FOCA Elert ~ November 2021
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for nearly 60 years.
Hang in until the end! You'll know you're there when you see this picture again.
This edition includes priority updates under the following headings:
  • FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
  • FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
  • FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
  • FOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural Living
  • FOCA Fosters Community
  • Partner Updates & Regional Notices
  • Final Thoughts
FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
event recap: FOCA Fall Seminar for Lake & Road Associations

"The Changing Face of Cottage Country"
November 6th, 2021 by Zoom webinar

We had one of our largest events to date, with 169 virtual attendees! If you missed it, members are encouraged to download the extensive Event Summary and share the updates with fellow members:
Want to watch the full digital recording (2.5 hours) to review all the details? Register for access here:
LAST CALL: FOCA Achievement Award
Yes - we're talking to you! We look forward to hearing all your association success stories so we can share great ideas with fellow members. Apply today for the FOCA Achievement Award on behalf of your great lake association, and tell us how the association and the community made the most of 2021.

Applications will be accepted until November 30th. The recipient will be celebrated at the 2022 FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar next March. Click here for the nomination form.
FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
Energy Board affirms details for elimination of Hydro One seasonal rate class
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has released their Decision on implementing the elimination of the Hydro One seasonal rate class. Hydro One has been ordered to phase in the change over 10 years, beginning January 1, 2023. Learn more:
Underused Housing Tax (UHT)
This new federal tax will apply to many foreign-owned properties in Ontario. Cottagers may end up being penalized (1% of your assessed property value, annually) by this policy that is mostly intended to free up rental and other accommodations in population centres (mostly urban) that are facing housing shortages. On behalf of our members, FOCA has reached out to the Deputy Prime Minister (and Minister of Finance) for clarity. Find out more here
Protecting Water
FOCA and our partners at the Canadian Environmental Law Association have published an article in the November-December 2021 edition of Water Canada magazine on the importance of source water protection, titled "Closing the gaps: What needs to happen to protect everyone's water in Ontario?" Read the article, posted to our webpage:
Shoreline Planning
In early November, FOCA's Executive Director made a presentation to Hastings Highlands Council to emphasize the importance of healthy naturalized shorelines, and land use planning and enforceable clear bylaws that protect them. Watch the recording of the Council meeting on YouTube (Terry Rees' comments start around minute 8:00) and find out more on FOCA's webpage:
FOCA's Gold level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
Great Lakes DataStream is live!
Explore 7 million open data points - including the Lake Partner Program data - collected by water monitors from across the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Basin. The newest DataStream hub was released during Open Access Week in late October. The hub includes stories, resources and more:
upcoming events: Let's Talk
Lake Huron & Lake Superior
FOCA's regional members may be interested in two upcoming webinars from binational Lake Partnerships:
upcoming event: LDD moth
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 starting at 7:00pm - The Ontario Woodlot Association (OWA) invites interested landowners to join a webinar presentation and moderated discussion about the LDD (gypsy) Moth: "A review of our 2021 experience, and a look forward to 2022" as part of the Early Detection & Rapid Response (EDRR) Network Ontario. Read about the event and register here.
image: Eric Boysen, via OWA
event recap: Understanding Forest Management Practices
If you want to know more about "Forestry 101" and how communities can get involved in the Forest Management Planning process, watch the recording of the June 2021 panel discussion from FOCA member group, the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association. The link is available from our webpage:
Grass Carp
Waterfront property owners on the Great Lakes: Did you know that vegetated nearshore areas would be one of the most vulnerable if invasive Grass Carp established in the Great Lakes? Loss of nearshore vegetation could negatively impact water quality because plants along the shoreline slow surface runoff and filter contaminants. Help Fisheries and Oceans Canada as they conduct early detection surveillance in the Great Lakes by learning how to identify Grass Carp and being extra eyes on the water for this aquatic invader. Learn more here:
image courtesy Invasive Species Centre
Zebra Mussels & Toxic Algae - a link?
Michigan State University researchers recently detected a relationship between the presence of invasive zebra mussels and toxic algal blooms in a state lake. It seems the mussels like the taste of other algae, but leave a phytoplankton called Microcystis to thrive where it wouldn't otherwise, resulting in an increase in blue-green algae. When the mussels died off one year due to warm weather (at temperatures that should have been ideal for algae growth), Microcystis decreased as well. This example of the "cascading effect" of complex climate-facilitated change in ecosystems was only noted due to the availability and analysis of a long-term data set for the lake. (Hooray long-term data!) Read more and link to the full article here.
recent webinars: Watersheds Canada
Visit Watersheds Canada's website for recordings of a variety of webinars on plastics, wetlands, invasive species, and the most recent event held on November 17, 2021: "Planning Tools for Shoreline Protection" that describes the example of Lake of Bays and the community planning permit system:
FOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural Living
OPP boating fatality statistics
Following up after our safe boating session at the FOCA Fall Seminar, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have released this sobering graph with 11 years of boat fatality statistics, noting that 86% of those who died over that time period were NOT wearing lifejackets. Find a link to enlarge the graph, and more about boat safety on FOCA's webpage:
on a related topic - event recap:
CSBC 2021 Symposium
The virtual symposium of the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), "Welcome new boaters: how can we help?" took place in early October, and the slides and 3 hours of video recording are now available online:
FOCA's Silver level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Partner Updates & Regional Notices
event recap: Lake Links 2021
October 23, 2021
This year's theme is "Take the Challenge! Connecting what we say and actually do in order to protect our lakes and rivers." FOCA was once again proud to be an event sponsor in support of our many member groups in eastern Ontario. The recordings are posted here:
Pumped Storage Open House
The Ontario Pumped Storage Project team is holding two Open Houses, an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about this proposed energy storage facility on Georgian Bay near Meaford, Ontario:
Short Term Rentals - Trent Lakes
The Municipality of Trent Lakes is currently conducting a survey about short term rentals, and is planning a Public Consultation Session on Tuesday, November 23 at 9:00am. It is recommended that you read about the Proposed Short Term Rental Licensing Program before completing the survey. To register for a delegation or to provide written correspondence, email the Clerk.
Fireworks Bylaw - Muskoka Lakes
The Township of Muskoka Lakes is considering updates to the Fireworks Bylaw and seeks public input via a short survey and opportunity for comment. Some changes involve limiting fireworks displays to specific holidays. Learn more and take the survey here.
Talking Forest app
Kawartha Conservation has expanded their Talking Forest app to include trails in two conservation areas. "Along the trails you will be greeted by the voices of various trees who will provide you with fun facts, historical information and may even direct you to other points of interest in the parks." Learn more and download the app from the Apple or Google Play Store.
ongoing series: Georgian Bay Extreme Water Levels - Impacts and Strategies
December 4 2021 - Are you worried about unpredictable extreme water levels, the damage they can cause, and what to do about it? Register for the final of 3 digital sessions in the H2O webinar series from the Georgian Bay Association and Georgian Bay Forever. Get details and the registration link, along with recordings of the previous 2 events (the 1st on water level forecasts and climate impacts, and the 2nd on the impact of water levels on shorelines and docks), here:
FOCA Fosters Community
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 member benefits. Get the details (and login for information about the 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, and we'll reply during business hours.
FOCA's Bronze level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Final Thoughts
did your municipality respond yet?
FOCA/OGRA rural road survey
FOCA and our partners at the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) are conducting a survey of municipal government partners to help quantify the extent of private roads across Ontario. FOCA thanks all our municipal partners who already responded to this important survey!

You can help us to engage more Municipal partners in this survey. Contact FOCA to find out if your Municipality already responded, or whether they could use a prompt from you.
Connect with our channels:
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