FOCA Elert ~ November 2022
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FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
Last Call to Register: FOCA Fall Seminar 
on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 by webinar 9:00am to 12:00pm

Our annual Fall Seminar for Lake and Road Associations will be held by webinar this year, and the theme is "Gathering Momentum." Ensure someone from your association is registered to join us for FOCA's significant report about the economic impact of waterfront property owners across Ontario; updates on FOCA's top priorities; results from our recent surveys about cottage country's Top Issues, cottage usage trends during the pandemic, and benchmark association statistics. Plus, get a sneak peek at our revised FOCA website with a new login process for members-only benefits and resources. Also: association tips for engaging with your incoming municipal council as they head into their next 4-year term, with an emphasis on shoreland resources and land use planning issues. Read the Agenda, posted to the event webpage, and register here by noon on Thursday, November 17 at the latest.
Association Toolkit: Changing Bylaws

Our partners at Nonprofit Law Ontario presented to FOCA members earlier this year about the transition to the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA), and what incorporated associations need to do to transition to the new rules by October 18, 2024. Some associations may need to amend their bylaws in order to comply with ONCA, and the Nonprofit Law Ontario website has recently created a new page of information about how to approve changes to bylaws. Get a link to this resource, plus members can access the April 2022 ONCA webinar recording and related information on FOCA's Association Toolkit webpage:
Last call to Nominate: FOCA Achievement Award - Nominate your association for the 2022 Award!

The FOCA Achievement Award is presented annually to a FOCA Member Association to celebrate the successes of the FOCA community, and to encourage peer sharing of best practices. Large or small associations can apply, and accomplishments should be current, but can include long-standing efforts. The award will be presented at the FOCA Annual General Meeting of Members, scheduled for Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Apply by November 30th. Get details, the application form, and information about past award recipients on our webpage: 
FOCA's Gold level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Champions Safe & Affordable Rural Living
Chainsaw & Firewood Safety
The Ontario Woodlot Association has compiled a three-part series written over the past couple of years for their newsletter, The Ontario Woodlander. The articles provide an important overview of chainsaw safety and wood cutting tips. Click here to download the 10 page article as a PDF.
Boating Immersion Stories
You can help fellow Canadian Boaters by sharing your boating experiences! As members of the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) FOCA is pleased to help find boaters who are interested in participating in a study regarding the importance of lifejacket wear in the event of falling overboard and accidental immersion.
Have you or someone you know ever fallen overboard? What was your reaction to this accidental immersion? Were you wearing your lifejacket? What was your attitude towards lifejacket wear before the event? Has it changed your viewpoint? 

Sharing is learning. By creating a community of interest the CSBC can help fellow boaters across Canada learn from other’s stories and further efforts to help you stay safe on the water. For more info and to share your stories, visit: 
Member Benefit: FOCA Cottage Succession Seminars
FOCA and estate lawyer Peter Lillico have been teaching families about cottage succession planning for the past decade. These events are free to FOCA members, and participation includes access to the event slides. Choose the introductory talk, or a "deep dive" into taxes, trusts, cottage sharing agreements, and more. Contact FOCA if your FOCA Member Association is interested in hosting a virtual or in-person Cottage Succession Webinar next year!
More homes, worse communities?
The province's proposed Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act was introduced on October 25, and includes significant changes to land use planning in Ontario - changes that will lessen protections for wetlands, increase the risk of flooding in our communities, and hamper municipalities' ability to make locally-derived decisions and to recover the costs from new development. To learn more, or provide input on the proposed changes, visit FOCA's webpage:
Municipal Elections: recap & next steps
We have just completed the latest opportunity to shape our local political landscape with the 2022 Ontario municipal elections, held on October 24. Though there were many uncontested positions, and the voter turnout was a dismal 33%, we did end up electing new councilors for 42% of the available positions, and 32% of all candidates were women (up from 27% in 2018), according to information compiled by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Now that the new councils are beginning to meet, it's time to begin our important work, engaging with these crucial decision-makers for positive outcomes over the next four years. Learn how, here: and in our Fall Seminar session on land use planning and accelerating your municipal partnerships. (See the first item in the Elert, above.)
Environmental Bill of Rights review
The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) recently released a consultation paper that identifies how the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) could be amended to enhance environmental accountability. It is FOCA's view that an updated and strengthened EBR can provide better environmental protection, public participation, and provincial government accountability. The LCO is currently seeking public feedback on this important topic. Learn more, and find out how to submit comment to LCO by November 25th:
FOCA's Silver level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
Central Ontario Fisheries Management
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has developed a Draft Fisheries Management Plan for Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15. This plan outlines the status of fisheries, sets fish population objectives, and provides direction for the management of recreational fisheries and aquatic resources. Public comments are welcomed via the Environmental Registry posting until November 28, 2022.
Green Shovels: Phragmites control
Phragmites australis is one of Canada's worst invasive species. It is a serious threat to biodiversity and causes extensive negative socio-economic impacts. This summer, FOCA sought proposals from our Member Associations across the province to run projects addressing invasive Phragmites control at the local level. Five FOCA Member Associations were successful recipients of Green Shovels funding, and the work is underway across the province! Want to learn more about Phragmites? Visit FOCA’s webpage for more information!
upcoming webinar: The Road Salt Problem: a Policy Conundrum
Wednesday, Nov.16, 2022 at 7 p.m. - this webinar is being hosted by the Parry Sound Nature Club and Friends of the Muskoka Watershed, with presentations by Norman Yan and Neil Hutchinson reviewing the water quality threats posed by the tonnes of salt added to roads each year. Register here.
Partner Updates & Regional Notices
see you there!: Fall Cottage Life Show
November 11-13, 2022: FOCA will be at the Fall Cottage Life Show at the International Centre, Mississauga, this coming weekend! Terry Rees is speaking on the main stage with Michelle Kelly of Cottage Life about short-term rentals, and FOCA's colleague Peter Lillico will discuss cottage succession planning, among many featured talks. See the main stage talk schedule, so you can plan out your visit.

Plus, use our access code FOCA22 for a $3 discount on the price of General Admission. Buy your tickets online here by November 10th to access this offer.
event: Safe Quiet Lakes
Thursday, November 10, 2022 - FOCA will participate in the 11th annual Stakeholder Virtual Meeting of the Safe Quiet Lakes organization. Topics include the impact of wakes and wake-related research results, water ski & wakeboard industry highlights, a Transport Canada review of VORR's, and an update from the Decibel Coalition. Get information and the link to register, here.
Source Water Protection
FOCA's Executive Director Terry Rees was featured prominently in this "deep dive" discussion on the complexities of source water protection in Ontario: Blue Economy: The challenges with protecting source water (WaterCanada).
in related news...
Cataraqui Volunteer Sought
For years, FOCA members have been encouraged to learn more about source water protection in Ontario, to get involved, and to do their part to protect sources of drinking water and their family's health. For those living in the Cataraqui watershed, you are encouraged to consider applying for a volunteer position on the Cataraqui Source Protection Committee. They are currently seeking applications for a community/lake association representative to provide your insights and knowledge to their ongoing important work. Click here for more information.
Timmins Flood Advisory
The Timmins Flood Advisory Committee issued a Watershed Conditions Statement to residents on Tuesday, November 8, with regard to current watershed conditions since water levels in most streams, watercourses, and lakes remain high from recent rains. Residents can visit the Mattagami Region Conservation Authority website for the latest information on watershed conditions and public advisories, or to sign up for flood notifications via email.

Looking for information about watershed watches or warnings in other parts of the province? FOCA posts related links to province-wide resources on our webpage.
Haliburton stakeholder input
Residents in the County of Haliburton are invited to participate in a stakeholder interview for the Economic Development Strategy. Your insight will help develop recommendations to enhance economic growth, identify new directions and approaches to long-term prosperity for the County. The consulting firm SHCG from Bridgenorth is conducting the confidential one-on-one interviews over the coming weeks by phone (approx. 20 minutes). Click here to book an interview at a time of your choosing.
event recap: Lake Links workshop
October 22, 2022 - FOCA was once again pleased to sponsor and participate in the annual Lake Links workshop hosted by Watersheds Canada where homeowners, conservation groups and scientists come together to share ways to sustain our treasured lakes and rivers. Access recordings of presentations on ecological resilience, Eurasian water milfoil management and more from the webpage:
Lakehead Region mapping tool
For our members in the Thunder Bay area: the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA) has launched a new online web-based Mapping Tool to ‘Map Your Property’, as well as a new webpage ‘Do I Need A Permit?’ that includes an online Property Inquiry Form, to streamline the permitting and approvals process. Users can view property information, identify the approximate regulated areas, and create personalized maps that can be printed and saved:
Rideau/Mississippi septic inspection boundaries
For our members in eastern Ontario: the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) announced they have expanded their septic regulations responsibilities to several more townships in their watersheds. These CAs will now provide septic reviews, permits and inspections; landowners in the region are encouraged to learn more, here:
Changing the regulated lake levels on Lake of the Woods
In light of significant and prolonged flooding in the spring of 2022, and to assist with ongoing repairs, the Lake of the Woods Control Board has adopted lower spring water levels as part of its updated Regulation Strategy for the winter. See more information as posted on the Lake of the Woods Stewardship Association webpage:
FOCA's Bronze level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA is building capacity
Please join us in welcoming Keilani Carroll, FOCA's new full-time Director of Operations who joined us this month to facilitate administrative operations in the FOCA office in support of FOCA’s advocacy, communications, and membership services. She is also focused on governance, supporting the FOCA Board of Directors and its Committees. Welcome, Keilani!

Learn more about Keilani and all FOCA's Staff and Board of Directors, on our webpage:
We recently said farewell to Patty Ulbricht, who served as a part-time General Manager for FOCA for nearly three years, and has gone on to pursue her other interests. Patty joined FOCA just as the pandemic took hold, and was instrumental in helping our office shift "into the cloud" to streamline our digital operations. Thank you Patty!

Pictured: FOCA's Michelle Lewin (L) and Patty (R; decked out in FOCA gear) at a farewell staff celebration in late October.
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations,
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