Our President resigns

Hello Everyone,
In light of the fact that I now sit as a councillor at the Township of Limerick, any issue that involves LWRA would force me to declare a conflict of interest and I would have to remove myself from the room and voting on that topic.   There are new Municipal rules regarding conflict of interest for councillors and there are new Municipal rules with Integrity Commissioners roles as of March 1, 2019.
As I represent all ratepayers in Limerick it makes the most amount of sense that I resign as President of LWRA effective immediately.
As of this email, please accept my resignation as President of LWRA and any role on the executive.
I have enjoyed my time serving on LWRA and any documents or information that are in my possession I will happily provide to any other members or the new President once they are elected.
I wish you continued success in the future.
Kimberly Carson


Official Notice 
Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, Inc.
Notice to Members of Annual General Meeting
Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. EST
The Boulevard Club
1491 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M6K 3C2
  1. To approve the minutes of the FOCA Annual General Meeting held on March 3, 2018.
  2. To accept the audited financial statements of FOCA for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018.
  3. To approve the slate of Directors recommended by the FOCA Nominating committee.
  4. Any other matters that may come before the said meeting.
Called on behalf of the Directors of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, Inc.
by Marlin Horst, President
The FOCA Board of Directors:
  Terry Beettam         Lake Weslemkoon Conservation Association
  Jeff Clark                Go Home Lake Association
  Pat Drew                 Lake of the Woods Property Owners Association
  John Hickey            Indian Point Property Owners Association
  Marlin Horst            Baptiste Lake Association
  Terry Kennedy        Kennebec Lake Association
  Tony Lepine            Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners Association
  Wendy Sue Lyttle   Catchacoma Cottagers Association
  Daryle Moffatt        Otter Lake Ratepayers Association
  Bruce Moore          Canonto Lake Property Owners Association
  Bev Thorpe            Kennebec Lake Association
  Ian White               Lake of Bays Association
Note: The nominations slate will be presented for member approval at the meeting on March 2, 2019.
If you cannot access the linked PDF files above, please contact the office at info@foca.on.ca.
Any questions or clarifications required may be directed in advance to the Executive Director, Terry Rees at trees@foca.on.ca, or to the President of the FOCA Board of Directors, Marlin Horst at president@foca.on.ca.
More details about the 2019 AGM and Spring Seminar, and a registration link, can be found here: https://foca.on.ca/2019-agm-spring-seminar/.

FOCA December Newsletter

FOCA Elert – December 2018
Environmental Update:
Save the ECO
On the day of the announcement, ECO Dianne Saxe spoke in Peterborough about protected spaces

On November 15, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced sudden plans to eliminate the office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO). The ECO is our environmental watchdog, supporting public participation through the Environmental Registry, as well as government accountability for decisions that affect our environment, now and into the future.

FOCA opposes the elimination of the office of the ECO, and has written to the Premier and party leaders. Read FOCA’s letter. (PDF, 2 pgs)
Now, we need you to add your voice. Help us show the government how much Ontarians care about the environment.
What you can do:
  1. Add your name to the online petition, http://www.greenprosperity.ca/eco/, which has already grown to more than 4,000 names. You will see many of your lake association peers on this list.
  2. Tell your Ontario MPP you oppose the elimination of the office of the ECO. Find links to your MPP, here: https://represent.opennorth.ca/demo/, and echo the wording in FOCA’s letter to the Premier.
  3. Share this information widely with others in your lake association, with colleagues, family, and friends.

Thank you to everyone who has already copied president@foca.on.ca on your messages! Keep up the good work.


NOTE: Today we learned that the Ontario Legislature will vote this Bill (#57) this Thursday, December 6th. Please reply as soon as possible.


FOCA’s Gold-level Sponsors
CottageLINK Rental Management
Sponsors support our work. Please, support them!
Policy Updates
Ontario Environment Plan Released
On November 29th, the Province of Ontario proposed their new environment plan, which is available for review and comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) by clicking here. Public comment will be received until January 28, 2019.
Cormorant Hunt Proposal

On November 20th, the Province of Ontario posted to the Environmental Registry plans to list the double-crested cormorant as a game bird and to establish a hunting season from March 15 to December 31 each year. Public comment will be received until January 3, 2019. Click here to read the ERO posting.

Read more on the developing debate about the proposed cormorant hunt, in this article from the Hamilton Spectator.
Governmental Affairs
Municipal Term Begins

Following the Ontario Municipal elections in October, Councils are being sworn-in across the Province this week. These will be our municipal leaders for the next four years, delivering some of our most valued public services including roads, policing, land use planning, bylaw development and enforcement. Find out more about the Municipal level of government, here:

FOCA notes: your new Council is about to set its Municipal budget, which has an impact on your annual property taxes. For more, visit:
Survey: Connecting with Municipal Leaders
FOCA wants to know: Does your lake or road association border one or perhaps several Townships/Municipalities? How do you engage with these partners? Do you have a success story to share?

Please take a moment and add your voice to FOCA’s newest survey about Associations connecting with Municipal Partners.

FOCA’s Silver-level Sponsors
Cottage Life
Environmental Notices
Forest Management Plans
Public comment is invited on the development of 2021-2031 Forest Management Plans (FMP) for both the Bancroft-Minden and the Mazinaw-Lanark forest management units. Click the names above to download each notice (PDF, 1 page each).

For more about why YOU should get involved in forest management planning in your region, visit:  https://foca.on.ca/using-our-forest-resources-sustainably/.


In related news, FOCA has been asked to forward a notice from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Bancroft District to recruit members for Local Citizens Committees for Crown Forest Management for each of the Bancroft-Minden and Mazinaw-Lanark forest management units. For an outline of the volunteer commitments and how to apply, click here. (PDF, 2 pages)

Lake Superior Link Environmental Assessment

Dec.10-13, 2018 at various north shore Lake Superior locations. Hydro One has released a Notice of Commencement, and has announced a series of community information centres along the project route for the Lake Superior Link transmission project. Find details, meeting locations, dates and times by clicking here (PDF, 2 pages).

Invasive Species Corner
Preventing the Spread of Asian Carps 

The U.S. Corp of Army Engineers has revealed new plans (and revised associated cost estimates) to keep Asian carps out of the Great Lakes, in an attempt to protect the region’s $7-billion fishing industry.
Are you confused with carp?
Common carp is already present in southern Canadian waterways, but current efforts are intended to prevent four invasive species of Asian carps from entering the Great Lakes from the U.S.
Get more information and comparative images (such as the illustration at the side), here:  https://asiancarp.ca/ASIAN-CARPS/Confused-with-Carp
Economic Impact of WPO
Ongoing Interest in FOCA’s Report
FOCA’s 2018 report on The Role of Waterfront Property Owners (WPO) in Economic Development in Rural Ontario is featured in the current November/December 2018 edition of the Ontario Planning Journal of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute. This issue is dedicated to rural Ontario, posing the question, “What does planning mean outside large urban centres?
Download excerpts from the OPPI Journal, including the article about FOCA’s report on the economic development potential of WPO in rural communities,by clicking here. (PDF, 6 pages)
FOCA’s Bronze-level Sponsors
Dock in a Box
Cottage Dreams
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Canadian Canoe Museum
Recent Events
Kawartha Conservation Stewardship Strategy
November 19, 2018 – FOCA attended the first Advisory Committee meeting for a Stewardship Strategy for Kawartha Conservation (KC), to help align their programs with the needs and interests of the community. As part of the advisory committee, FOCA will assist with strategy development to facilitate the success of KC’s environmental stewardship initiatives.
Community-Based Water Monitoring: A National Discussion
November 27-28, 2018 – Ottawa. FOCA participated in two days of roundtable discussions with water colleagues from across Canada. The event was convened by the Gordon Foundation, Living Lakes Canada and WWF Canada to bring together Ministry staff, scientists, funders, environmental and indigenous organizations to identify steps the federal government can take to support community-based water monitoring across Canada. FOCA contributed our experience, working with the Lake Partner Program of volunteer water monitoring (see more, below).
Program Updates
Lake Partner Program

Our lakes and rivers may be going dormant under a cover of ice for the winter, but at the Dorset Environmental Science Centre, the Lake Partner Program team is already starting to think ahead to next year’s water sampling! Winter is the time for preparing the hundreds of water sampling kits for mail-out across Ontario in the new year. (see picture)

FOCA members know Carmen Pereira already, from her work with the Queen’s U. algae study

Long-term LPP Coordinator Anna DeSellas is now on maternity leave until October 2019. We are happy to know that Carmen Pereira will be stepping in, beginning December 17th, to work with Emily Shapiera, our LPP Lake Stewardship Assistant, who continues to be your main contact for the LPP hotline and email.

Find out more about this successful long-term water monitoring program, here:
Safety & Preparedness
Precedent-Setting Ruling on the Canoe
image: Kirk Doughty

On the one hand, FOCA was unsurprised by an Ontario court ruling on November 15, 2018 that a canoe is, indeed, a vessel. (In fact, we suspect our members would say it is one of the BEST vessels from which to enjoy Ontario’s inland lakes and rivers…) However, in this case the question arose because of a lack of clarity in the Criminal Code of Canada about which water vessels are subject to impaired driving laws. Read more online, from Muskoka Region News, by clicking here.

Cade’s Corner

Looking for another article for your Association’s winter newsletter? Your work is done, thanks to our friends at Cade Associates Insurance Brokers, exclusive brokers of the CottageFirst insurance program underwritten by Travelers Canada!

Click to download Winter Maintenance Tips (PDF, 1 page) with information about your heating system, utilities, key supplies and equipment, and other winter safety measures.
Digital Development
New DFO App to ID Invasive Baitfish

The Baitfish Primer, a key guide from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is now available as a free mobile app that allows recreational fishers to identify legal and illegal live bait. The new app has a unique ID tool that can be used by novices and experts alike to distinguish between baitfish. The app also allows users to report any aquatic invasive species to the Invading Species Hotline and the online tool, EDDMapS Ontario.

To download, search “Baitfish Primer” in your App store for Apple or Android devices.
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for over 55 years
info@foca.on.ca    |    705-749-3622    |    https://foca.on.ca
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FOCA call to action against Ford

Dear member,
As President of your FOCA Board of Directors, I am writing with a new and important call-to-action for each of you, all across Ontario. This letter is being sent to each of the Presidents/Chairs of FOCA’s 500+ member associations, and I hope you will share it with your members.
At the FOCA Fall Seminar on October 27, 2018, I had asked our members to write the Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation & Parks, in support of the ongoing efforts of the Lake Partner Program of water quality monitoring. Thank you to everyone who has already copied FOCA on your letters! If you have not yet answered that call, I encourage you to get more information, and a template letter, here: https://foca.on.ca/lake-partner-program-overview/.
However, today I write to you with a new concern:
On November 15, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 57, including sudden plans to eliminate the office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), and purporting to transfer some of the ECO’s roles to the Auditor General and the Ministry of the Environment, Parks and Conservation.
This move would defeat the entire purpose of an independent, non-partisan officer in the important role of environmental oversight. The ECO is our environmental watchdog, appointed by the Ontario Legislature, not the government in power–specifically to attempt to shield the ECO from undue political interference.
ECO Dianne Saxe (centre) at the FOCA office in 2016
The ECO’s role supports public participation through the Environmental Registry, as well as government accountability for decisions that affect our environment, now and into the future. The ECO’s office reviews and reports on government progress on daunting environmental issues such as invasive species, water protection, pesticide management, and climate change.
For 25 years, these rights–and the ECO’s powers, duties and functions–have been enshrined in the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). When the EBR was up for review in 2016, FOCA encouraged you to participate in the consultations and provide your input during the comment period. Altogether, more than 18,000 Ontarians participated in that discussion.

After the government’s announcement on November 15, 2018, FOCA joined our colleagues representing the country’s most established environmental organizations, in signing a joint letter to Premier Ford, denouncing the plan to eliminate the office of the ECO.  Click here to read the joint letter. (download PDF, 4 pages)

Today, on behalf of our membership across Ontario, FOCA has sent our own letter to the Premier and party leaders, strongly opposing the elimination of the office of the ECO. Click here to read FOCA’s letter. (download PDF, 2 pgs)

Now, we need you to add your voice, in this fight to save the office of the ECO. Help us show the government how much Ontarians care about the environment. Here are 3 ways you can help:

  1. Add your name to the online petition: http://www.greenprosperity.ca/eco/
  2. Tell your MPP you oppose the elimination of the office of the ECO. Find links to your MPP, here: https://represent.opennorth.ca/demo/, and echo the wording in FOCA’s letter to the Premier. Remember to copy me on your letters! 
  3. Share this information widely with others in your lake association, with colleagues, family, and friends.
Thank you,
Marlin Horst
President, FOCA Board of Directors
Stay Connected with FOCA:
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Your vote counts in Limerick

The Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association (LWRA) would like to remind all cottage owners on Limerick and St. Ola Lakes that you have the opportunity to vote in the upcoming Limerick Township Municipal election for Reeve (the 4 new council members have already been nominated and acclaimed, no election for those seats will be held).   You should receive in the mail a voting packet from the township, which includes instructions and procedures for online voting.   If you have not received this information packet, please reach out and contact the township office directly (613-474-2863), Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, to confirm your eligibility to vote and procedures for voting.

The stakes for this election could not be any higher as we face two significant issues related to potential development in our township.   One is the longstanding Trident / Limerick Estates subdivision development, the other is the proposed “Pancon-Mcbride” Nickel, Copper and Cobalt metal mining project proposed and in exploration phase.   Both of these can have significant impact on our quality of life and recreational use of these lakes.

Because of this, we, the LWRA Board of Directors, endorse and recommend a vote for Michael Douglas-Hecker for Reeve.   Michael has multigenerational ties to the area, and has a longstanding and deep appreciation for the history of the Trident-Limerick Estates Development, having been present on Limerick Lake as a cottager since the inception of the original idea in the 1970’s.   We are convinced that as Reeve, he will ensure that any development at that site is conducted precisely in compliance with the agreed and existing special district zoning By-Law (Limerick Township By-Law 2010-18) covering the Subdivision Agreement and related documents.   As a long time cottager in the area, Mr. Douglas-Hecker is also aware of the incompatibility of a heavy duty mining and industrial land use with the significant recreational use resources of the township; and we believe he will use the resources of the township to influence those in the other branches of government (such as:  Hastings County Land Use Planning, Crowe Valley Conservation Authority, and the Provincial and Federal governmental Ministries) who oversee and do permitting that allow mining, or have environmental protection responsibilities.

Please take the time and effort to vote in this important election.   Michael Douglas-Hecker needs your support, and we need him as our advocate on the Limerick Township Council as Reeve.

Signed and passed September 23, 2018 by the LWRA Board of Directors at annual Fall meeting.

Mine Meeting Recap

by Jan McKillican

Following is a recap of the meeting recently held in the Limerick Community Centre on Hwy 620 to consider the proposed nickel-cobalt-copper mine.

The meeting was attended by well over a 100 people.  Many lakes in the area were represented including:  Wollaston, Dickey, Sweets, Steenburg and Limerick. Tempers were high and the first hour-and-a-half were largely unproductive.  Most of the attendees opposed the mine.  In the end, Pancon did share a high level business plan.  It was clear the Pancon CEO thought communication to this point had been better than it really was, e.g. land owners being unaware that their property would be staked, First Nations support (they had not been contacted), etc..  There is a local group led by “Monica Nikopoulos, a nearby landowner on #62, that was driving protest actions, e.g. picketing.

  • Pancon is interested in these metals based on the future demand forecast for batteries in electric cars etc.
  • The area has 20,000 metres of historical samples that are being used as reference and that have been stored in, Ministry of Energy and Northern Development of Mines (MENDM) in Tweed
  • Baseline studies / geological mapping started in June – cutting paths in the forest
  • Plan is to drill new targets in Q1/Q2 of 2019 (press release after Wednesday suggests this may now be later?)
  • Pancon hired an environmental firm from Lindsay to do the environmental studies (they were hired Sept 6th)
  • There are several stages to creating a mine.  They are in stage 2 – exploration.  Based on work previously done, in my opinion, this stage will not last too long (generically they said exploration could be 3-14 years … I would say 2 due to previous work done)
  • Once all paths are cut, additional drilling would occur which would required trenching to start that would allow large equipment to access drilling locations.  Over time, the trenches get bigger and bigger.  Once this is done, then geophysical work (conductive, magnetic) would be done using airplanes
  • Pancon is the prospecting company – they would not be the company doing the mining should it get that far.
  • When asked if they knew enough to say whether it would be open pit or underground they said “no”.  Their press releases suggest they like this project in part due to the “near surface” metals. They noted that the original, historical plan, had been an underground mine.

A presentation was also made by Ugo LaPointe who works for Mining Watch Canada – a government organization dedicated to ensuring mines are environmentally safe, writing legislation to manage mines, etc..   Key points to consider from his excellent presentation:

  • Key risk in the mining phase is management of mining waste.  Less than 1% of the ground that would be dug up is actually refined.  Mining tailings and very big rocks are left behind.  The tailings can be created using water which then has to be managed for toxic waste; e.g. sulphur, heavy metals.  Based on the estimates of the amount of copper, nickel and cobalt, this operation would create approximately 5 million tons of waste.  The biggest risk in mining is the potential rupturing of dykes built to control that waste which consequently releases toxic waste into the local environment.  Downstream dykes are safer but often companies use upstream dykes as they are cheaper.  If there are dry tailings, then the issue becomes dust.
  • Blasting during mining can change current watersheds by moving underwater aquifers.  Currently the watershed in the area flows into Nicolson Creek which then feeds into Dickey Lake.
  • If open pit, blasting can be felt for up to 2 to 5 km away.  You can also hear the process for miles given the correct conditions, e.g. calm night.  Ugo LaPointe does not believe legislation is currently sufficient in Ontario for managing these concerns of open pit mines near people.
  • Residents need to consider the financial health of the companies involved.  Will they have the funds to do the right thing?
    • Pancon is currently trading at 6 to 7 cents per share. They are a small junior company worth less than $10 million and have a $22 million deficit.  They would need investors.
  • One key question people should ask themselves as they consider whether or not they support this potential mine is:  Is this the right place in Ontario to put a mine?  Is it the right place to put an open pit mine should that be the decision made?
  • Should the local people decide to oppose the mine, there are 3 approaches:
    • Political – MENDM could deny and/or revoke permits
    • Legal – unite to hire a legal firm.  Hooks:  property rights, charter of rights, endangered species, First Nation rights
    • Corporate & Shareholders:  send letters to investor community.  Buy shares in the company so you have rights to attend Annual General Meetings etc.