Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

On Sunday, May 27, 2012, the Law Enforcement Fishing Classic had their annual Charity Pike Tournament. It was my great pleasure to host this year’s tournament for members of the Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, OPP, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Toronto EMS.  

The LEFC was founded in 1998 when four officers of the TPS- 31 Division “D” platoon got together and had a friendly wager on the water during a relaxing day of fishing. This tournament has grown beyond my expectations. This year there were 109 participants, 42 boats and some great Northern Pike were caught.  

Participants of the Amateur and Pro division fished the great waters of Cook Bay on Lake Simcoe.  This year we were privileged to have Chief Bill Blair (TPS) and Chief Eric Joliffe (YRP) participate in the first-ever LEFC Chief’s Challenge. The participants of the LEFC were humbled by both their attendance, congratulations to both Chief’s of Police for a successful day on the water.  

The great sponsors that helped make this day such a success included: Randy Dulude “Randy’s Appliances”, Molson Canada, Toronto Police Association, Toronto Police Amateur Athletic Association, York Regional Police Association, Boston Pizza, Steve Jojos “Ouzo Baits”, Jack Summers “Radio World”, Andy Pallotta- “Canadian Sport Fishing League”, Wil Wegman- “Lake Simcoe Living”, Kelly Dean - Edge Point Inc.,Vito Barone – Barone Transport, Jim Venilakis- Tracker, Ofah, “Sail” Vaughan, Normark Inc., G And G Electronics,  and Pizza Nova.  

This year, all proceeds of this event will be given to the OFAH Children’s Tackle Share Program and to the Melissa Styles Trust Fund and her children Meredith and Nolan, family of P.C. Garrett Styles #1405 of the York Regional Police Service. P.C. Styles made the ultimate sacrifice in July 2011 when he was killed in the line of duty.  It is with great sadness that I and the rest of his colleagues come to the realization that his young children will not be able to go fishing or enjoy the great outdoors with their father ever again.  It is our pleasure to show our support for Melissa and her children and make this significant donation.  

The Aurora Bassmasters hosted the weigh-in portion, and for the first time, all pike were weighed on stage on the club’s scales. This made for lots of entertainment for onlookers.

Congratulations to all the participants for another successful year.  The following are the results for this year’s tournament:

Chief Eric Joliffe        6.10 Lbs.  
Chief Bill Blair             5.44 Lbs.

1St Place- Tai Dang            10.70  Lbs.     
2Nd Place- David Macinnis        9.80    Lbs.    
3Rd Place- Gary Miller        9.78    Lbs.    

1St Place- Chris Kowaluk        8.68  Lbs    
2Nd Place- Chris Slywchuk        8.40  Lbs.    
3Rd Place- Dorian Tillack        7.88  Lbs.    

Don Mahar                1.84 Lbs.

Delyan Bachkov            7.82 Lbs.
V. Zvezdonkin                7.80 Lbs.  
Michael Street                 7.62 Lbs.
David Chong                7.46 Lbs.
Chris Plante                7.38 Lbs.
Colin Hunter                7.28 Lbs    

Looking forward to seeing you all next year for a bigger and better year!

Released By: Director Of The LEFC-C.Rabbito























In 2010 Wil fished the event with fellow Aurora Bassmaster Bob Kendall who won the event with this nice pike.

The Government of Canada is investing $17.5-million to protect Canada’s Great Lakes from the threat of Asian carp.

“The Great Lakes are important to the economic and cultural make-up of Canadians who live and work on these waters.  These lakes support both recreational and commercial fisheries and a way of life for our people,” said Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “Our efforts to date have prevented Asian carp from establishing in the Great Lakes system and we will continue to do what is necessary to keep them from taking over this valuable watershed.”

“Our Government of Canada is focused on protecting the health of our Great Lakes Basin, which includes Lake Simcoe,” said Peter Van Loan, M.P. York-Simcoe. “The interconnected watersheds demand that we work to eliminate threats to the ecosystem from invasive species. Delivering results for our Great Lakes Basin will help to support the health of fresh water lakes like ours — Lake Simcoe.”

New funding totalling $17.5 million will be allocated over the next five years to four key activities: Prevention, early warning, rapid response, and management and control.

As part of prevention activities, emphasis will be placed on initiatives to educate people about the danger of this invasive species and ways to prevent humans from bringing Asian carp into Canadian waters.

The Government of Canada will also work with American counterparts to develop an extensive early warning and monitoring system to alert officials of signs of any potential problems along with rapid response protocols for both countries to be able to react quickly should there be signs that they are spreading. To manage and control the threat of their entry into Canadian waters, the Government of Canada will also work with enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with regulations relating to the transport of Asian carp.

“The Great Lakes is the largest freshwater system in the world and represents one of Canada’s most valuable assets,” added Minister Ashfield. “We are committed to working with our American counterparts to continue to protect the Great Lake basin. Together these measures will go a long way toward our ultimate goal of stopping Asian carp from entering and becoming established in the Great Lakes.”

With Asian carp having established in the Mississippi River system in the U.S., officials on both sides of the border share concerns that they could enter the Great Lakes watershed. Asian carp aggressively compete with native fish for food and habitat, and can quickly become the dominant species. Canada continues to work closely with American counterparts to address concerns about this highly invasive species and to prevent the introduction of Asian carp into the Great Lakes system.

The last Edwardian passenger steamship in the world, the S.S. Keewatin, is returning home to Canada.

On Sat., June 23, 2012, the S.S. Keewatin returns to Port McNicoll, Ontario, bringing full circle a storied, 100-year route for the crown jewel in the Canadian Pacific Railway’s once-mighty Great Lakes Steamship fleet.

The S.S. Keewatin is the last remaining Edwardian passenger steamship in the world, five years older than the Titanic and as luxuriously appointed. Skyline International Development Inc. celebrates the ship’s historic return to the town of Port McNicoll not only as an homage to the region’s rich past, but as the first step in its revitalized and prosperous future.

Once docked, the S.S. Keewatin will operate as a maritime museum, managed by the S.S. Keewatin Foundation.

On June 23, the S.S. Keewatin will be arriving at the Port McNicoll Yacht Club, Talbot St & 1 Ave., Port McNicoll.

The celebrations begin at noon, with the Port McNicoll Village Choir, Children’s Community Choir, Georgian Bay Brass Band, Beausoleil First Nations Drum Group and Dancers. The S.S. Keewatin arrives at 2 p.m. for its official welcome.

The event is open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, go to

Dry spring weather and memories of last year’s busy wildfire season means "extra vigilance" needed for 2012 in cottage country

May 24, 2012, Toronto - Drier than normal weather plus vivid memories of Ontario's many large fires and evacuations in 2011, has a number of cottage and fire safety organizations working together to make fire prevention and preparedness a top priority for anyone who owns or rents a woodland property this season.

In its sixth successful year, the "Peace of Mind for Your Piece of Heaven" cottage fire and carbon monoxide (CO) safety awareness campaign is bigger than ever, highlighted in 2012 by a new contest on Facebook.

"We’re asking cottagers to be extra vigilant and take precautions to prevent cottage fires and carbon monoxide tragedies this season," says Ted Wieclawek, Chair of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council (FMPFSC).  "Being properly equipped with working smoke alarms and CO alarms can provide those precious seconds to escape in an emergency."

The FMPFSC, the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA), The Ministry of Natural Resources, Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services branch, Kidde Fire and CO Alarms, local fire departments and nearly 100 individual cottage and lake associations have collaborated on this year’s effort.

The new ‘Safe at the Cottage’ Contest will reward cottage owners in Ontario who best demonstrate the spirit of fire and carbon monoxide safety.  Cottagers are invited to share photos or stories about how they made their property ‘CO Safe’ or ‘FireSmart’ indoors or outdoors on the campaign Facebook page at  Prizes up for grabs include FireSmart Safety Toolkits from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Kidde Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Escape Ladders, Xplornet Internet 4G rural internet & 32 GB Tablet with Wi-Fi, and, subscriptions to Cottage Life magazine. Full details can be found on Facebook site.  Winners will be selected by a judging panel from participating partners.  The contest runs from Thursday, May 17 to August 31st, 2012.

"Each cottager who takes fire safety seriously helps the whole cottage community remain safe," says Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources.  "Following MNR’s FireSmart tips and using smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can help give you peace of mind so you can enjoy family time at the cottage."

"As the voice of cottager and lake associations throughout Ontario, FOCA is intent on helping drive greater awareness about the threat of wild fires, cottage fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.  More than 60 of our partner cottage property organizations are onboard to help spread the word," says Terry Rees, executive director of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations.

"Most people believe that fire, or carbon monoxide exposure, won’t happen to them but every year numerous families do indeed face life-threatening emergencies in cottage country," says Carol Heller, a safety specialist with Kidde Canada.  "So to stay safe, cottagers need to ensure they have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in compliance with provincial laws and municipal bylaws, and, replace any smoke alarms past their 10-year lifespan and CO alarms over seven years old."

Tips to Help Prevent Cottage Fires
Follow Ministry of Natural Resources FireSmart guidelines to create a zone of protection around your cottage:

  • Don’t stack wood along exterior walls! Store combustible materials like fuel and wood piles at least 10 metres away from the cottage.
  • Keep your roof and rain gutters free of debris and overhanging vegetation that could spread fire.
  • Use an approved spark arrestor on your chimney or stove pipe. Enclose all open spaces where fuel can accumulate i.e. under decks.
  • If renovating, consider replacing flammable roofing, siding, and foundation enclosures with fire resistant materials.
  • Always have fire suppression tools available i.e. shovel, rake or garden hose.
  • Consider chipping, composting or taking your brush to a disposal site instead of burning. Check with your municipality before you burn leaves and debris. Outside of municipalities, use a burn barrel that meets the guidelines in the Forest Fires Prevention Act.
  • Choose a safe day for a fire; do not burn debris or start a campfire when it’s windy or during a fire ban.
  • Never leave any fire unattended. Keep water handy to douse the flames, if needed, and to ensure your fire is completely out when you are finished.
  • Whether cooking indoors or outside, stay close by and don’t leave cooking unattended.
  • Extinguish cigarette butts by dousing them with water or crushing them thoroughly in bare mineral soil or on bare rock.

Tips to Help Survive a Cottage Fire

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside sleeping areas.  It’s the law.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms when you open your cottage for the season.
  • Smoke alarms do not last forever! Replace any smoke alarms over 10 years old. Setup a regular routine to maintain your alarms following manufacturer guidelines.
  • Create and regularly practice a fire escape plan with the whole family.
  • Ensure family, guests and renters know the exact cottage address as well as the fire emergency number in your area.

Tips to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Tragedies at the Cottage

  • If your cottage has any fuel-fired devices such as gas, propane or wood heating systems and appliances, or has an attached carport, garage or a boat house with living quarters above, you are vulnerable to carbon monoxide (CO).
  • Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer because you can’t see, smell or taste it. The only way to detect it is to have at least one CSA-approved CO alarm installed.  Continuous Display alarms, that show a "zero" when CO is not present, are a top consumer choice.
  • Check local bylaws - many cottage country municipalities now make mandatory CO alarms for homes and cottages.
  • Replace any CO alarms over 7 years old – CO alarms do not last forever!
  • Know the warning signs – CO poisoning causes flu-like symptoms without the fever�such as fatigue, headaches and nausea.

For more tips on how to make your cottage and woodlands more Fire and CO smart visit

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