Working Hard to Safeguard Paddling Assets for All Canadians

All about Whitewater

All about Whitewater
A Blog about River Preservation and the need to protect our free flowing whitewater resources

Friday, June 5, 2015

COUNTRY REPORT: CANADA Canadian Environmental Asessment Reform: A Glimpse at Regressive Reforms in Canadian Environmental Law Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny*


COUNTRY REPORT: CANADA
 Canadian Environmental Asessment Reform:
A Glimpse at Regressive Reforms in Canadian Environmental Law
Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny*


I derive two main conclusions from this reform relevant for jurists, whether advocates or
academics. The first is that due to the limited scope of CEAA 2012, both in terms of covered
projects and of considered environmental effects, we will have to increasingly pay attention
to provincial environmental assessments. The benefit of a federal state is that federal lacuna
can be partially mitigated through provincial action. Moreover, some provincial governments
might be more willing to lead on environmental matters than the current federal government.
The recent decisions of the Superior Court of Québec concerning the protection of beluga
whales and works conducted for the Energy East pipeline show how provincial regulations
can potentially act as a safeguard for federal inaction.41
The second conclusion is broader. It is easy to think that established environmental
legislation are secured (in French “les aquis”) and to focus our mind on what the next step
forward can be. However, those aquis are, as demonstrated by this report, much more
fragile than one might have thought. We must, as members of the public and as jurists, be
mindful of how quickly decades of progress can be set aside. For the road ahead, it is
worthwhile to start thinking about the best way to protect the environmental aquis from the
changing whims of governments, such as constitutional protection or special parliamentary
procedures, and ensure that environmental reforms, even in times of economic downturn,
does not equate with regression..159 5 IUCNAEL EJournal
One Step Forward, Ten Steps Backward: CEAA 2012
While CEAA 1995 was not perfect, the regime had the advantage of covering a large
number of projects. For example, during the fiscal year of 2004-2005, the federal
government conducted over 6000 screenings and 11 comprehensive studies.23 The first key
change brought by the 2012 reform is the drastic reduction in the number of projects subject
to an environmental assessment. This was firstly done through modification of other
statutes, mainly the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act (now known as
the Navigation Protection Act), which would have triggered federal environmental
assessments through various approval processes under the old regime.24 Secondly, CEAA
2012 changes completely the scope of environmental assessment by moving away from a
regime applicable to all federal decisions to one where only projects designated by the
government are subject to an assessment. 25 Even when a project is designated, the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has considerable discretion to determine if an
assessment is warranted.26 Environmental assessments used to be the norm, now it seems
they are the exception.27
The second change brought by the enactment of CEAA 2012 is the limitation of
environmental effects to be considered by the responsible authority. While under CEAA
1995 all environmental effects had to be considered, now only effects within the legislative
authority of Parliament are taken into account.28 This is a considerable change to the regime
which limits substantially the effectiveness of federal environmental assessment. 29





 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sarah Outen Film Festival: Her around the world tour on her own steam defines human achievement

News item from CBS






Are you safe, healthy and happy? Its a simple formula, or is it?

 


21600 miles



Kayaking the aleutian island chain to Alaska


In Russia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JLY0AK3m6E&feature=youtu.be&t=790
 

In Kazakstan





Big Country: Kazakhstan


In Japan

 

and here rowing across the Indian Ocean:

How to travel light by bike



 In China

 

In Mauritius (about the boat, and the ocean)

 

 Recovered from Pacific on her first attempt

 

kayaking to Japan from Russia






cycling in Alaska

 


Rolling the rowboat: and good luck wishes


Sarah in her own words

Did you meet any new friends on the way?



When the going gets tough




Global News in Winnipeg Make sure to check out Sarah Outen's team website WTTW news in Chicago feature

Friday, February 6, 2015

Canadian Dam Association - a Catch 22

Mt. Polley Panel Recommendations from U Vic environmental Law school http://www.elc.uvic.ca/documents/Mount%20Polley%20Engineering%20Panel%20Submission_2014Dec7.pdf The Canadian Dam Association rules and regulations are badly in need of review.. Dam Safety Review for a Project Schedule C submitted CDA only requires a dam safety certificate BEFORE FILLING OF THE RESERVOIR. WTF? Billions would already spent to build the dam (s) and then there is a dam safety certificate is issued, before the water is backed up behind the dam. It would be preferable to do a preliminary study and a "temporary" dam safety certificate issued before the billions are spent, by just reviewing the Proponents complete construction documents. The Dam Safety Guidelines of the Canadian Dam Safety Association Once billions are spent to build the infrastructure, Proponents have every reason to declare that they must spend whatever it takes to ... fill in the blanks here for YOUR project.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Federal court decision surprisingly calls a spade a spade

"The omnibus bills, C-38 and C-45, made a series of amendments to the Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act among many others.
Under the old Navigable Waters Protection Act, any project affecting a waterway large enough to carry a canoe was subject to federal review. Under the new Navigation Protection Act, only the Athabasca and Peace rivers are protected in Mikisew Cree territory. Changes to the Fisheries Act mean the act now only protects fish, not fish habitat."

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/touch/story.html?id=10670742
  • There is a substantial rift within the ranks of the environmentalists at this point: the main issues:
     1. SLAAP suits againt environmentalist groups
  • 2. Canada Revenue Agency Audits of Non Profitable Group Status expenditures on policy based actions
  •   3. The government labeling environmental groups as Radical Environmentalists, or Extremist Environmental Groups
  • 4. The blatant disregard for fact based research/policy in formulating Harper Government policy
  • 5.The need to be perceived as cooperative while getting hosed.
    6. It has never been harder to be an environmentalist - these are dark days indeed.

Canadian Rivers

Canadian Rivers
I speak for river users too!

The Queen is not amused!

The Queen is not amused!
http://www.ispeakforcanadianrivers.ca/

The Damned Dam - 2005 -

The Damned Dam - 2005 -
22nd Annual Kipaw Rally has modest turnout. - 23rd does better

The Ashlu river: it could happen to you

The Ashlu river: it could happen to you

Whitewater Ontario

Whitewater Ontario
Working Hard to Protect Canada's Paddling Resources

Whitewater Ontario - Mission Statement

It is Whitewater Ontario’s mission to support the whitewater paddling community through the promotion, development and growth of the sport in its various disciplines. We accomplish this through the development of events, resources, clubs, and programs for personal and athletic development, regardless of skill level or focus, to ensure a high standard of safety and competency; We advocate safe and environmentally responsible access and use of Ontario’s rivers. Whitewater Ontario is the sport governing body in the province, and represents provincial interests within the national body Whitewater Canada and the Canadian Canoe Association http://www.whitewaterontario.ca/page/mission.asp

Kipawa, Tabaret, and Opemican

Kipawa, Tabaret, and Opemican
If Hydro Quebec is not actively pursuing Tabaret what is that bite out of Opemican for?

Kipawa Dam: After

Kipawa Dam: After
Laniel Dam at 2006 Rally

Where is the Kipawa

Where is the Kipawa
Kipawa flows into lake Temiskamingue, running from Kipawa Lake, under hwy 101 in Quebec

Kipawa Dam

Kipawa Dam
laniel dam at 2004 River Rally

Tabaret is a Bad Idea

About the Kipawa



The best thing paddlers can do to help the cause of the Kipawa:

1. attend the rally and bring others including non paddlers to attend and buy beer and have fun

2. write your MP /MNA and raise the issue and post your objections -1 letter = 200 who didn't write

3. Write Thierry Vandal the CEO of Hydro Quebec strongly opposing the 132 MW standard decrying the use of "diversion" as the most environmentally inappropriate method of power production

4. Write Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec protesting that either the algonquin or the tabaret project will eliminate all other values on the Kipawa River by turning it into a dry gulch.

5. See if you can get other allied groups interested by showing your own interest, ie the Sierra Defense Fund, Earthwild, MEC, and so on.

6. Demand further consultation

7. Currently we are at the point where we need to sway public opinion and raise awareness.

However, if all else fails, don't get mad, simply disrupt, foment, and protest . The Monkey Wrench Gang.

Have you read Edward Abbey?

Important Addresses
CEO,Hydro Québec, 75 boul René Levesque, Montreal, P.Q., H2Z 1A4Caille.andre@hydro.qc.ca



Tabaret is a Bad Idea (Part Two)

Les Amis de la Riviere Kipawa is poised to use an application to the Federal Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus to ensure the Minster does what he is supposed to do, protect the public's right to navigate the water control structure at Laniel, Quebec using the Navigable Waters Protection Act. (see http://www.kipawariver.ca/)

In the now gutted Navigable Waters Protection Act lay the means by which the Minister of Transport could keep the public right of passage down our great Canadian Heritage, our rivers and streams which are threatened especially by resource corporations and power brokers such as Hydro Quebec.

These powerful entities continue to petition that 'this' river or 'that' stream is not navigable and therefore not protectable.
I don't say that dams and bridges should not be built, only that if they are, historical navigation rights should be considered and preserved by making reasonable accommodations for recreational boaters.

It is the Minister of Transport, in exercising the right to allow or disallow work on or over a navigable waterway is what keeps boats and recreational boaters plying our waterways.

To many recent cases launched in the Federal Court concerning the Navigable Waters Protection Act, most recently the case of the Humber Environment Group of Cornerbrook Newfoundland versus the Cornerbrook Pulp and Paper Company indicates that the important oversight is not being faithfully performed. Have we really come to the point now where we must say "such and such a stream is one foot deep, possessing so many cubic feet per second flow and so on?" The answer to this is... YES!

The honourable Mr. Justice John A. O'Keefe, ruled that it had not been shown that the river was navigable. How convenient was that to the Minister? But either the Minister of Transport acts to protect our rivers and streams as a public right or he does not and that means rivers and streams currently enjoyed by kayakers and canoists.

Enough of the cheating, and double-talk. Canadians! our rivers and streams are our own, lets urge the Minister of Transport and the our government to protect them.

Peter Karwacki

Tabaret is a Bad Idea (Part Three)

10 Reasons WhyTabaret is a Bad Idea1) Tabaret is too big. The station is designed to useevery drop of water available in the Kipawawatershed, but will run at only 44 percent capacity.We believe the Tabaret station is designed to usewater diverted from the Dumoine River into theKipawa watershed in the future. 2) The Tabaret project will eliminate the aquaticecosystem of the Kipawa River.The Tabaret project plan involves the diversion of a16-km section of the Kipawa River from its naturalstreambed into a new man-made outflow from LakeKipawa. 3) Tabaret will leave a large industrial footprint on thelandscape that will impact existing tourismoperations and eliminate future tourism potential. 4) The Tabaret project is an aggressive single-purposedevelopment, designed to maximize powergeneration at the expense of all other uses. 5) River-diversion, such as the Tabaret project, takinglarge amounts of water out of a river’s naturalstreambed and moving it to another place, is verydestructive to the natural environment. 6) The Kipawa River has been designated a protectedgreenspace in the region with severe limitations ondevelopment. This designation recognizes theecological, historical and natural heritage value ofthe river and the importance of protecting it.Tabaret will eliminate that value. 7) If necessary, there are other, smarter and morereasonable options for producing hydro power onthe Kipawa watershed. It is possible to build a lowimpactgenerating station on the Kipawa river, andmanage it as a “run-of-the-river” station, makinguse of natural flows while maintaining other values,with minimal impact on the environment. 8) The Kipawa watershed is a rich natural resource forthe Temiscaming Region, resonably close to largeurban areas, with huge untapped potential fortourism and recreation development in the future.Tabaret will severely reduce this potential. 9) Tabaret provides zero long-term economic benefitfor the region through employment. The plan is forthe station to be completely automated andremotely operated. 10) The Kipawa River is 12,000 years old. The riverwas here thousands of years before any peoplecame to the region. The Tabaret project will change all that.

Problems on a local River?

  • There is more to do as well but you have to do your research and above all, don't give up.
  • IN the meantime prepared a document itemizing the history of navigation of this spot and its recreational value. Use the Kipawa river history of navigation as a guide: see www.kipawariver.ca
  • Under the Ministry of Environment guidelines you have a set period of time to petition the change under the environmental bill of rights, you may have limited time to take this action. But it involves going to court for a judicial review of the decision.
  • 4. contact the ministry of natural resources officials and do the same thing.
  • 3. contact the ministry of the environment and determine if they approved the project
  • 2. determine if the dam was a legal dam, approved under the navigable waters protection act.
  • 1. research the decision and timing of it to determine if an environmental assessment was done.

Minden Ontario

Minden Ontario
Gull River Water control at Horseshoe lake

A History of Navigation on the Kipawa River

Prior to the environmental assessment there was no signage at the Laniel Dam

T-Shirts Area: These are available now!

T-Shirts Area: These are available now!
Send $25 and a stamped self addressed envelop for the Tshirt, and for the bumper sticker, a stamped and self addressed envelope with $5.00 for the bumper sticker to Les Amis de la rivière Kipawa, 80 Ontario St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1K 1K9 or click the link To purchase a Les Amis "T" contact Doug with the following information: Number of shirts:Sizes: Ship to Address: Method of Payment: cash, cheque and paypal, Shipto address:

Bumper Stickers Now Available

Bumper Stickers Now Available
Get your bumper sticker and show your support for the Kipawa Legal Fund ! - send $5.00 in a Stamped, self addressed envelope to: Peter Karwacki Box 39111, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1H 7X0