2020 AGM Minutes




Saturday, July 11th 2020

09:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Guest Speakers

11:00 a.m. to Noon – Business Meeting

1.     ATTENDANCE – There were 65 participants consisting of 33 members and members of the Board of Directors, 3 invited speakers, 4 invited guests and 25 members of the public.  A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of members shall consist of not less than 15% of the members present in person or represented by proxy (90 members x 15% = 14).  At all meetings of members every question shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present in person or represented by proxy.  Meeting participation instructions:  Steve Moretti hosted the meeting with technical assistance from Marc Moretti.  Steve provided the audience with technical instructions on how to participate in the meeting.

    OPENING REMARKS.  John McDowell welcomed everyone to the 31st Annual General Meeting.   John provided background information on our lake water quality.  Our first presentation is by Queen’s University Professor Dr. John Smol on “Algae on the Lake”, followed by updates from the Mayor of the Township of Rideau Lakes, Arie Hoogenboom, and Mayor of the Village of Westport, Robin Jones. 


i) Dr. John P. Smol – Distinguished Biology Professor, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada Research Chair, Environmental Change.  Dr Smol founded and co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), a group of students and scientists dedicated to the study of long-term global environmental change especially as it relates to lake ecosystems.  Details of Dr. Smol’s presentation “Algae on the Lake: How lake ecosystems change over time in response to environmental stressors” can be viewed at https://youtu.be/QnJU56PZ90 .   

ii) Arie Hoogenboom, Mayor, Township of Rideau Lakes 

Mayor Hoogenboom thanked URLA for the opportunity to speak at the AGM.  He thanked the Executive and volunteers of URLA for their hard work and dedication.  He spoke about the formation of the Rideau Lakes Lake Association Committee (RLLAC) which started in 2019.  The total amount of grant money

devoted to Lake Associations is $21,000.  URLA received a $2306 grant from the RLLAC.  He spoke about COVID 19 issues, reopening the Border to American cottage owners, opening of our 15 boat launches, and the Township COVID 19 e-Newsletter providing updates on the COVID 19 situation.   He does a monthly video presentation to talk about other issues going on in the Township;  There are 300 Septic inspections conducted annually.  In  2016-18, 233 inspections were conducted on Upper Rideau and 54 on Sand Lake.  This year, inspections will be conducted on Bass Lake and the Hamlet of Portland. The Building department issues orders for repairs.   The implementation of a “Lake Health” policy in the official plan is an on-going issue.  The Township is very supportive and will continue to work with lake associations to improve water quality, through such programs as septic re-inspections, education, vegetative buffers, and registration on title of site plans (90% have complied since 2016).  There was no tax increase this year.  There were 60 new building permits issued last year and it is expected that this year will be the same.  The Newboro bridge will be replaced this year, and the rehabilitation of Mountain Road to Westport will also take place this year.  The Township supports an aggressive roadside mowing program and does not support roadside spraying.  Mayor Hoogenboom agreed that the Township will make their website available to the Upper Rideau Lake Association to post information on water quality and projects that we are involved with.  Mayor Hoogenboom indicated that the Township is working on a Climate Change policy.  Dr. Smol indicated that we need to address the issue of more science into policy.  John thanked Mayor Hogenboom for speaking and for the grant which we are using wisely.  Dr. Smol’s presentation is posted on u-tube and the Mayor indicated he would share this with Council and other lake associations.  

iii)  Robin Jones, Mayor of the Village of Westport

Mayor Jones thanked Dr. Smol and Mayor Hoogenboom for their informative presentations.  This is the 6th AGM that she has had the opportunity to speak at.  She talked about the pandemic and the efforts of local businesses to remain open to ensure supplies were made available during that time.  Other businesses began to re-open in June.  A plan to re-open marinas and a hospitality plan proposal was put in place.  Medical Officers of Health from four health units including Leeds, Greenville and Lanark have announced that masks are now mandatory at indoor public spaces until at least Sept 30th.  The contract for the Bedford St. rehabilitation plan will be awarded on Tuesday.  Construction is expected to take 5 ½ months to complete.  URLA met with Village CAO and Engineers to discuss a proposed swayle which will mitigate water run-off and remove nutrients when it rains to prevent them from going into the lake.  The cost to the Village is very low.  The Village agreed to implement this.  Foley Mountain County Rd 10 to Westport rehabilitation is underway.   The Mayor indicated social justice issues, racism, discrimination and harassment, are being addressed.  Strategies are being worked on and the public needs to be involved.   A MOU with Landark Homes was discussed. A review of the waste water system was conducted to determine capacity was available to support this new development.   John McDowell thanked Mayor Jones and indicated that URLA looks forward to working with the Village in the future. 



The minutes were posted on our website for the past year.  MOTION: That the Minutes of the July 6th 2019 Annual General Meeting be approved.  Moved by Anne Carter, seconded by John McDowell.

All in favor:  100%     Motion Accepted.

4.     PRESIDENT’S REPORT – John McDowell

This was a good year for the Upper Rideau Lake, and a busy year for the Upper Rideau Lake Association.

Our lake is beautiful – and yet, its water quality remains quite fragile.  In its last public “sub-watershed” report (2014), the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) determined our lake water quality is “poor”.  This means that even though it can look pristine, all residents and visitors need to continue to be vigilant — and to minimize our collective impacts of enjoying our lake.  

Each and every year, URLA has obligations and roles, all of which require significant volunteer effort.

Every fall two teams of volunteers retrieve our 9 shoal markers, and carefully put them away for the winter.  They are always re-placed on their respective shoals by the following May.  Last October, one buoy was torn away from its moorings in rough water.  It was recovered from a local resident, who had read about our missing buoy in the Review Mirror.

On financial matters – we established capacity to accept e-transfers for payments, we established an annual budget and we review our financial position as a standing item at each Board meeting.

For the first time, we received a grant of about $2300 from the Township of Rideau Lakes.  This is a most important source of additional funding – which we put to work maintaining our buoys, and on supporting a school visit by local school children to Foley Mountain Park (postponed due to COVID-19).  We also used grant funding to invest in enhanced water sampling at Adrain’s Creek with RVCA and the Township of Rideau Lakes.

The Township of Rideau Lakes also established a formal committee of Council, to consult all major lake and property-owner associations.  This group, chaired by the Mayor, collects input on developmental policy, plays an educational role, and has fostered the beginnings of a robust network for advocating on common issues.  I would also like to thank Council for passing a By-Law registering “site plan conditions on title”.  This is a significant step for Council and a real investment in future lake health, because development conditions established by Council to protect the lake will remain in force, even if the property is sold.

A significant grant from the Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation (RLEF), helped launch our first “sapling” program, run by Steve Moretti, Lakeshore Director.  A tree program aimed at restoring natural shorelines, around our lake.  This new program complemented the hundreds of tree and shrub seedlings we provide, every spring, to our membership at their request.  Our lake has benefited over the years from the efforts of our members to plant and maintain these trees and shrubs.  What an investment in the future!

Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation (RLEF) is a registered Canadian charity that supports projects that safeguard and enhance our lake environment in collaboration with the Big Rideau Lake Association (BRLA) and the Upper Rideau Lake Association (URLA).   Tax receipts are issued.  Please consider donating.  Your donation goes directly towards supporting environmental work on the lake you love.  To donate, either mail a cheque to RLEF, PO Box 93, Portland, ON, K0G 1V0, made payable to the Foundation or visit the website www.rlef.ca 

Water sampling continued, under the Lake Partners Program under the direction of Jayne MacDonald.  Volunteers sample data on about a dozen sites on the lake, and have done so for many years.  These

data are used by Conservation Authorities and others, to monitor the natural health of our lake – and the challenges that it continues to face.

This year, however, there are two new developments on water quality testing.  First, we agreed to co-fund a specific 2-year water sampling analysis on Adrain’s Creek, led by the RVCA, and commissioned by Rideau Lakes Township.  And yes, a new volunteer stepped up to help collect water from the creek.

Secondly, we purchased a kit which allows for water testing in real time – collect the water, insert the tab, and results are immediately available online.  Both measures add to our scientific understanding.

One of our new Board members led efforts to modernize our Board position descriptions and our By-laws.  Our By-laws are well-drafted, but after 30+ years, are somewhat dated.  We hope to bring forward a package of amendments to our first “in person” AGM, for consideration by our membership.

Over the past year, our Board has also reached out to the Township, to input into its new “Official Plan”.  Once approved, this Plan, last updated 10+ years ago, will guide development, including on our lake, years into the future.  Overall, our objective has been to urge our leaders to “improve” lake water quality – and I hope that we see this occur.  

We have also met with Westport officials, who are also open to progressing on water quality- and we look forward to working with the Village, as well. 

Of course, like each Canadian, we have had to adapt to the reality imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Most significantly, for the first time ever, our July AGM will be “virtual”.  We all will miss the morning coffee and treats, as well as the BBQ – the hotdogs and the visits with our friends and neighbours.  So, next year’s BBQ will be that much more special!

Our AGM has always served as a convenient way for people to renew their membership.  This year is no different – “Your lake Association needs you!” – please – to renew your membership on line visit our website www.urla.ca.  There are real benefits to joining our Association AND we, too, on the Board, need your ongoing support and views.

If people have questions, comments, or suggestions on any of these items or on the coming year, please contact me or any other member of your Board.

I’m already looking forward to our next year. We already have a list of some important new initiatives – so stay tuned! 

On behalf of myself and the Board, I would like to thank our Membership Director, Anne Carter, who will be stepping down this year.  Anne has served on the Board for the past 10 years and was instrumental in developing and maintaining a membership database as well as recruiting and training new Board members and volunteers.  Thank you Anne for your many years of dedicated volunteer service to URLA and we wish you well in your future endeavours.  A more formal presentation will be forthcoming, possibly in the spring.

Finally, I would like to thank each person who worked on behalf of the association, and on behalf of our lake, over this past year.  As I wrote this report, you each came to mind, as I reflected on all of your efforts and the various activities that occurred this past year.

5.  FINANCIAL REPORT – Michael Hogan, Treasurer,  reported the following:

Members were advised to take note of the “Notice to Readers” and reminded that the statements presented are unaudited.

The first statement shows current assets, as of financial year end we had $4,300 in cash and $5,967 in a GIC, for a total of $10,267, an increase of $2,009 from the previous year.

The second statement shows the change in assets of the $2,009 mentioned earlier, versus a deficiency of ($894) in the previous year.

The third statement is a summary of our revenue and operating expenses. Please note two significant changes from the previous years results included the following:

  • Under the revenue section, the grant revenue represents; The Rideau Lakes Township grant of $2,266, and Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation grant of $2,504 to assist in covering the costs of our tree and shrub program.
  • Under the expense section, under programs, the largest expense was $3,030 for the purchase of trees for the tree and shrub program from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

In summary revenue over expenses resulted in a positive gain of $2,009.

The final and fourth statement is a summary of our cash position, at the end of the fiscal year we had $4,300 in our account, an increase of $1,931 from the previous year.

The Financial Statements (Unaudited) for the year ended April 30, 2020 prepared by the Chartered Accounting Firm Nephin, Winter, Bingley are posted on the Association Website.

Motion 1:  That the Financial Statements (Unaudited) for the year ended April 30, 2020 be adopted.  Moved by Michael Hogan and seconded by Terry Frostad.  All in favor:   100%   Motion Accepted.

Motion 2:  That the Firm of Nephin, Winter, Bingley, Chartered Professional Accountants be appointed to prepare the Financial Statements for the financial year 2020-2021.  Moved by Michael Hogan and seconded by Terry Frostad.  All in favor:   100%   Motion Accepted.


Jayne MacDonald, Past President, presented the following proposed Slate of Officers/Directors for the year 2020-2021 as follows:  

President – John McDowell

Vice-President – vacant

Secretary – Terry Frostad

Membership/Community Liaison – Peggy Thompson

Treasurer – Michael Hogan

Member at Large (Governance) – Karyn Standen

Lakeshore – Tom Donnelly

Public Relations/Communications (website) – Steve Moretti

Water Quality/Hazard Marking Program – Dave Counter

Jayne called for nominations for the floor.  There were no nominations.

MOTION:  That the proposed slate of officers for the Board of Directors for the year 2020-2021 be accepted as presented:  Moved by Jayne MacDonald, seconded by Anne Carter.  All in favor:  100%        Motion Accepted.

Jayne thanked Anne Carter for her many years of dedicated volunteer service to the URLA Board.      


John McDowell welcomed two new Board members, Peggy Thompson, who will be replacing Anne Carter as Membership Director and Tom Donnelly, our new Lakeshore Director, replacing Steve Moretti.  Our next Board meeting will be held in August.

The floor was opened to a question and answer period. Following this, a motion was put forth by Jayne MacDonald and seconded by Anne Carter that the meeting be adjourned.  The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.  

President: John McDowell         ……………………………………………….

Secretary:  Terry Frostad           ………………………………………………..




SATURDAY, JULY 10th 2021


10:00 AM – 12:00 NOON Annual General Meeting

1.    OPENING REMARKS (President)                       

2.    PANEL DISCUSSION – Development on the Upper Rideau Lake –    10:05 AM

  • Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, General Manager / Secretary Treasurer, RVCA 
  • Tracy Zander, ZanderPlan
  • Q&A session

3.    Messages from our Mayors & Q&A session


5.    PRESIDENT’S REPORT – John McDowell

6.    FINANCIAL REPORT – Treasurer

Motion 1: That the unaudited financial documents for the year ended April 30, 2021 be adopted. Moved by Barbara Cook. Seconded by Karyn Standen. 

Motion 2: That the firm Nephin, Winter, Bingley Chartered Professional Accountants be appointed as accountants to prepare the financial statements. Moved by Barbara Cook. Seconded by Karyn Standen. 


8.     Don Rasmussen – Report on Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation (RLEF)

9.     ELECTION OF OFFICERS – Jayne MacDonald, Past President



12.    CLOSING REMARKS AND ADJOURNMENT                 12:00 PM


Register for our virtual AGM (Sat. July 10, 10:00 am)
What kind of lake do you want?
Now is the time to start thinking about what kind of lake we would like in the future. We are all seeing a lot of development in our region – including on the Upper Rideau. Big development issues for us include Westport, which has a major subdivision well underway, expansions of local trailer-parks, as well ever more 4-season homes on the Upper Rideau.

Panel discussion with RCVA, a local planner and the mayors We will hear from two people who witness – and help to guide – development in our region every day: Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, who heads the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), and Tracy Zander, a very experienced Professional Land Use Planner. Both are very familiar with our region and our lake – and they will help us interpret what we are seeing, and what it may mean.

We are also very fortunate to have Mayors Jones (Westport) and Hoogenboom (Township of Rideau Lakes) confirmed as leading participants. Our Mayors will share their thoughts and address questions from URLA members. We will have a very good discussion of development facing the Upper Rideau, what it means for our beautiful lake and how we can help! Business meeting to follow.

And then, the AGM will turn to the “business” of the Lake Association itself – presentation of our financial statements, information on all of the vital work done by our volunteers (marker buoys, water sampling, tree programs, membership and strategy, to name just a few accomplishments this past year!).

We will elect a Board for 2021. While our meeting is once again virtual – and this means, sadly, no hotdogs for the second year in a row – we all look forward to connecting directly with each other once again, for the 2021 AGM. To attend the AGM, you must register here.

See you all there, and take care.      

John McDowell
     President, Upper Rideau Lake Association

New year, new possibilities.

by John McDowell, URLA President

As we begin 2021, I look forward to the days starting (slowly) to lengthen. because it means that we are on the upward swing! With 2020 finally in the rearview mirror, it’s a chance for new beginnings. As you can see from the picture above, we updated our URLA signage in December. Together with Steve Moretti and Dave Counter, I helped install the new aluminum sign that features a view of Upper Rideau Lake from the North Shore, with two canoeists paddling past the image of our logo, a white heron. During the year, some of our Board members changed. Most recently, Terry Frostad, our Secretary retired, treasurer Michael Hogan moved back to Saskatchewan for family reasons and Karyn Standen is now our Secretary.

Many thanks to each of you.

Unfortunately, Gaynor Stachel, who was set to assume Treasurer duties in the new year has had to withdraw due to pandemic related work duties. l would like to thank Gaynor for agreeing to volunteer with us and understand that circumstances can and do change. She is doing her best to support our Treasurer requirements for the remainder of the month.

So, what’s ahead?

Well, it’s clear that COVID-19 is accelerating changes that were already underway for our lake and our residents. We can expect more development and more full-time residents. Westport will grow, starting this coming year, when the first of its new “Watercolour” residential homes are constructed. Our summers may even stay hotter, longer.

At the same time, there is increased awareness of lake health, and recognition of the value of responsible development. I expect, for example, that Westport will establish an inspection program for private septic systems. The Township now registers site plan conditions on title for waterfront properties, to guide future owners. Dr. Smol’s team took core samples from our lake sediment – and we should get some early results in 2021. And, URLA is doing more water quality testing.

Thanks for your continuing support.  See you on the lake!



Natural lake shorelines trap runoff effectively, acting as a buffer to absorb contaminants, keep lakes clean and reduce algae.

To encourage planting along the lake, the URLA, with the Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation & Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s support, is pleased to continue the Tree and Shrub Program in 2021. The program will provide low-cost potted trees, shrubs, & bare root seedlings.

The cost for URLA Members is $3 per tree or shrub or $12 for non-URLA members.


by John McDowell
President, Upper Rideau Lakes Association

As I write this, the weather has changed – cool and, today, quite rainy.  There are clear signs that fall is just around the corner.

This has been a busy summer for our Upper Rideau Lake Association.  The Board was able to organize and execute our first “virtual” AGM.  Overall, we had some 80 people pre-register.  There were about 70 computers logged on, some with more than one person “attending”.  So, while our circumstances were certainly new – and there were no hotdogs (!)- our meeting was well-attended and we enjoyed excellent presentations and discussion with our speakers.

Once again, we were very fortunate to have Mayors Robin Jones (Westport) and Arie Hoogenboom (Rideau Lakes) speak to our Association, and to have our Councillors also present.  Thank-you, each of you, once again.

Our guest speaker was lake scientist, Queen’s Distinguished Professor, Dr. John Smol.  Dr Smol reminded us that climate change is dynamic, with longer and hotter summers (and less ice cover in winter), affecting lakes, including our own.  Algae blooms, including dangerous “cyanobacterial” blue green algae, may well become more prevalent, even in lakes with steady or declining nutrient levels.  If so, these blooms will pose a greater risk for health, and can lower waterfront property values.

Overall, his message is that all of us – governments, residents, conservation authorities, etc. – have a key role to play to give back to our beautiful lake!

At our July AGM, our Association again elected a volunteer Board for this year.  We said farewell (as a Board member), to long-time volunteer, Anne Carter.  In addition to our colleagues who were re-elected, I am very pleased to welcome new Directors Peggy Thompson (Membership), and Tom Donnelly (Waterfront/tree programs).  We are already benefitting from having you on our Board, thank-you!

I would like to update you on our advocacy efforts, with other local lake associations, to strengthen the draft Official Plan (OP) in Rideau Lakes Township. 

Once finalized this fall, in all likelihood, the revised OP will guide land use planning for a decade or so, so it is worth seeking a clear position on key issues.  We are asking our Council, and especially with respect to our lake, Councillors Lavoie and Pollard, as well as Mayor Hoogenboom, for three basic things.

Our Township of Rideau Lakes Official Plan should:

  1. Not weaken the protections of lake water quality in the current OP- our Township should not move backward;
  2. Protect the “lakes of Rideau Lakes” at least as much as the OPs of our neighbouring municipalities (e.g., North and South Frontenac; Tay Valley; Leeds and the Thousand Islands); and
  3. Actually aim to improve lake water quality!

We believe that there is work to do in all three areas.  And, sometimes I feel that our collective advocacy efforts are not making as much of a difference with our Township as we would hope.  I would encourage our members, therefore, to speak directly with our elected officials on this – and if people have questions from our URLA Board, to speak with me, or Treasurer Michael Hogan, as you wish.

As we enter the fall, there will be much to do for our Association, and individually, for each of you and your families.  Take care, stay healthy, and keep in touch.

John McDowell
President, Upper Rideau Lakes Association

Water Quality Report – 2020 AGM

Water clarity in May and June 2020 was to a depth of 10.5 meters at the Kanes Bay sample point. This is extremely clear.

The health of Upper Rideau Lake​ ​remains fragile, as any introduction of an unnatural component into our water would set our lake back. Currently, nutrient levels (such as phosphorus) are high but not rising. Maintaining a healthy lake depends on how we as lakefront owners treat it. One of the main functions of URLA is to monitor the health of our lake and we operate many programs to achieve this goal.

URLA continues to monitor our lake water quality by sampling the Upper Rideau monthly through the Lake Partners Program (LPP).

These sampling results can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/map-lake-partner​ .

After a significant rain event ( 25mm) URLA volunteers will sample 3 locations:​ ​in McNallys Bay (red dot), the mouth of Adrains Creek (light blue water droplet) and upstream at the Sunnyside culverts (dark blue dot).

Adrains Creek
URLA has always worked with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) to share information which helps us to maintain a healthy lake. RVCA contacted us earlier this year with a concern they had identified in McNallys Bay. Adrains Creek was a possible source of nutrients flowing into our lake. To further investigate this concern, URLA and the Township of Rideau Lakes have joined with the RVCA to fund a special project.

RVCA is currently sampling Adrains Creek with the help of URLA volunteers after significant rain events to determine if the creek is indeed flushing excessive nutrients into McNallys Bay. The study is ongoing and results will be published upon completion. Having the Township of Rideau Lakes join URLA and RVCA is an important partnership we hope to maintain for the future. This project is in addition to RVCA’s regular monthly sampling.


Water Ranger Fresh Water Test Kit
To augment the Lake Partners Program and RVCA sampling, URLA has acquired a free Fresh Water Testing Kit from ​Water Rangers.​ This is being used to test creeks and streams that flow into our lake in the Township of Rideau Lakes.

The tests give us immediate results to establish a baseline of data. Dramatic change in a weekly test would suggest a possible pollutant and require upstream investigating to determine the source.

URLA is purchasing a second test kit to monitor the creeks and streams in and around Westport that flow into the Upper Rideau.

Water Rangers Testing in Adrains Creek.

Blue Green Algae?
The sight of any algae bloom is always a concern for folks around the lake. Is it really Blue Green algae? What should I do? Who should I contact?

To answer those questions, the following link to a PDF will show you a cost-free test to determine if what you have observed is blue green algae.  https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/wq-swm1-04.pdf

If you identify blue green algae in Upper Rideau Lake, please contact URLA immediately: waterquality.urla@gmail.com

For an emergency: Spills Action Centre 1 800-268-6060.


Hazard Buoy Program
The hazard buoys program also falls underwater quality portfolio. The strong winds of 2019 moved 3 buoys off their stations and one stayed missing until May of this year.


To address this issue we are increasing the anchor chain size to ⅜”. We will also do chain inspections in July to hopefully change out worn chains before they wear through.

All 10 Hazard Buoys were in position for the 2020 Victoria Day Long weekend even though the Rideau Canal remained closed.  We will continue to monitor the health of our lake through these and any new initiatives that become available.


Please enjoy our lake in a safe and respectful manner.

Dave Counter

Minutes, 2019 AGM





Saturday, July 6TH 2019, 10:00 a.m.

North Crosby Community Hall, Westport, Ontario



9.30-10.00 am Registration and coffee and muffins

Between 65 and 70 members, guests, and members of the Board of Directors were                                 present





Christine Skirth, the President, was unable to attend.  Anne Carter, Membership Director, chaired the meeting and welcomed everyone to the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Upper Rideau Lake Association and thanked everyone for coming.  She introduced invited speakers:  Arie Hoogenboom, Mayor, Township of Rideau Lakes;  Robin Jones, Mayor of the Village of Westport; Michael Yee, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority; Jayne MacDonald, URLA Past President, Lake Partners Program.  Also present were Rideau Lakes Councillors Bob Lavoie and Ron Pollard and Westport  Councillors, Barry Card, Melissa Sullivan and Dr. Bob Roberts.   Please join us for a hot dog barbeque complete with birthday cake following the meeting.




  1. i) Mayor Arie Hoogenboom – Township of Rideau Lakes


Mayor Hoogenboom talked about being fiscally responsible, spending, and reducing debt. He has been involved with many services and infrastructure projects such as: the creation of 7 Community Enhancement Committees, which are the umbrella organizations for the Township volunteer programs;  the formation of the Rideau Lakes Lake Association Committee and grant program, John McDowell is the Upper Rideau Lake Association representative and we received $2266.00 in grant money to be used for education, safety, scientific, ecosystem projects and studies.  County Rd 10 improvements;  Looking at alternatives to roadside spraying;  working with contractor to improve recycling issues;  increasing the number of mandatory septic re-inspections to 300 from 150 for this year for Big Rideau Lake, Bass Lake and the Islands;  Smiths Falls Hospital grant – $100,000 over a 5 year period;  Official plan update meeting – Open House – Waterfront development –  July 12th ; landfill site closing July 31st; dealing with leachate issue at the waste site; demolition of building on Gallagher property in Portland; and, working with the owners of Jubilee Block on development issues.  The contract has been awarded for live stream council meetings commencing September.  New municipal website is up and running – www.rideaulakes.ca as well as new emails for staff.



  1. ii) Mayor Robin Jones – Village of Westport


Mayor Jones introduced the members of the Westport Council, Barry Card, Melissa Sullivan and Dr. Bob Roberts.  As Warden of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville for the last 2 years, she has been involved with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) project to improve internet, broadband, and cell coverage in rural areas.  The Provincial government announced in May it will be providing $71 million dollars funding to support this.  An application was made to the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund for $5 million for improvements to fix Bedford St.  Will be informed in October whether successful or not.   The new wastewater system is working well, however there are capacity issues mainly due to illegal sump pump connections which is holding up new development.  The mayor stated that she is in the process of drafting legislative authority that grants authority for municipalities, under certain circumstances, authority to enter a dwelling house for the purpose of inspection for illegal sewar connections.  A lawyer is drafting legislative options but a credible science based argument why the discharges to the lakes and rivers pose environmental threats and should be discontinued is needed.   The mayor asked if anyone is able to provide scientific information on this issue, to please contact her.


Question – Allison Smith:  Will there be gas at the harbour.  Mayor Jones – no gas due to environmental issues.   A new contract has been negotiated with Le Boat.  There may be a pumpout.


Harbour Committee – Councillor Melissa Sullivan is the Chair.  Looking at buying property, dock repairs and beautifying the entrance area.  An agreement was reached with the homeowners on Fetch Murphy Way.  Widening will be done to improve parking and public safety.


iii)  Michael Yee, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority                     


Michael Yee, is an Environmental Planner and Biologist with RVCAHe talked about how the lake has changed over time.  In the early 90’s the lake was green.  Lake is clearer now and phosphorus levels not as high.  He talked about watersheds and habitats.  Water cycle – 40-60% evaporates; 30-50% infiltrates into the soil; 10% runs off surface into water bodies.  Nutrients are good but not in excess.  We have double the nutrients; algae dominated; need sustainable drainage or low impact development that is natural.  He talked about wetlands and forests and the benefits of a naturalized riparian buffer and 30 meter setback.  Want to fight erosion, discourage geese and spruce up your shoreline? RVCA offers a full service subsidized shoreline naturalization program.  For further details contact Meaghan.macdonald@rvca .  RVCA is also working with municipalities to establish workshops on how to to infiltrate storm water naturally.   The “Lake Protection Workbook” is a self assessment tool for shoreline property owners and is available on the RVCA and FOCA websites.


In closing – Waterfront Living – Think about what you can do to give back.


  1. iv) Don Rasmussen – Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation (RLEF)


Don stated that the Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation was set up as a charity intended as a way to raise funds for the Big Rideau Lake, Upper and Lower Rideau Lakes.  Requests are received from various organizations for funds for environmental studies and projects useful to the lakes.  The RLEF consists of 7 members, 5 from the Big Rideau Lake Association and 2 from the Upper Rideau Lake Association.  There are no overhead expenses, so all money donated goes directly towards projects and studies.  There are ongoing projects so an annual income is required.   Please donate.  If you have any ideas for projects on the lake, please contact us at www.rlef.ca .  We issue income tax receipts.



  1. v) Jayne MacDonald – URLA Past President, Lake Partners Program – Tribute to Jack Cook (URLA Founding Member)


Jayne McDonald dedicated her presentation to the late Jack Cook, URLA Founding Member, who passed away in 2018.


The Lake Partner Program in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment began the water sampling program on 3 locations (Kane’s Bay (Jack Cook), McNally’s Bay (Jayne MacDonald) and Mulville’s Bay – Brian and Diane Wilkinson) on the Upper Rideau Lake.   Water is tested for phosphorus, calcium and water clarity.  Phosphorous levels are high, development being the main cause.  Calcium levels are not a problem.  Jayne provided a secchi disk demonstration that is used to measure water clarity.  In 1990 Jack’s mean was 1.7 and in 2017 the mean was 4.4.  Before 2000 the mean was 2.5 m and 2000 and later 3.9m.  The Health Unit tests Foley Mountain Beach once a week for ecoli.


Jack Cook was President in 1990 of the Concerned Citizens of the Upper Rideau Lake (CCOURL).  The name was changed to the Upper Rideau Lake Association at the 1990 Annual General Meeting.  Jack was involved with the Strategic Planning Committee in 1990 which developed and recommended short and long term goals for the Association and various other Committees to address water quality concerns.


In closing – we all still need to continue to do due diligence.




The minutes were posted on our website for the past year.   There being no errors or omissions –

MOTION: THAT THE MINUTES OF THE JULY 7th  2018 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING BE APPROVED. Moved  Don Rasmussen:  Seconded by George Ingram  Motion carried


  1. PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Anne Carter


Anne introduced the current Executive members:  Christine Skirth, President (absent); John McDowell, Lakeshore/Government Liaison; Anne Carter, Membership; Theresa (Terry) Frostad, Secretary; David McKinney, Public Relations/Webmaster; Dave Counter, Water Quality/Navigation Buoy Program; Diana Kemp, Community Affairs; Steve Moretti, Member at Large; Michael Hogan, Member at Large.  There are 3 members of the Board who are stepping down this year, Christine Skirth, President, Murray Kane, Treasurer and Diana Kemp, Community Affairs.   Anne, on behalf of the Board, thanked them for their many years of dedicated volunteer service to URLA and wished them well in their future endeavours.


  1. FINANCIAL REPORT – Murray Kane


Murray presented the financial report for the Year Ended April 30, 2019, as prepared by the firm of Nephin Winter Bingley, Chartered Professional Accountants.   Copies were circulated at the meeting.  Assets are listed on page 3, expenditures on page 4, exceeded revenues by $894.00 this year.



Moved by Wendy Stewart,  Seconded by Joan Duncan –  All in favor        Motion carried


Report attached to Minutes




Moved by Allison Smith, Seconded by Melanie Tod – All in favor                                      Motion carried





  1. i) Community Affairs – Diana Kemp is responsible for maintaining a data base with road representatives, providing new members with a welcome package and maintaining a community infrastructure program.


  1. ii) Membership – Anne Carter.  We have 97 members this year.  Thanks to David McKinney for setting up FOCA online membership payment.  The membership year is 01 Jan to 31 Dec.


iii) Lakeshore – John McDowell.  URLA is launching a new “sapling program” for 2020, to support the planting of up to 300 trees on the shoreline and adjoining properties of Upper Rideau Lake and its watershed.  The small seedling program was held in May and 390 trees/shrubs were distributed free of charge.  Further information can be obtained on our website www.urla.ca.


  1. iv) Public Relations/Webmaster – David McKinney. New postings will be done once a week.  We are on facebook.  It has been 1 year with the new website.  New ideas are always welcome.  David posted survey results for volunteer activities on the big screen.  If anyone wishes to volunteer or has any ideas on activities, please contact us even if it is only for a few hours.


  1. v) Water Quality/Navigation Buoy Program – Dave Counter. George Ingram handed over the management of the Navigation Buoy Program to Dennis Duncan this year.  Peter Newgard, Paul Byrne and Marc Robichaud will continue to install and maintain the buoys.   Regular maintenance was performed on the buoys and they were installed around the 24th of May weekend.




Jayne MacDonald, Past President, presented the following Motion:


  • Motion: to amend article 3 to By-law No 1 in order to accommodate the extra director positions, as follows:





  1. The applicants for incorporation shall become the first directors of the Corporation whose term of office on the board of directors shall continue until their successors are elected. The affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by a board of   9 up to 11 directors, comprising the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer together with 5 7 other directors, each of whom at the time of his or her election and throughout his or her term of office shall be a member of the Corporation.  Each director shall be elected to hold office until the first annual meeting after election or until his or her successor shall have been duly elected.  A director whose term of office has expired shall be eligible for re-election if otherwise qualified.  Provided that, notwithstanding the failure of the members to elect a full board of directors, provided that  a quorum of directors is then in office, such directors may then appoint, from among the members, a director or directors to establish the requisite number of directors.  At each annual meeting of members, the election of directors may be by a show of hands unless there is more than 1 nominee for any position, in which case, the election of directors shall be by way of written ballot.


Moved by Joan Duncan, seconded by Don Rasmussen – All in favor       Motion accepted


Jayne then presented the new Slate of Officers/Directors for the year 2019-2020 as follows:


President/Government Liaison:                            John McDowell

Vice President:                                                  Vacant

Secretary:                                                         Theresa (Terry) Frostad

Membership:                                                     Anne Carter

Treasurer:                                                         Michael Hogan

Lakeshore:                                                        Steve Moretti

Community Affairs:                                            Dana Menger

Public Relations /Webmaster:                             David McKinney

Water Quality/Navigation Buoy Program             Dave Counter

Member at Large:                                              Karyn Standen

Member at Large:                                              John Cottrill


Jayne then called for nominations from the floor to fill the Vice President position.  There were no nominations.



Moved by Joan Duncan, seconded by Wendy Stewart   –  Voted all in favor          Declared Duly Elected





  • Presentations to Long Standing Members (Wendy Stewart).


Lifetime membership awards were presented by Wendy Stewart, URLA Past President, to 3 long standing members of URLA for their many years of volunteer service and dedication to the Upper Rideau Lake Association.


Murray Kane – Treasurer for over 10 years

George Ingram – President, Past President and Navigation Buoy Program

Don Rasmussen – Navigation Buoy Program and Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation representative


Thank you on behalf of the Upper Rideau Lake Association.  Your many accomplishments and volunteer efforts over the years were greatly appreciated.   We wish you well in all your future endeavours.




  1. i) Jayne MacDonald stated a bass study is being conducted by Carleton University.  The bass were tagged at the recent bass tournament.  If you should catch one, website is on the tag for reporting.


  1. ii) Wendy Stewart asked if there was any further information regarding the Bass vs Walleye study.  URLA conducted a survey which indicated 60% walleye/40% bass and provided the results to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).   Anne indicated that no further information has been received from MNRF and that URLA will keep members informed on the progress of this issue.




A HUGE thank you to the following for their generous support over the past year:


The Cove Inn – for providing a great spot for meetings, complete with coffee

Thanks you to our many volunteers, road reps, water samplers and AGM helpers (Linda and Glenn Wilcox).

Special thanks also to our Navigation Buoy team, George Ingram, Don Rasmussen, Peter Newgard, Paul Byrne, Marc Robichaud, and Dennis Duncan for once again installing and maintaining our navigation buoys.


MOTION:    Don Rasmussen moved that the meeting be adjourned seconded by George Ingram.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:35 pm.


President: John McDowell         ……………………………………………….


Secretary:  Terry Frostad           ………………………………………………..


URLA Membership Form

Upper Rideau Lake Association
Box 67, Westport, ON, K0G 1X0

Membership fees are $40 per year. You may pay your fees in one of two ways:

  • To pay by credit card, click here to be transferred to a secure payment page run by FOCA (Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association)
  • To pay by cheque, print and complete this form and mail with your cheque for $40.00 to Upper Rideau Lake Association, Box 67, Westport ON, K0G 1X0.

By paying the membership fee members agree:

  • Membership is from Jan 1 to Dec 31. Fees are payable to the Upper Rideau Lake Association by mail or using the FOCA payment link on our website.
  • Fees must be paid to have access to member-only benefits and FOCA benefits.
  • Unaudited financial statements will be prepared annually by an accountant and made available to members.
  • Membership is for one family
  • Membership is open to everyone who cares about the Upper Rideau Lake.

Volunteers Needed
The Upper Rideau Lakes Association is looking for volunteers. If you can assist in any of the following capacities, we would love to hear from you.

  • Coordinate social events
  • Serve on the Board of Directors
  • Serve as a Road Representative

If you are interested in volunteering, please send us an emailwith your contact information and indicate your interests in working as URLA volunteer.