FOCA Elert - September 2020
Advocacy, Policy & Program Updates

OEB orders Hydro One to eliminate the Seasonal Rate Class
On September 17, 2020, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) ruled that Hydro One will eliminate the Seasonal Rate Class, and shall move all customers into one of their other, density-based rate classes. This decision has been preceded by numerous rate applications and intervenor submissions by FOCA and others over the past five years. 

FOCA remains extremely concerned about the financial impacts this change will have on the estimated 78,000 seasonal customers that will be moving to the R2 (low density) residential class and will face increases of $60/month or more, based on Hydro One's last estimates. Read more here:

Ontario climate change impact assessment
August 17, 2020 - The Ontario government has selected a consulting team to conduct the province's first-ever multi-sector climate change impact assessment. Get more details and related information, on FOCA's website:

COVID-19 impacts on rural businesses
The Rural Ontario Institute has released analysis about business closures from January to April 2020 in "non-metro" (rural) versus "metro" areas of Ontario. Click to download the info from ROI; PDF, 3 pages. 

FOCA continues to post news about cottage country pandemic impacts, here: 
A video update from FOCA

Spend a minute with our Executive Director, to hear about FOCA's upcoming events this Fall. Click the image below to start the video, posted to YouTube: 

FOCA Fall 2020 message
FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


CottageLINK Rental Management
FOCA's sponsors support our work; please, support them! 
Next FOCA Webinar: Targeting Tax
More Cottage Succession Planning 
Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 7:00pm

Following on the popularity of the FOCA Cottage Succession introductory webinar in June, estate lawyer Peter Lillico has agreed to speak again, this time taking a deeper dive into a significant part of the cottage succession process: targeting tax. Find out how capital gains tax works; how to avoid it; techniques to reduce or defer it; and planning approaches to fund it. Peter will speak for about 1 hour, and then take questions for an additional 20-30 minutes. Questions can be submitted ahead of time, or during the webinar.

To register: email with the words "Targeting Tax" in the Subject Line, and remember to include your FOCA affiliation (e.g., Association or Supporter status) in your message.* 

NOTE: If you previously registered by email to, you will receive the event link by the end of business on Wednesday.

* This webinar is free to all FOCA members, but pre-registration is required. 
Not yet a member? Consider becoming a FOCA Supporter to receive access to this, and other benefits.
Waterfront Living

Inaugural Septic Sense Week 2020
FOCA's colleagues at the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) partnered with their western Canada counterparts to create Septic Sense Week from September 14 to 18, 2020. This provides an opportunity to remind property owners that a septic system is critical infrastructure for your rural home. Get online tips from OOWA, by clicking here

Could you use (or know someone else who would benefit from) a 10-minute video overview about septic system parts, maintenance and signs of trouble? Here's the link to reach FOCA's video about septic systems:

Assessing economic impacts of climate change
September 2020 - as reported this month by our media colleagues at Water Canada, new research released by the Water Institute of the University of Waterloo will help quantify the economic impacts and options in times of water disruptions on the Great Lakes. For more, visit FOCA's Great Lakes webpage: 

Survey confirms the value of water
September 2020 - new data released by Ottawa Riverkeeper and Abacus Data, about the attitudes of Ottawa watershed residents, demonstrates the value they place on the river. FOCA bets you'd say the same about your own local lake/river/waterbody! See more here:
FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors


Cottage Life

Regional Notices & Partner Events

Muskoka Summit on the Environment
POSTPONED to next year: October 2021. "Creating Climate-Resilient Communities." 

Great Lakes stressors
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 from 10:30am to noon by webinar. The International Joint Commission (IJC) Great Lakes Science Advisory Board - Science Priority Committee is hosting a webinar about the board's recent report, "An Evaluation of Stressor Interactions in the Great Lakes." Get more information on the registration page, by clicking here.

Safe Quiet Lakes' stakeholder meeting
Friday, September 25, 2020 from 9:00 to 11:00am by webinar. FOCA is pleased to be participating in the SQL annual meeting. Get details from SQL, including the registration link, by clicking here

European gypsy moth technical webinar 
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020 at 10:30am by webinar. Our colleagues at the Invasive Species Centre are hosting a webinar on the topic of gypsy moth control. Details are available on the registration page, by clicking here

For more about gypsy moths, including FOCA's July webinar and Q&A sheet on the topic, visit:

Georgian Bay water level symposium
Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 10am to 2pm by webinar. FOCA member group, the Georgian Bay Association (GBA), and Georgian Bay Forever are co-hosting this event to bring together scientists, policy makers, engineers and academics on the issue of fluctuating water levels in the region. Get information on the GBA website, including the registration link, by clicking here

Lake Links 2020
Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 10:00 to noon by webinar. The theme is "Effective Engagement for Positive Action." FOCA is an event sponsor and one of the featured speakers at this year's edition of the annual Lake Links Workshop, usually held in Perth. FOCA will feature ways volunteer lake associations are staying connected and engaging members, in this unique year. Get details and register, here:

The Lake Links organizers have also asked groups to submit short write-ups on their own recent engagement initiatives, to share with attendees. Interested groups can fill in the online form, by clicking here

Internet coverage in northeastern Ontario
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) believe Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet program is the long-awaited solution to the region's internet coverage issues. More info is available from links on this FOCA webpage:

Detecting invasive species: eastern Ontario volunteers sought
Established in 2015, 
Early Detection and Rapid Response(EDRR) Network Ontario is a community action project that aims to train and equip volunteers with the skills and resources needed to better detect and reduce invasive species in Ontario, one community at a time. FOCA's colleagues at the Invasive Species Centre (ISC) are seeking volunteers in eastern Ontario for EDRR training. Click here for a short video about the opportunity, and email for more information.

Benthic monitoring: a partner video
Georgian Bay Biosphere, in partnership with Seguin Township, have released an informative video about recent benthic monitoring on local lakes. Watch the video on YouTube, by clicking here

For more about benthics and other water quality monitoring parameters, consult FOCA's publication about citizen science at the lake, available for free download, here:

Looking for a doctor in eastern Ontario?
The Perth Medical Clinic has announced that new physicians joining their team are seeking new patients. To register with the clinic, email with your full name (as it appears on your health card) and best phone number to reach you during the day.  

Lake lessons about blue-green algae
Granite Lake in northwestern Ontario experienced a blue-green algal bloom this summer, and LOWDSA (the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association) and their LakeSmart team jumped into action in August with site visits, a webinar and online information that included links to FOCA and other related resources. As LOWDSA noted, "what's good for Granite Lake is good for all lakes." Find out more about sources of phosphorus that can lead to algal blooms, precautions for pets and people during a blue-green algal bloom, and download the algae info sheet from the LOWDSA webpage by clicking here.

For more about phosphorus variability in northwestern Ontario lakes, read the blog of the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation, informed by data from the Lake Partner Program of water quality monitoring, here:
Invasive Species  

Algae and Grass Carp
Great Lakes Members: Did you know Grass Carp can increase the abundance of harmful algae in your lake? Grass Carp eat a large quantity of the aquatic plants that are responsible for filtering nutrients and providing shade. Increased nutrients and sunlight in the water column create ideal conditions for algae to multiply. Learn more here:

FOCA's Operations Continue 

In light of the ongoing pandemic, FOCA staff continue to work away from our Peterborough office, to physically distance. We carry on serving our members during regular business hours. Our contact information is here. You can still leave phone messages, although email inquiries may be addressed more rapidly. 

Staying in Touch
Please encourage fellow members and waterfront neighbours to provide their consent to receive monthly Elert messages like this, from FOCA. 

You can circulate this call-to-action:
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FOCA Member Services & Success Stories

Member Benefit: Legal Helpline for FOCA Associations
    an update from Cade Associates Insurance Brokers
If your Association is insured through the FOCA Association insurance program, we are delighted to announce that you have free access to a Legal Helpline! Provided by DAS Legal Protection Inc., this helpline provides your Association with free, easy, unlimited access to a lawyer to discuss legal issues for which you may need guidance. Available 8am to midnight, 7 days per week, the lawyer can help answer your questions and provide you with assistance in determining your legal rights under provincial or federal laws - at no charge.

To request information about how to access the Helpline, please ask one of your Association executive or board members to send an email, including your Association's full name, to:

If your Association is not yet taking part in FOCA's Association insurance program, we invite you to request a quote by clicking here or calling the Cade team of Brokers at 416-234-9980.

Need answers or resources for your own Association? 
FOCA posts tonnes of member materials, here:

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors

Canadian Canoe Museum


Dock in a Box

In Memoriam

Canada loses a water champion
Former PM John Turner, who was an outspoken champion for Canada's water, has passed away. Watch his comments from years past about water quality, and the future of the Lake of the Woods in particular, in a video from Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation

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