congratulations to the Lake Bernard Property Owners' Association, the recipients of the 2021 FOCA Achievement Award which was presented at the 2022 FOCA AGM. Get links to the related media coverage, read about LBPOA's "Roundtable on Lake Health" with municipal partners and others, and also find out about the 4 other member Associations that received 2021 Honourable Mentions, on FOCA's webpage:
Water's Next - Nominations Due
If you have a great local volunteer, project, or group and a story that is inspiring, incredible or ahead of its time, consider nominating them for the annual Water's Next Awards! The deadline approaches: apply by March 31, 2022. Get the details here:
PORTS offer: limited time!
FOCA members can now access an exclusive "20% off" offer from PORTS, the boating companion guides. Whether for cruising or just day trips, the labelled aerial images give great perspective on waterways, and the guides include business information for local restaurants, groceries and more. This special offer includes the free digital app version for planning anywhere, plus a free 1-year subscription to Canadian Yachting. Offer ends April 23, 2022. Members can login to access the offer from FOCA's Benefits webpage: (scroll down to "Benefits for Individuals & Families").
Association Members: Do your members know about ALL their FOCA benefits?
All members of our Member Associations are entitled to access a series of discounts, special offers, and other benefits. Get an overview (and login for information about the member access codes), here:

You'll need your FOCA Member login for this and other member materials on the website. Don't have, or can't recall, the login? Email [email protected], and we'll reply during business hours.
FOCA's Bronze level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Final Thoughts
In praise of Water, Spring & the Earth

In addition to welcoming the Spring Solstice on Sunday, this week World Water Day was celebrated on Tuesday March 22nd, and now Earth Hour approaches! Earth Hour aims to increase awareness and spark global conversations on protecting nature, tackling the climate crisis, and working together to shape a brighter future for us all. On Saturday, March 26th at 8:30pm local time, you are invited to switch off the lights and go for a night hike or stargaze, or - if the weather outside is frightful - we can personally recommend a board game by candle light!
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FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for the past 60 years.