Dec 052017
   FOCA Elert – November/December 2017

FOCA Event Recap
2017 FOCA Fall Seminar: Strong Associations for Future Generations
We had a full day on Saturday, November 4th, 2017 in Toronto, for the latest and greatest edition of the annual FOCA Fall Seminar for Lake Associations! See a brief video overview:
FOCA Members can access an Event Summary and all the session notes, here:
Please share this information with your fellow members!
FOCA’s Gold-level Sponsors
CottageLINK Rental Management
Cottage Life
Sponsors support our work. Please, support them!
Waterfront Living
For the love of Lake Associations: a video worth sharing! 
November 2017 – FOCA is extremely pleased to announce the launch of “Lake Associations,” filmed and produced by Chelsie Xavier-Blower as part of the Environmental Visual Communication program, a joint initiative of Fleming College and Royal Ontario Museum. Why do lake associations matter? What can they do for you? Find out in this beautiful short film:
Please share this video with others on social media! Here’s the handy YouTube link:
Cottage Rentals

FOCA has been following several recent media reports about municipalities debating the regulation of cottage rentals. See links to news items, here:

Policy & Advocacy Updates
Elections 101

In 2018, Ontarians will have a Provincial election in June, as well as Municipal elections in October, and FOCA will be providing updates throughout the coming year to inform waterfront property owners about the issues that matter. Here’s a recent question we fielded from a member: “If my family owns a cottage, will I be able to vote in that municipality?” FOCA has the answer for you, which differs for Municipaland Provincial elections!

In other election news, Elections Ontario has recently launched an e-registration portal, to “improve the accuracy of the voter list,” and to target the attention of millennials. Use the portal to check, confirm, register or update your information:
image: Friends of the Fraser Wetlan
Land Use & Planning Updates
On October 6th, FOCA received notice that the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued its long-awaited decision concerning an application to build on the Fraser property near Burleigh Falls. Result: development application DENIED. Get details, and see more land development news from Muskoka and the Kenora region, here:
New Great Lakes reporting; funding announcements
image from – credit:

On the heels of a report about the state of the Great Lakes from the International Joint Commission, governments on both sides of the border are contemplating their funding commitments to protect and heal the Great Lakes. Learn more:

Ontario finalizes Provincial Land Tax (PLT) Reforms

Following up on the changes to the PLT for residents in Ontario’s unorganized areas, which started in 2013, the Province has finalized the annual changes to residential PLT that will be phased in from 2018 to 2021. Get details here:

Energy East Pipeline Plan Cancelled
In October, TransCanada announced it will not proceed with its pipeline proposal. Read the news posted by the Globe and Mail. A map of the previously proposed route can be found on the National Energy Board posting.
Lake Environments
Changing Waterfronts – new article & new report

October 12, 2017 – While this article is focused on one particular Ontario region, it hits the highlights about what’s happening on our waterfronts as a result of climate change and related developments. Read: “What’s happening in our lakes and rivers?” (Peterborough Examiner).

November 2017 – As members of the Ontario Biodiversity Council (OBC), FOCA has worked with our colleagues on the challenge of effectively communicating biodiversity and climate change. The OBC has released a new report on the subject, that should be useful for everyone working on these important communications. Get a link to the report, here:

Mapping Natural Features – an update for lake associations 

On December 1st, FOCA attended an update meeting about the project, Kawarthas, Naturally Connected (KNC). End-products of this multi-stakeholder multi-year initiative include: detailed maps, a large database, and methods for obtaining or downloading these products, all of which can help stakeholders (including lake associations) interested in lake planning and policy, or to prioritize the implementation of stewardship projects.

Wetlands, forests and riparian features are all elements of the natural heritage system identified in the resources. The maps and figures in the Phase 1 Report could add detail to your local lake plan! We encourage regional lake associations to use this information: click here for details(PDF, 1 page), and then visit to access all the online resources.
Invasive Species Update: Emerald Ash Borer spreading

November 2, 2017 – the Simcoe County forestry department reports that the emerald ash borer has become a “worst case scenario” invasive species in the County, now present in 75 per cent of its municipalities – from Barrie, Innisfil and Bradford to Ramara, Severn and Tay townships. Read more online ( and get tips to help prevent the spread of invasives across cottage country, here:

Upcoming Events & Regional Notices
Invite: Oceans Event at the ROM

Dave Ireland of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) spoke at FOCA’s Fall Seminar earlier this month, and extended an invitation for all FOCA friends to join him at the ROM for the 2-day symposium “Canada’s Oceans: Towards 2020,” on December 4-5, 2017. For tickets and event details, visit:

Naiscoot Lake Bridge – Notice of Study
November, 2017 – FOCA has been notified of a Detail Design and Class Environmental Assessment Study for the replacement of Naiscoot Lake Bridge on Highway 69, north of Pointe au Baril in the Township of The Archipelago. Read the notice by clicking here. (PDF, 1 page) Click the map image to enlarge the study area map.


Highway 400 improvements – Comment Period
November, 2017 – FOCA has been notified of a Transportation Envrionmental Study Report Addendum for improvements to Highway 400 from 1 km south of Highway 89 to the Junction of Highway 11 within Simcoe County, to incorporate future traffic projections. Review the Addendum online here (including a map of the study area), and comment by December 8, 2017.
Highway 400 / 4th Line Update
November 17, 2017 – FOCA has been notified of the extension of a road closure for line bridge removal and replacement at Hwy 400 and 4th Line (Churchill Sideroad). Read the notice. (PDF, 1 page)
Sharing Cottage Dreams
Cottage Dreams

For over 14 years, Cottage Dreams has been helping cancer survivors and their families to share treasured time together. Over 10,000 families have been placed in cottage stays, generously donated by their owners. FOCA recently received the Cottage Dreams November Newsletter, which included a call for volunteer support of this wonderful organization. We encourage you to read the notice! (PDF, 2 pages)

FOCA’s Silver-level Sponsors
Recent Events
Lake Links Workshop
October 21st, 2017 – Perth. FOCA was pleased to sponsor and participate in the annual Lake Links workshop. This year’s theme was, “Beyond the Shoreline: Science to Stewardship.” Find links to download presentations from the event, here:

Lake Pulse

November 7-8th, 2017 – Montreal. FOCA met with science partners at the NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network gathering. Together with partners across Canada, Lake Pulse aims to create new tools to deliver information to people who care about lakes (including scientists, managers, policymakers and citizens), and to build the first nationwide database of Canadian lakes. FOCA’s Terry Rees presented about citizen science and the important role of volunteers in the Lake Partner Program and other FOCA projects.
OOWA Regional Meeting

November 9th, 2017 – Peterborough. FOCA attended a regional meeting of the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) to get updates about best practices related to septic inspections, as well as a technical review of recent, upcoming and proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code (OBC). FOCA will continue to keep members updated, here:

People’s Great Lakes Summit 2.0

November 13, 2017 – Toronto. FOCA joined fellow environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) at this event, hosted by the Canadian Environmental Law Association. The assembled group reviewed the state of Ontario freshwater policy, discussed recent developments, and planned for action on water issues as the 2018 Provincial election approaches.

Ontario Invasives Awareness at Queen’s Park
FOCA’s Deanna Panitz & Terry Rees with Minister McGarry (far right)

November 15th, 2017 – FOCA participated with Minister McGarry (MNRF) and our fellow environmental partners in an information session at the Legislative Building in Toronto, about the ongoing efforts of our organization and others to prevent the spread of invasive species in Ontario. For more on this topic, and links to important resources for waterfront property owners, visit:

Latornell Symposium

November 23, 2017 – Alliston. FOCA participated in the annual Latornell Conservation Symposium with science, government and institutional partners. This year’s theme was, “Succession: The Nature of Change.”

Pictured at right: Water Canada‘s editor, Katherine Balpataky, with FOCA’s Terry Rees at the 2017 Latornell Symposium.
Cade’s Corner
Snowbirds: Winterize your home for the time you are away this winter! Get tips and download a checklist, from our partners at Travelers Canada and Cade Associates Insurance Brokers.

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