Dec. 22, 2019 – President’s Message

The present FPRW has served the residents of Porcupine, South Porcupine and the City of Timmins for the past two years, however was first established in 2014. Our commitment to caring for the environment of the Porcupine River Watershed is why we are involved. Serving the community needs of people from Porcupine and South Porcupine by working to have our Porcupine Lake survive.

We will also guide our future community with factual information as we recover from the devastating issues of an environmentally wrong past. It is a great privilege to serve as President of FPRW and to begin a second term. I have been able to meet with many community members and groups and share our mission “to improve water quality and have safe recreational use of the Porcupine River Watershed all done through public education and practices.” What I have learned confirms my view of smaller communities across this country.

FPRW is a positive force, backed by impressive people committed to providing researched information.

A year of challenges and progress

Before looking to the future, it is important to acknowledge that 2019 was a challenging year. Our financial report provides an important message for access to stronger finances, through the use of government funded program applications as they become available. As a completely volunteer group time is not always on our side to apply. For several crucial weeks during the summer season, due to hot weather, water disruptions meant our lake was not accessible to the public for recreational use. Making the public aware of their surroundings and providing them with updated information was important for us to earn their trust. The FPRW are committed to earning back the trust of the community over the Porcupine River Watershed issues. In 2019 we also took some very important steps forward for the FPRW, by joining the City of Timmins, Ministries and CELA to form the Porcupine Watershed Public Liaison Committee. Therefore dealing monthly with rulings and changes which provided significant information to benefit our watershed. We also brought a sharper focus to the safety of our watershed through programs like “Yellow Fish” and “Water Rangers”. Health Water Signage at all of our beach areas on Porcupine Lake, gave the public a greater sense of confidence in what our group and mandates include.

Confidence in our future

With the continued assistance of CELA ( Canadian Environmental Law Association) and our community partner commitments, the challenges we face as FPRW will be addressed. Our future successes, however, will depend on our consistency to be knowledgeable and open to discussions with government and environmental groups. We have every intention of remaining a focused leader and seeing our watershed succeed, while providing more exciting researched options for other Canadian areas to follow. We will lead others to use our model for accomplishments. Our trusted membership will continue to set us apart from other groups. Our board serves as ambassadors in our city and neighbourhoods everyday. Our commitment is to you, and we need to ensure we support our membership by working collaboratively and address the issues. All the issues. We are where we are by evolving and learning and we are proud to serve as volunteers for FPRW. Our membership is backed by a trusted and dedicated volunteer force and has a strong presence in our community. I believe we can secure a strong and vibrant future for our Porcupine River Waterway. In closing I would like to thank all our board members for leading this organization over the past year with strength, passion and dignity. I would also like to thank all of our membership for their hard work and dedication. I am truly honoured to lead this organization and I am eager to listen and work with you to keep making FPRW stronger and well positioned to serve future generations of the Porcupines. I look forward to our 2028 Blue Flag raising event at the Porcupine Lake Beach.