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A pivotal year for our lake

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

President's Winter 2022 Update

I hope that you are enjoying our winter. Hopefully, these “classic” cold sunny days and nights may slow down the advance of several “invasive” species” within our lake ecosystem – fingers crossed!

2022 is, once again, a busy year for the Upper Rideau Lake Association. All Board members are volunteering in support of our lake, whether it’s about membership, tree programs, water quality, invasive species, marker buoys, solid financial administration, or leadership on our website and governance, or water quality.

2022 is also a pivotal time for lake issues and our two municipal governments.

Wesport septic re-inspection bylaw

First of all, our Board is pleased that Westport Council continues to move forward with its re-inspection of private septic systems in the Village. Ensuring properly functioning septic systems (both public and private) around the lake is critical to lake health. We submitted an appreciative letter to the Review Mirror .

Westport Official Plan

In addition, Westport is updating its “Official Plan”, a process which is a real opportunity to engage people, and to set out overarching land use policies for strengthening lake water quality, and lake health. Ontario requires that OP’s protect, improve or restore water quality, and address climate change and adaptation. An OP which supports “lake health” would also align with Westport’s emerging branding slogan “timeless lakeside village”. We have written an initial letter to Westport setting out URLA’s priorities for the OP.

2022 is also a pivotal time for lake issues and our two municipal governments.

Members may recall that last year, Rideau Lakes Township adopted an interim control By-Law, and commissioned a “land use study’ (the Fotenn report) to recommend specific policies for campground development. Upper Rideau Lake enjoys two active campgrounds. The Fotenn report to Township Council, expected in the spring, is clearly an important factor in the future of local campground development.

2022 is pivotal year for lake issues and our two municipal governments.

At the provincial level, several local lake associations wrote this winter to MPP Steve Clarke, to seek his support for accelerating the timeliness of “blue green algae” lab results. The reply, from Environment Minister David Paccini, is below.

URLA plans to host all candidates meeting in October

Finally, municipal elections are scheduled for this fall. Our Association hopes to once again chair an “all candidates” event for the North Crosby-Newboro Ward, and also to engage Westport candidates, to continue to underline the importance of lake health issues and to secure their commitments going forward.

All in all, a very busy agenda, reflective of the ongoing development and growth on the Upper Rideau and throughout the region.

As always, if you have questions for any Board members, please reach out.

Take care, and all of our best for 2022!

John McDowell

President, Upper Rideau Lake Association


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