FOCA Elert - April 2019
Advocacy & Policy Updates

Ontario Budget 2019 - A waterfront perspective
On April 11, 2019 Ontario released their 2019-20 budget, an opportunity for the government to align their financial commitments with their mandate. Please read and share early analysis from FOCA's Executive Director in an Open Letter posted here: 

FOCA at Queen's Park
On April 2nd, FOCA and our invasive species partners were at Queen's Park to meet Ontario MPPs and discuss the importance of invasive species prevention, on behalf of our members across the Province.
FOCA & partners, Queen's Park. images courtesy Invasive Species Centre

Update on the Environmental Commissioner 
Effective April 1, 2019, the Office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) has been integrated into the  Office of the Auditor General of OntarioWhile this is not the result FOCA and our members were lobbying for, FOCA has been contacted by the Auditor General with some assurances and details about the new process for applications for review. Learn more, here:

Boating Advisory Council
FOCA has been invited to join ON-RBAC, the Ontario arm of the Recreational Boating Advisory Council (RBAC) of Canada. FOCA is pleased to once again be represented on this  Advisory Committee , to advocate for  the boating issues that are so important to the 250,000 Ontario waterfront property owners and their families. 
FOCA's 2018 membership survey showed that the leaders of our member Associations listed "boating issues" as the top change they observed that was affecting their waterbody, Association or cottage country experience in general. See an overview of the survey in the middle of FOCA's 2 018 Year in Review, available for download here:

Regional Government Review is underway
If you live in one of the following municipalities, you may want to weigh-in on the current provincial review of Ontario's  8 regional municipalities (Durham, Halton, Muskoka District, Niagara, Oxford County, Peel, Waterloo, York),  Simcoe County and all  their lower-tier municipalities. In total, 82 upper- and lower-tier municipalities are included in the review.   Quotable: " The government is committed to undertaking a review to ensure that the upper- and lower-tier municipalities in these geographic areas are efficient and accountable to their residents and businesses." 
Comment by May 21, 2019. Details and a link to comment are here:

Spring is flooding season - are you prepared?

Living near the water is special indeed, but comes with some unique risks, especially as winter turns to spring and water levels rise. Snowpack is high across many parts of Ontario, with several big rain events in the forecast.  Get the information you need about high water situations and other important links and advice on FOCA's webpage: 

You may also want to download the Canadian Red Cross "Be Ready" app (free on Google Play or the Apple App Store on your device) for instant access to preparedness information about flooding and other emergency situations.

Speaking of apps...
FOCA represents tens of thousands of Hydro One customers, most of whom live in lovely forested areas that are frequently subject to storms, downed trees, and power outages. Get the Hydro One app to stay informed on outages that affect your area. You can even get automated outage notices sent to your cell phone. See:

Got a minute? Watch Terry's latest video blog:
FOCA's Executive Director speaks about Spring Boating 2019
FOCA's Executive Director re:
i ce-out and spring boating

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


support our work!

Please, support them.
CottageLINK Rental Management
Private Roads Survey

Survey extended until April 25th!
We have had over 100 respondents to the FOCA Road Survey, and the responses keep coming in. As a result, we have extended the survey end-date to April 25th, to collect as much good information as possible.
If you did not receive the survey invitation, but would like to participate, please 
contact us  as soon as possible. Summarized results will be made available to FOCA member Associations, and at a roads meeting planned for June 2019. (see "Events" below)

TIP: Ensure you have confirmed your consent to receive FOCA Elerts, in order to be notified of this meeting, and to receive ongoing e-updates from FOCA!

FOCA Programs

Lake Partner Program
It's almost time for spring water sampling.  
For Lake Partner Program (LPP) volunteers who do a single yearly sample, you are reminded that you should plan to take your samples during the month of May. If you changed your address over the past year, or you haven't receive your sampling kit by May 10th, be sure to contact the LPP for assistance.

Remember that springtime means getting back on the water after being out of the boat for many months, after your boat and motor and equipment have not been in use. Please take the time to review safety information and links to pre-departure checklists and cold water safety tips, here: Safety is #1!

Secchi Disc Volunteer
When you're out sampling this season, FOCA and the LPP encourage you to bring along a daughter, son, or grandkids to help out and to learn a bit about what you're doing, and why the lake matters to you. 
Then, send a picture of your "Water Sampler Assistant" in action to to be entered into the running to receive a boating safety prize from FOCA! The prize draw will take place on the Civic Holiday weekend in August 2019. 

FOCA's Cottage Succession Seminar Series
Plan to attend an in-person event with estate lawyer Peter Lillico this summer at  the 2019 FOCA Cottage Succession Seminars. Our first two stops will be:
  • Coboconk on June 1st - co-hosted by the Balsam Lake Association
  • Ramara on June 22nd - as part of the North Mara Beach Residents Association AGM
For more details and how to register:  

Preventing Invasive Species
FOCA encourages you to download and share information, links and resources from our webpage: 
FOCA Member Associations that are interested in having "Clean + Drain + Dry" signs to post at local boat launches should contact , as  limited quantities are available.

Recent Events & Regional Updates

Teeny Tiny Summits 2019
April 4, 2019  - Calabogie. FOCA's Terry Rees spoke to municipal and community partners about waterfront property owners' role in rural economic development, at the first 2019 Teeny Tiny Summit in eastern Ontario. See details about the final scheduled "Teeny Tiny" event for 2019, in Upcoming Events , below.

Lake Management Plans - Kawarthas
April 1, 2019 - Kawartha Conservation (KC) announced their Board recently unanimously supported and endorsed two lake management plans: for Shadow Lake and Silver Lake, and for Head Lake and Rush Lake. "These plans are the culmination of a lot of consultation, science, communication ... and contributors," said Brett Tregunno of KC. The plans are guiding documents for the lakes. Review these, and other Lake Management Plans, here:
FOCA's Terry Rees with Norm Miller, MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka 

Safe Quiet Lakes' Stakeholder Meeting
Friday, April 12, 2019 - Port Carling. FOCA participated in the annual meeting of our partner organization,  Safe Quiet Lakes (SQL)  which brought together leaders in the boating industry, cottage associations, and government to share ideas, learn from each other, and develop boating solutions.  For more about SQL, visit:

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors



Cottage Life

Waterfront Living

Spring is here - it's time to Test your Well 
As FOCA explains in our Shoreline Owner's Guide to Healthy Waterfronts, if your drinking water comes from a well it should be tested regularly for bacterial contamination that could cause health problems.  Water can be tested by your local Public Health Unit. Get information from Public Health Ontario, here:

Upcoming Events 

Muskoka Stewardship Conference
Friday, April 26, 2019 - Huntsville. FOCA is proud to once again participate and be a sponsor of this event. This year's theme is "Your Watershed: Connecting the Drops." The conference is organized by the Muskoka Watershed Council and the District Municipality of Muskoka. Register now! Get links to the 2019 program & online registration:

Lake of the Woods Cottage Show
Monday, May 6, 2019 - Winnipeg. Plan to attend the Lake of the Woods Cottage Show and Annual General Meeting of LOWDSA, one of FOCA's largest member Associations, located near Kenora. Details are here:

Kawartha Lake Stewards 2019 AGM
Saturday, May 11, 2019 - Bobcaygeon. FOCA will join the great KLSA volunteers at their annual event at the Bobcaygeon Community Centre from 10am to noon. The event will feature "Lake Ice Dynamics and the Kawarthas: Climate Change at your Dock." Plan to attend and to pick up a copy of their latest (9th annual!) report,  Our Kawartha Lakes: Past, Present and Future. Click the image at the side to download a PDF copy (72 pages) of the report.

Kawarthas Naturally Connected meeting 
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Bridgenorth. FOCA will participate in a meeting of stakeholders in the Kawarthas Naturally Connected partners' meeting. Kawartha-region organizations interested in natural heritage mapping resources are encouraged to plan to attend. Email for event details.

Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC)
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - Toronto. FOCA looks forward to attending the CSBC Annual General Meeting. The CSBC was organized in 1991 to improve communications about safe boating issues between government departments and agencies servicing recreational boaters' interest, and private companies and organizations in the field of recreational boating. Learn more: 

Teeny Tiny Summit
Friday, June 7, 2019  - Haliburton.  This will be the final event in the 2019 "Teeny Tiny Summit" series, which is focused on local issues, success stories, and networking opportunities. This event features: "Unlocking the Potential of Youth." Details & registration: 

Road Summit 
Saturday, June 15, 2019 - Havelock-Belmont-Methuen. Save the date! This meeting of local road associations will be the third gathering  since 2013. H osted by Belmont Lake Cottagers' Association, the event will take place at the Round Lake Hall, north of Havelock. Watch for more details in FOCA's May Elert.  For rural road resources, consult FOCA's online webpages:
FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Nature Clean New Logo 2013


Canadian Canoe Museum

Environmental Corner

Award Honour
FOCA member Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association (LOWDSA) received an award at the 2019 International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Forum in March, for their contributions to environmental stewardship. Read more about the Award and their work. Congratulations to our colleagues at LOWDSA! 
     pictured: LOWDSA Executive Director  Diane Schwartz-Williams

Safety & Risk Management

Emergency Preparedness
In a few weeks, it will be Emergency Preparedness Week (May 5-11, 2019), a Canada-wide initiative to increase awareness of individual and family preparedness. "Are you ready?" is this year's  slogan. 

FOCA encourages everyone to  take steps to be prepared at seasonal as well as permanent residences.   M ake a plan, build a kit, and stay informed. S pread the word! FOCA has shareable information posted on two of our webpages:
Also, another public alert test is scheduled for Ontario on  Wednesday, May 8th. You can check your phone's compatibility for the alert, and get more d etails here:
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.

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