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FOCA Elert - August Long Weekend 2019
Advocacy & Policy Updates

Changes still pending for Seasonal Electricity Customers
Since FOCA announced in our last Elert the impending elimination of the "Seasonal" customer rate class, Hydro One has submitted the required report to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The submission includes an alternate solution for the OEB's consideration.  The OEB is currently reviewing the report from Hydro One, and is expected to reach a decision shortly. FOCA continues to monitor this issue, and will advise our members accordingly.
Stay tuned for further information, and follow the issue here:

Not sure how to determine if you are a "Seasonal" Hydro One customer? Find tips on FOCA's Electricity Pricing webpage, at the link above.

Special Advisor on Flooding Appointed
As reported in this CTV News story from July 18, the Province of Ontario has named Doug MacNeil as a Special Advisor after this spring's flooding along the Ottawa River and in other parts of cottage country. He is due to report back to the government this fall.

Provincial Government Partners
Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Ontario Green Party, met with FOCA at our offices in Peterborough on July 4th, to discuss some of FOCA's priority interests and the role of the Province related to water quality, land use planning, biodiversity, and strong rural economies. FOCA appreciates the ongoing interest of our political leadership, and will continue to contribute to this dialogue as a significant voice for rural Ontario. 

Federal Election Year
The 43rd Canadian federal election is scheduled for Monday, October 21, 2019. FOCA will post news, links and updates as they become available, here: 
Environmental Updates

Environmental Appointment
Ontario's Auditor General has appointed Jerry DeMarco as Commissioner of the Environment. FOCA members will recall that this replaces the former position of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. For more, see FOCA's webpage:

Great Lakes Advisory Committee
FOCA recently joined CELA's 
Healthy Great Lakes program Advisory Committee.   90% of FOCA's members are located in the Great Lakes basin, or directly on one of the Great Lakes. We all have a role to play, and our respective governments have a leading role. The program aims to advance policy and enhance citizen engagement. Find out more here:

Meeting with Science Partners
July 15, Peterborough - FOCA's Executive Director Terry Rees met up with Matt McCandless, Executive Director of the IISD-ELA (International Institute for Sustainable Development - Experimental Lakes Area) to discuss common issues and exchange publications. 

FOCA appreciates the ongoing freshwater scientific research at IISD-ELA, which has been 50 years in the making. Situated in the heart of northwestern Ontario, IISD-ELA is dedicated to researching threats and finding solutions for our freshwater. For a recent article about their work, see, "Meet the Scientists Who Pollute Lakes on Purpose." 
FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors:     

CottageLINK Rental Management

FOCA Programs

FOCA's Cottage Succession Seminar Series
Answering questions at the Perth event
We have been busy on-the-road with estate lawyer  Peter Lillico for the  2019 FOCA Cottage Succession Seminars in Ramara, the Kawarthas, Perth, and Kennisis Lake. 
The final stop this season will be:
  • Sept. 21 - Haliburton (co-hosts: Soyers Lake Ratepayers Assoc.)
For details and how to register, visit:  
Thanks to FOCA Board Director Tony Lepine for assisting with hosting duties at the Kennisis event!

Lake Partner Program 
LPP volunteers are reminded to send in your pictures of local " Water Sampler Assistants " (kids, neighbours' kids, etc.) helping with LPP water sampling, to be entered into the FOCA draw that will take place next week. 

Email your water sampling pictures to: to be entered into the running for a boating safety prize.
Invasive Species News

Round Goby in Rideau Canal
Read this online Global News story from mid-July, about invasive Round Goby which have been found for the first time in the Rideau Canal. FOCA reminds boaters to prevent the spread of invasive species between water bodies by following tips listed here:

Asian carps
Great Lakes Member Associations: are you looking for materials for your next meeting or newsletter? Download and share FOCA's factsheet about Asian carps, available here: Thank you for being part of the fight to prevent the spread of invasive species in the G reat Lakes and Ontario's inland lakes.

Watch the video about Asian carps:
Members along the Great Lakes: Please share this resource with everyone at your waterbody!

Volunteer efforts to prevent Invasives
A FOCA member and Lake Steward in Haliburton has informed FOCA that a grassroots group has launched a 'United Lakes Invasive Species Watch' in the absence of provincial funding for aquatic invasive species tracking. Working with citizens and aquatic science partners, the group  is functioning at their own expense, and  has established drop-zones for lab samples to analyze for the presence of spiny water flea and zebra mussels. To connect with this group, email:
Safety & Preparedness

Smoke and Fire 
Fire Smoke Map at July 8, 2019
Many parts of cottage country are presently under fire bans. FOCA reminds everyone to check local fire restrictions before burning. Make sure your guests have this information, as well.

For links to fire danger and fire smoke maps, such as this one,  visit:
FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors




Cottage Life

Waterfront Living

Wrecked or Abandoned Vessels 
FOCA has been approached by Transport Canada's Navigation Protection Program to help spread the word about the new Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, which came in to force on July 30, 2019.
Upcoming Events & Regional Notices

Friends of the Muskoka Watershed
Sunday, August 11, 2019 in Gravenhurst - The theme of the event, which includes their Annual General Meeting and an update on the ASHMuskoka project, is "From Restoration to Prevention." Find out more on their website.

Jack's Lake Film Fest
August 15-17, 2019 near Apsley - Congratulations to our member group, the Jack's Lake Association, on their third annual Film Fest, in association with TIFF Film Circuit! Passes and tickets are on sale now, with proceeds supporting JLA events and the North Kawartha Food Bank. Find out more about the award-winning films being screened, and get tickets, by clicking here.

Severn Sound Environmental Association 
Friday, August 23, 2019 in Port Severn - save the date for the SSEA Open House at the Baxter Ward Community Centre from 12:30 to 6:00pm. Watch for more information, here:

Canadian Safe Boating Council's Annual Symposium
September 18-20, 2019 in Port Credit - This year's event, titled "Shared Waterways," is a symposium about the responsible sharing of Canadian waterways, as well as a networking opportunity for leaders and others interested in boating. Register by September 7, 2019.  Download the 2-page event brochure including pricing, by clicking here.

Remember: because FOCA is a member of the Canadian Safe Boating Council, all our members can access the super  40% discount on online purchases of Coleman products! A new access code has been issued for this offer, and FOCA members can download it, and all your member benefit codes, here:
(Don't have, or can't recall your Member Web Login? Contact us and we'll reply by email during business hours!)

LakeLinks Workshop
Saturday, October 26, 2019 in Perth - save the date. Details to come in a future Elert.

FOCA Fall Seminar for Lake Associations
Saturday, November 16, 2019 in Toronto - save the date for our next member meeting. Details to come in a future Elert.
You Asked, FOCA Answered

Here are some recent member inquiries, and our replies:
Q: What's the status of ONCA? What do we need to do now?
A: The Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) is scheduled to be proclaimed in 2020, and incorporated organizations will have three years after proclamation to come into conformity with the new act. In the meantime, the Ontario Corporations Act remains the standard. FOCA Members can get updates and useful links, here: FOCA will announce updates as they become available in the FOCA Elert - make sure you are subscribed!
Q: Can FOCA help us develop our volunteer Board of Directors?
A: Yes. FOCA posts lots of Association resources here: In particular, see the links on that webpage about Board and volunteer recruitment and retention. This topic was featured at the 2017 FOCA Fall Seminar, and you can link to the presentations from that event, from the Association Toolkit webpage, as well.
Q: Does FOCA have resources about consensus-building, and how to do it successfully?
A: Yes. This subject is woven through FOCA's recent publication: A Guide to Municipal Engagement for Lake Associations. While the guide refers to ways to build consensus with your municipal partners, the first step is to build consensus among your community.  See in particular the notes on " Effective Community Decision Making " on pages 17-19 of the Guide, available for download here: 
Peter Kenyon and FOCA's Terry Rees at the Teeny Tiny Summit, Calabogie, Apr.2019

Also, FOCA recommends watching the video recording of the closing keynote address from the 2019 Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference, by Peter Kenyon, about small-community development. Catch it on YouTube:

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Nature Clean New Logo 2013


Canadian Canoe Museum

Member Success Stories

Advocacy Efforts in the City of Kawartha Lakes
FOCA sends congratulations to our member group, the Head Lake North Shore Cottagers' Association, who recently took our new Municipal Engagement Guide to heart. 
The group organ ized an email campaign to their local Municipality, asking for the renewal of a Limited Service Agreement for their rural road in the City of Kawartha Lakes. In response to initial reports that the Agreement would end this year, the group rallied residents who sent many email messages to the Municipality (and copied FOCA), before the issue was resolved to their satisfaction at a Council meeting this month. There is such strength in numbers! We encourage you to read the FOCA Guide to Municipal Engagement  and keep up the great work . Rural Ontario: we're in this, together.

Member Associations: we love to hear your success stories! Please keep us updated:

Recent Events Attended

July 6 - FOCA participated in the lake-side Annual General Meeting of our member group, the Lake Kasshabog Residents' Association

July 7 - following the Cottage Succession Seminar co-hosted by the Lake Networking Group, FOCA met with our Perth-area member groups for a listening session on association top issues and burning questions.

July 11 - Norwood. FOCA participated in the Trent Conservation Coalition meeting as members of the Source Water Protection Committee.

July 16 - FOCA's Executive Director was treated to breakfast with the Mayor of Rideau Lakes and Association Executives, before speaking at the Annual General Meeting of our member group, the Chaffey's Area Lakes Association .


July 18-19 - Citizen Science, Open Data and Water Monitoring Workshop , Bangalore, India. 
FOCA participated by video presentation in an international event focused on citizen science water monitoring projects. The workshop  brought together Canadian and Indian researchers to share ideas and experiences,  i ncluding FOCA's partners at Ryerson University,  and  was organized with funding from IC-IMPACTS Review FOCA's short video about the success of long-term citizen science efforts through the Ontario Lake Partner Program , by clicking the image below:

About the Ontario Lake Partner Program for IC-Impacts, 2019
About the Ontario Lake Partner Program, 
f or IC-IMPACTS event, Bangalore, July 2019

Find out more about the Lake Partner Program, here:

July 30 - FOCA was pleased to attend a presentation about " Oak Lake Water Quality Assessment" with our members, Friends of Oak Lake, hosted by the City of Quinte West. This included a water quality assessment and initial recommendations by Hutchinson Environmental Services Ltd., outlining challenges and possible options for future stewardship of this kettle lake. While some of the information was obviously lake-specific, it provides a useful example of a thoughtful analysis of underlying conditions, and also the interaction and complexity of the various contributing factors. Review the slide presentation, by clicking here.
FOCA Outreach

Bringing the Message to Farmers' Markets
FOCA's Outreach Assistant has been busy this summer, talking with the public at local events and farmers' markets in south-central Ontario. Olivia has engaged with hundreds of visitors, encouraged some very young stewards, and answered lots of questions!

Member Associations: Is there an August event near you that Olivia should hear about? Let us know:
Some Weekend Reading...

FOCA Lake Stewards Newsletter
Have you read the new FOCA Lake Stewards Newsletter, yet? This edition includes articles on septic re-inspection programs, Asian carps, rural road questions, and much more.  Enjoy and share the digital copy:


Shoreline Owners' Guides: back in print!
FOCA is pleased to report that we now have more copies of this popular guide to offer our members and partners. 

The booklet includes introductory information about shorelines, septic systems, invasive species and much more. The FOCA office has copies available for your local event, municipal office, or lake association membership drive! Contact us:
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 55 years     |    705-749-3622    |  
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