FOCA Elert - December 2016
In this issue: Dock Permits, Electricity Prices,  Water Management Plans & more...
Happy holidays from FOCA!

We share our wishes for 2017 in the video below: 

Dock Permit Update

Dock Permitting at MNRF - a process on the mend?
image: Randy French
After a 2016 summer season filled with confusion and bureaucracy related to minor shoreline projects in Ontario, the Province has started taking steps to modify the overarching legislation (the Public Lands Act) to allow for more reasonable approaches to waterfront rules. 

FOCA and our member groups have been pressing for clarity on dock permitting for over a year now!  Bill 27, the Burden Reduction Act, has passed second reading and is now at Committee. FOCA will continue to follow this, and will keep you informed about developments. Review FOCA's efforts and stay up-to-date, here: 

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors

CottageLINK Rental Management
Cottage Life

Electricity Update

Hydro One Proposed Distribution Rates for 2017 and beyond
At the order of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), Hydro One released a report on December 1, 2016 on the impacts and phase-in recommendations related to the proposed elimination of the "seasonal" rate class. Waterfront property owners represent a considerable number of Hydro One's 155,000+ seasonal customers. 

As FOCA feared, Hydro One's own numbers suggest that some low consumption seasonal customers could see bill increases of more than 150%This will be a focus of FOCA's intervention in the upcoming 2017 rate hearings at OEB.  See the full Hydro One report and other background, here:  

Lake Environments 

Water Management Plans
image: Kay Soares
After several years of shutting out local stakeholders and concerns, Ontario's Water Management Plan process has been revised, with opportunities for the public or others to have concerns addressed about public safety, dam operations, and more.  FOCA has been calling for action on this matter since Summer 2015!  See more on this issue and the recent change, here:  

New Water Management Plan to Protect, Moderate Conditions on Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence
After 14 years of scientific study and public consultation, the International Joint Commission (IJC) has approved what they believe is the best approach to reverse some historical harms while balancing upstream and downstream uses, and minimize damage to shoreline protection structures along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Learn more here: 

FOCA & You
A message from FOCA's Communications Coordinator:  

Call for Photos
Oops! Nice light on the far shore, but what about the faces??
Dust off your digital pictures of cottage country, and send them to FOCA! We are always looking for great images for our newsletters, and we bet you have lots. 

If you look at these images and think, "Hey, I can do better than THAT!" then we need you.  Send us one or more pictures, especially if they are about any of the following:
 > Dock/rock jumpers 
 > Multiple generations together - on the dock, in the boat...
Leisurely cottage drive with 6-year old. I'm not kidding.

 > Best-dressed waterfront - naturalized shorelines, fish-friendly docks, low-impact properties, off-grid solutions... 

 > Lake Associations at work - regattas, "best" meeting location,  events in ALL seasons, lake stewards taking water samples...

 > Climate change in cottage country - the "highs" and "lows" of water, heat and cold, and the aftermath of storms
 >  Fun with family and friends  and the best cottage memories!


Some insider tips for pictures FOCA can use:

     * for water-play pictures, folks in PFDs are king!

     * avoid large manicured lawns or concrete shore walls

     * sending a picture of a child: do you have their parents' permission? 


Send your images as attachments by email to Michelle: Please include your name,  your region,   association name and an image caption if possible.  We plan to feature some of your images in FOCA's upcoming newsletters and on our social media channels. 

What's in it for YOU? Ummm - just bragging rights if we use your image! 

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors


Upcoming Events

Stewarding our waters
FOCA has always espoused the value of keeping precious things thriving in our waters (birds, fish and animals) while keeping other things OUT of the water (undue amounts of nutrients, toxic chemicals and pollution, including plastics).

Plan to join FOCA at the 
Peterborough   ReFrame Film Festival on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. for a presentation of the film, A Plastic Ocean. The film explores the fragile state of the world's oceans in a first-hand account that unc overs alarming truths, and offers an underlying message of optimism and a call-to-action for each of us.  This screening has been sponsored by FOCA.  Learn more about FOCA's ongoing concerns about microplastics in Ontario waters, here:

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box

Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum

Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
Nature Clean New Logo 2013


FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years    |    705-749-3622    | 
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