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

Monday, December 10, 2007

Whitewater Ontario has Proposed a New Mission Statement

Whitewater Ontario is a volunteer-driven organization uniting, supporting, and sustaining the inclusive development of the whitewater paddling community and resources.

This has been developed at a retreat for members at Minden on December 1st. It has been adopted by the Board of Directors and must now be ratified at a meeting of the membership at an annual meeting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Whitewater Ontario Strategic Planning at Minden December 1st

Whitewater Ontario Strategic Planning Session

Members of Whitewater Ontario are invited to participate in our upcoming 2007 Strategic Planning Session to be held on December 1 at the Minden Whitewater Preserve on the Gull River. The purpose of the planning session is to review and revise our organization’s mission, vision, and goals for the coming year and thereafter. Your voice is needed to ensure we have a range of views, ideas, and suggestions to help improve our organizational focus and planning.

Members may participate in two ways. Firstly, the planning session begins Saturday, December 1 at 10:00a.m. sharp and concludes no later than 3p.m. The session will be facilitated by Jim Tayler, Whitewater Ontario VP Communications.

Secondly, members who are unable to attend can send their comments directly to Jim at Comments collected from members will be included as discussion points during the session. We need your input on the following three questions:

1. What do you see as the main purpose of Whitewater Ontario?

2. What do you see as our major strengths?

3. Which aspects of Whitewater Ontario require the most attention to improve the organization?

Please make your comments brief and specific. Feel free to add additional comments that will help us during this planning session. Comments sent via email need to be received by 6:00p.m.on Friday, November 30th.

If you are able to participate at the Gull session on December 1, please confirm your attendance with Gary George ( - we need to know how many donuts to order.

Information about the results of the Strategic Planning Session will be available on the Whitewater Ontario website within a few weeks -

We are looking forward to your support and involvement in this process.

Jim Tayler
VP Communications
Whitewater Ontario

Some Background information

Over the past 25 years the focus of provincial funding has changed many times. At one time, monies were received for many categories of participation - competitive activities (camps, racing competitions, athlete support, event hosting, games support, training centres, provincial team programs and training), instructor/coaching certification programs, adminstrative services (limited funding) and even for some programs in Minden (training centre). The focus of provincial funding has always been on the competitive sector and that membership base.

Grass roots activities (recreational) were intended to be the avenue to attract competitve participants and to ensure that safety and risk management factors are looked after. Provincial organizations are able to use recreational instruction programs and camping and rentals in Minden in our case, as a means to attain financial self-sufficiency (also a requirement). Administrative and organizational support comes largely from these self-generated funds. An organization cannot run solely on grant funding (again by Ministry requirement). You must be able to prove financial viability in order to receive grant funding on the provincial level. Insurance for sanctioned organizational events and participants is mandatory in order to qualify for grant funds, and must be paid for using self-generated revenues (memberships, fundraising, sales etc). Volunteer and officials support for training and event participation was also available and still is I believe.

Funding was granted in some cases for marketing and activities that would encourage an increased membership base (membership recruitment programs). Environmental concerns and waterway preservation has always been a key issue for Whitewater Ontario and that focus touches all paddlers alike, both competitive and recreational, members and non members. I have not seen the current (2007-08 funding guidelines) and so am unaware of the details of "base funding" therein as it stands today. My perspective and opinions come from the 25 years in which I have been involved with paddling both on the volunteer and adminstrative ends of the spectrum. Special interest groups have always been alive and well within the paddling disciplines and should learn to work together in order to achieve what is best for the paddling community both recreationally and competitively. The financial picture and requirements are not as simple as they might initially appear to be.

There are two separate issues.

1. Who does WO represent?

The Ministry of Health's Health Promotion Branch provides $ with some strings attached - generally to support competive programming (currently slalom, cvould expand to freestyle) - we have directed it more to general admin to support variety of activities - including river preservation, instructional programs and Minden. This pie is so small, and getting smaller. There is an umbrella organization, canoe ontario which has three affiliates: White Ontario, sprint racing, Marathon racing. They all share a ministry of Health, Health promotions branch grant. IN the past WO got $20,000, but its being reduced this year to 16500 based on our membership.

The bulk of the money is to support slalom racing. We also get camping fees at Minden (which we own some and rent some land from Orillia Light and power), we also get club memberships, commerical memberships.
Its a lean budget. In the past WO has applied for a federal student employment grant which has given us extra help at Minden. We have difficulty getting people to pay the memberships because there is a mandatory insurance charge per member in order to have insurance for our racers, demonstrations and clinics.

2. Where do we get our funding (and how is it directed)

It is a top down process - Ministry of Health directed. The Ministry contact is Scott Cooper.

If we define our membership more broadly and provide specific tangible member services we can grow and be strong - and generate our own revenues independent of shrinking ministry grant. This in my mind is the real challane, and one we need to address Saturday. If we don't we're history.

Whitewater Ontario represents a recognized entity within the paddling community. What we are and what we could be is to be determined at least partially on Saturday at the strategic planning session described above. Programming is a constantly changing entity and we must learn to adapt and adopt accordingly.

For more information:

Whitewater Ontario office
905 985-5256 (fax)
411 Carnegie Beach Road
Port Perry, ON L9L 1B6

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Typical Whitewater Park Deliberations

This summary come from Saskatoon where there are considering a whitewater Park by altering an existing weir on the Saskatchewan river

TO: Secretary, Planning and Operations Committee
FROM: General Manager, Community Services Department
DATE: October 22, 2007
SUBJECT: Whitewater Park Proposal Community Engagement Feedback
FILE NO: CK. 4129-1, LS. 5520-1

RECOMMENDATION: that the request for the Functional Design Study on the Whitewater Park Proposal be referred to the 2008 Capital Budget Committee.


During its March 12, 2007 meeting, City Council received a report from the General Manager, Community Services Department regarding a Whitewater Park recreational facility. Representatives from the Whitewater Park Committee advised City Council that their organization had done a significant amount of public consultation and requested that a stakeholder group be established to prepare a preliminary design for consideration during the 2008 Capital Budget. City Council resolved:

“1) that the Administration prepare a capital budget submission to proceed with the public consultation as described in this report to determine the level of interest for a whitewater recreation facility in Saskatoon and to identify issues and concerns from neighbours and other stakeholders related to the operation of such a facility at the proposed location (i.e. the weir);

2) that should the above capital budget project be approved by City Council, the information gathered from the above consultations and the technical expertise within our Corporate staff be used to develop a list of design and operational criteria for inclusion in the terms of reference for any preliminary or detailed design plans that may be approved by City Council in the future; and

3) that the Administration and Whitewater Park Committee work together in setting budget and timing of the preliminary design.”

During its July 16, 2007 meeting, City Council considered a report from the General Manager, Community Services Department outlining a Community Engagement Strategy for the proposed Whitewater Park at the weir. City Council approved that the Administration proceed with the Community Engagement Strategy outlined in the report to determine the level of interest for a whitewater recreation facility in Saskatoon and to identify issues and concerns from stakeholders.

The purpose of this report is to bring forward the results of the public consultation process, and to identify the components that would be included in terms of reference for a preliminary design study that would address the issues raised through the public consultation process.


As was reported to City Council in July, the Whitewater Park Committee had already done a significant amount of public consultation on this project during late 2005 to May 2007. To supplement the community consultations conducted by the Whitewater Park Committee, the Administration implemented the Community Engagement Strategy approved by City Council.

Summary Feedback

During the community engagement process, your Administration received verbal comments and questions raised at the internal stakeholder meeting and at the special meeting for the neighbouring community associations. In addition to this, there were comment forms and emails submitted. In total there were approximately 375 comments, questions, and concerns received. There were a significant number of the comments collected from supporters of the Whitewater Park Committee, and the Committee took an active role in promoting the public engagement opportunities and encouraged their supporters to forward comments in support of the Whitewater Park.

The summary can be categorized as follows:

• 65 percent were Saskatoon residents and strongly in favour of the project,
• 15 percent were non-city residents in favour of the project. Comprised primarily of rowing and kayaking clubs and individuals from across Canada interested in having the facility available to use for training or recreational purposes.
• 15 percent were Saskatoon residents strongly opposed to the project; and
• 5 percent had mixed reviews. They were not absolutely opposed to the project but wanted to ensure a number of issues were addressed if the project was to proceed.

The following is a summary of the public input opportunities and a general summary of the feedback gathered:

1. Internal Stakeholder meeting – A meeting was held with staff from various Civic departments, who may be directly or indirectly affected by this project. Fifteen staff attended representing 12 Branches within the Corporation, and the discussion centred on general comments and requirements surrounding the design and development of the Whitewater Park.

2. Meeting with neighbouring Community Associations – This meeting was hosted on September 13, 2007, with 11 people were in attendance representing City Park, North Park, Richmond Heights, River Heights, and Caswell Hill. There was interest in the project as it would open the river for use and it would provide a good facility for the rowing and canoeing clubs. However, the concerns were as follows:

- noise;
- lack of parking and access to the facility;
- traffic to the area;
- changes to the promenade recently dedicated by Prince Charles; and
- safety of the weir.

There was general consensus that the water park should be developed at a different location along the river, such as the east side of the river adjacent to the University of Saskatchewan.

3. Open House Meetings and E-mails - There were two open house meetings hosted, one hosted on site at the weir on Saturday, September 22, 2007 (approximately 300 people attended) and one hosted at SIAST, Kelsey Campus on September 27, 2007 (approximately 125 people attended). The Whitewater Park Committee distributed notices of the open house meetings encouraging people to attend. Presentations on the Whitewater Park were made at both meetings by representatives of the Whitewater Park Committee. The following is a summary of the comments:

a) In support of Whitewater Park:

• Opportunity to get better use of the river.
• Tourism and economic benefits.
• Will make the weir safer and more environmentally friendly.
• Will increase the interest in the sport or kayaking and paddling.
• Provides a facility to encourage people to get more physically active.

b) Opposed to the Whitewater Park:

• Will take away the quiet and the undeveloped east side of the river for walking.
• Not a priority for the capital construction in comparison to other demands, e.g. fixing the streets, improving snow removal, constructing the south bridge, and addressing the affordable housing crisis.
• Doesn’t serve a large portion of the population.
• Negative impact to the wildlife, specifically the migratory birds that use the island as a bird sanctuary, in particular pelicans and geese.
• Pelicans are currently a tourist attraction and that would be lost.
• The river water is dirty and the debris floats downstream.
• Parking and increased traffic along Spadina Crescent.
• Negative impact on the real estate value of homes near the weir.
• Increased noise and the potential to attract youths at all hours of the night.
• The weir has not reached its life expectancy; therefore, should not be decommissioned.
• Safety issues associated with using the river as a Whitewater Park.

4. Methods of Creating awareness of the Community Engagement Plan
During the consultation processes, there were concerns raised about the lack of advertising and notification of the public forums and the presentations being skewed towards supporting the development of the Whitewater Park. The process was designed to provide a variety of public engagement opportunities, and the tools used (open house meetings, website, email, fax, and mail) are consistent with other public engagement processes administered by the Community Services Department. The specific tools and meeting notices included:

• Notice of the public meetings was delivered door to door in the four adjacent neighbourhoods.
• Notice of the public meetings was published in The StarPhoenix on September 8 and 15, 2007.
• Posters with notice of the meetings and information on the Whitewater Park were put on display in all Civic centres.
• News Releases were sent out with information about the public meetings and posted on the front page of the City of Saskatoon website.
• Notice of the public meetings was sent out to all 675 e-mail contact addresses currently on file with the Whitewater Park Committee.
• Storyboards were developed for presentation during the open house meetings.
• Comment Sheets were available at all public meetings to gather feedback on the level of interest and commitment of usage of the water park.
• Web page was developed with specific information on the Whitewater Park Proposal and information on how to provide comments on the proposal.
• Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ) sheet was prepared and available on the web page and at all public meetings.

In addition to the planned promotion of the public meetings, there was also an article by Les MacPherson in The StarPhoenix early in September with comments about the Water Park and notice of the planned public meetings. Also, another StarPhoenix article was written by Jill Smith on September 24, 2007, reminding residents of the upcoming September 27, 2007 public meeting.

Terms of Reference for Function Design Study
The public consultation process identified a number of issues and concerns that need to be addressed through the design process. The following is a list of design and operational criteria for inclusion in the terms of reference for preliminary design:

• Safety.
• Minimize impact to residents adjacent to the park.
• Parking.
• Noise attenuation.
• Provision of support amenities (e.g. washroom facilities, garbage receptacles, public phones).
• Provisions of trails and launch areas to provide easy access to the Whitewater Park and a place to launch and store equipment.
• Minimizing the damage caused to the river bank during the construction of the facility.
• Water quality – will need to be addressed during periods of high water levels and increased water flows when debris in the river significantly increases.
• Design consideration for the whitewater pathways and avoiding collision with the support pillars of the Canadian National Railway Bridge.
• For events held at the facility, need a provision for viewing areas that do not cause any damage to the natural areas of the river banks.
• A hydrological study to assess impacts on river currents, the river banks and potential for erosion of the bank.
• Environmental impact study.
• The design needs to address the fish habitat and habitat compensation issues.
• Power generation – should consider if it is possible to create within the new park.


The only option is to deny the recommendation to refer the request for a Function Design Study to the 2008 Capital Budget Committee.


There are no policy implications.


The estimated cost of a design consultant is approximately $150,000. The Administration will report back to City Council with the design options and order of magnitude capital and operating costs.


Public Notice pursuant to Section 3 of Policy No. C01-021, Public Notice Policy, is not required.

Written by: Lynne Lacroix, Branch Manager, Community Development and
Catherine Gryba, Branch Manager, Leisure Services

Approved by: “Paul Gauthier”
Paul Gauthier, General Manager
Community Services Department
Dated: “November 1, 2007”

Approved by: “Phil Richards”
Phil Richards, City Manager
Dated: “November 1, 2007”

C: His Worship the Mayor WhitewaterPark Results of CommunityConsultation/cm

Monday, November 19, 2007

Marmora Area Kayak and Canoe Festival

Some have started to plan a Festival for early April 2008.
They have support from the community of Marmora and are just getting the initial stages of the festival up and going.

The festival will be non-profit with any proceeds going to a local charity. We have chosen Easter Seals as the charity.
Some of the money (if any) made go back towards the paddling community.
A % of the proceeds may be going to Whitewater Ontario.

While this is NOT a Whitewater Ontario sponsored event the proceeds are going to WO. WO identifies this as a kayaking event in Ontario

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact Cale Reeder at or 705-639-2303.


Madawaska: courtesy of MKC, in Quebec provides links to gauges that are operated by the Quebec Hydologic service as well as the Environment Canada ones.

The Quebec gauges provide graphs that are very clear and useful to paddlers. The links to the EC gauges require the minor inconvenience of a few extra clicks to get to the station you wish to view.

Scroll down to the Outaouais section on the table you'll see the links for the Ottawa R. drainage and could compare the Petite Nation R. gauge (station 40406) from Quebec to the ones provided for the Rocher Fondu section (station 2KF005 - which provides date for Britannia, Mattawa and Temiskaming gauges) or the Kipawa R. at Laniel (station 2JE015) provided by EC.


To get to the gauge data one has to select the gauge desired by searching by province or basin and 'accept' the disclaimer. It is also possible to create a portfolio list of stations you wish to monitor through this site but you still need to 'accept' the disclaimer before proceeding to the actual station data.

General hydrographic site: [Link]

Edited portfolio for my 'home' river:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Heart's Desire Weir on Jock River: Paddler Feedback Needed

Spring view with weir installed

Spring view

For all paddlers who have an interest in our issue at the Hearts Desire Weir.

There was a public meeting on November 5th. I did not attend but I have paddled the Jock.

Frankly, use of the Hearts Desire site by kayakers and canoeists has not been high on the list of issues that PROJECT MANAGERS are trying to come to grips with at this site. Having said that…

They are well aware that this reach of the Jock River is well-used by whitewater enthusiasts in the post-freshet period of late March to early May, when the weir is not in place. They wonder if the H-beam stubs projecting out of the concrete sill of the structure (see picture below) are perceived by kayakers and canoeists as hazardous. (Any comment?)

So the Weir is taken out and then put back in May 2007 – before the weir is installed

They are also aware that infrequently when summer flows are high enough the structure could be attractive to whitewater enthusiasts. An experienced canoeist drowned at the site in 1986 under high flow conditions similar to those shown below (September 10, 2004 – after the remnants of Hurricane Frances – 135 mm of rain ending an extended period of dry weather); the ensuing Coroner’s Jury recommended the weir be decommissioned unless it is serving a significant purpose - otherwise signage and safety measures should be installed (the former City of Nepean and Hearts Desire community indicated at the time that they wanted the operation of the weir to continue, the RVCA complied with their wishes, improved the warning signs and now anchors an orange and white buoy line upstream in the summer).

RVCA (Rideau Valley conservation authority)

They project managers are attempting to formulate a course of action that will eventually lead the RVCA’s Board of Directors to a policy decision about this structure –continue operating it as it has been operated for the past 32 years, retire and decommission it, or modify it in some way – THey are trying to balance a number of considerations including:

upstream erosion rates and bank instability (with the weir vs. without the weir)
upstream flood risks (with the weir vs. without the weir)
aquatic ecosystem condition (with the weir vs. without the weir)
amenity/aesthetic value of the river to the local communities (with the weir vs. without the weir)
economics – there are no funds at our disposal with which to undertake extensive investigations or modifications of the structure; meanwhile, retiring the structure would reduce operating costs by about $6,000/year and eliminate some occupational health and safety risks
compliance with applicable legislation

From my input, I have emphasized that they should also include this consideration:

[b]recreational (whitewater) potential of the river (with the weir vs. without the weir)

I wonder if it’s possible, from a whitewater enthusiast’s point of view, to identify the preferred state of the river at this site - would it be preferable to let it run naturally all year long, or should we continue to install the weir for the May to October period, or would it be desirable to modify the structure in some way?

Any input you could offer to these questions would be very much appreciated.

For more information:

Bruce A. Reid, P.Eng., Director
Watershed Science and Engineering Services
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
1128 Mill Street
Manotick, Ontario
K4M 1A5
Phone: (613) 692-3571 ext. 1103
Fax: (613) 692-0831


We only get one good shot at something like this. I need your comments and feedback

President Pete
Whitewater Ontario


On the Stewardship page of American Whitewater one may see that every state in the U.S. has a recreational use law that basically says landowners owe no duty of care to whitewater paddlers. Basically it places the responsibility on the paddler for his or her own choices. So landowners have no worries about being sued.

In the Kipawa Judicial Review we asked the Crown whether they would allow use in the future if there was no concern about liability and the lawyer would not let the witness answer. But it certainly would make landowners care a whole lot less about what paddlers do around structures if they didn't have to worry about being sued. On the Bottom Moose river in Old Forge New York Fortis energy do not try to prevent kayakers and canoeists from going over their dam. That is an 18 foot vertical drop into a pool, with a Class IV run out. It is significantly harder than the Kipawa or anything else proposed for the Jock river.

We don't see any similar legislation in Ontario exempting landowners from this duty of care. I think a good place to start is a joint letter from organizations such as Whitewater Ontario, local paddling clubs and an organization like the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to try and get this issue elevated.


THis is an important issue for Whitewater Ontario.

The design of a weir, a water control structure must not adversely impact recreational whitewataer paddling.

I attached a paper I wrote on this topic.

I also believe that Cour des Bois and Ottawa River Runners may have their own view of this matter.

Les amis de la riviere Kipawa has just gone to Federal Court over issue exactly of this nature. see or


Peter Karwacki, V.P., Les Amis De La Riviere Kipawa
Address: BOX 39111, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 7X0
Work: 613-738-1338 x3229 Email:


From: Charles Billington []
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2007 11:31 AM

Good morning- Pasted below is a story that may interest your readers/listeners. Thank you for your consideration.

Charles Billington

Director, Community Relations

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

(613) 692-3571 ext 1116

1-800-267-3504 ext 1116

Media Release October 25, 2007

Public Meeting to Discuss the Future Operation of
the Hearts Desire Weir

Hearts Desire, October 25, 2007 — The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is reviewing its current operation procedures for the Hearts Desire Weir on the lower Jock River near Prince of Wales Drive and is looking for public input. A public meeting is being held Monday, November 5, 2007 from 7– 9 p.m. at the Stonebridge Golf and Country Club.

This public meeting will provide local residents with background information about the weir along with technical and community viewpoints regarding the future need of the weir. Speakers from the Conservation Authority, Hearts Desire Community Association, Stonebridge Community Association, City of Ottawa — Parks and Recreation and Friends of the Jock River will make presentations and answer your questions.

The RVCA has operated this seasonal weir since the early 1970’s. Today, the need for continuing its operation is in question. A look at the current conditions (erosion, water quality, fish habitat), pressures and community interests is necessary. A future course of action will be formulated based on feedback received at this meeting.

- end -

For more information, contact:
Diane Downey
RVCA Community Relations Manager
613-692-3571 ext. 1126


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Peterborough Pool Sessions

Peterborough Kayak & Canoe Pool Session

Wildrock and Kawartha Whitewater Paddlers (KWP) have teamed up to offer pool sessions in Peterborough again this year. The pool sessions will be held at the Trent University Pool starting in early January. Listed below are the dates, times and prices of the pool sessions. Beginner to expert paddlers welcome. You do not need to be a member of K.W.P. to join in the fun. Boat and gear rentals are available. Some instruction / advice will be available during pool sessions ex. Rolling but not formal. If you have any questions or would like to register call

Cale Reeder 1-705-639-2303. After 6:00pm or leave a message

Pool Dates: 10 weeks: Saturday evenings, 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Jan 12th, 19th, 26th
Feb 2nd, 9th, 23rd
Mar 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd

First come first server with a max of 25 people/boats per night.

Single night $10.00 per session
Family and Season Rates (must be family)

1 person, all 10 sessions $75.00
2 people, all 10 sessions $120.00
3 people, all 10 sessions $180.00
4 people, all 10 sessions $240.00

Again if you have any questions please or would like to register please call.

Cale Reeder 1-705-639-2303

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

2008 Executive Acclaimed at AGM

(left to right in as shown in picture)

Claudia Van Wijk: Vice President
Jim Tayler: VP Communications
Peter Karwacki: President and Environmental Chair
Steve Pommeroy: Treasurer and Racing Chair: Canoe Ontario Rep.


Whitewater Ontario Executive 2008-2009

Past President Cam McDermaid
VP Instruction Carol Westwood
VP Recreation: Tentative Billy Harris
Secretary : to be appointed
Minden Property Manager: Gary George

*Peter Thompson assisting


West Bill Day
East Jim Smedley, and Canoe Ontaro Rep.
South Cam Mc Dermaid
Slalom Team Manager Jim Tayler
Webmaster Bryce

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Report of the President to the AGM

Whitewater Ontario
Presidents Report to the Annual General Meeting
Best Western Hotel, Peter Borough, Ontario, November 3rd, 2007

This my first report to the membership as president of Whitewater Ontario. It seems, in retrospect that it was a busy year - I don't know where the time went.

Liability Insurance
The year started with an immediate requirement to provide membership information to Canoe Ontario for the purposes of renewing insurance coverage for our members. You may know that liability insurance premiums are based on membership numbers. The insurance itself indemnifies instruction sessions, exhibitions and races but not recreational outings. Recreational insurance may be available to WO members upon special application to Pearson Dunn insurance, broker for All Sports Insurance Package.
While recreational paddling members of WO have to mandatorily pay for insurance which they don't use I did try to have the insurance policy reviewed with no effect. The broker likes it as it is and we have precious other alternatives. We need this insurance for our races, we get $16,500 a year in grants from Canoe Ontario to support slalom racing, that is our primary mandate and that is what allows us to financially manage everything else we do - like it or not.
Recreational Paddlers
I remind the recreational paddling community that Whitewater Ontario, as a Non Governmental Organization provides a conduit to government on river preservation issues. Recreational Paddlers will benefit themselves and their sport by supporting Whitewater Ontario in a society where government tends to ignore the individual’s voice in favor of big business, big unions and big government. Having said that I recognize the volunteer contributions to many towards the Les Amis Kipawa Legal Challenge fund.

River Preservation Issues
I immediately started getting notifications from various sources advising that such and such a project is being foreseen on such and such river. I attempted to respond to these sorts of project notifications with a standard response:
1. That any environmental assessment should consider the historical use by recreational whitewater boaters
2. That reasonable accommodation and mitigation be incorporated into projects to allow navigation to continue unfettered
3. That a team of WO designated paddlers could be assembled at the project proponent's cost to determine the recreation merit of any river feature
4. That Whitewater Ontario wishes to be the stakeholder of record for all river projects in Ontario.
Especially the Ministry of Natural Resources was less than helpful in this regard. Their mandate appears to be the exploitation of resources to the exclusion of all other values besides power generation. Efforts must be ongoing, by registering WO as a contractor of record to gain access to the MNR's registry of designation sites, currently not publicly accessible.
The Judicial Review of the Kipawa River Laniel Dam refurbishment was heard in Federal Court on October 23 and 24 in the Supreme court building in Ottawa. It made me feel proud to be a Canadian. Robert Monti was able to distill in the judge an apprehension of government bureaucrats acting in the face of the CEAA and NWPA claiming that the invocation of section 6(4) of the NWPA flew in the face of public consultation.
I attended the Canadian Heritage River conference in Winnipeg at my own expense presenting a paper called: "Putting teeth in Environmental Assessment Screenings" in which I indicated that river preservationist needed to use the courts to ensure changes to the CEAA are made.
This year WO became registered as a member of the Ontario Environmental Network (OEN) which should help in our river advocacy initiatives. I was successful in getting the Water Caucus of the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) to use the recreational value of whitewater as an issue for their meetings and discussions.

Financial Issues
Our Government Grant has been cut. Where is the wisdom in that? Our membership numbers are down, our costs are up, not the least of which is the insurance. Our office expenses were about 90% of our Provincial Grant and now they exceed our grant.
Our office expenses include accounting, phone, postage, website, for which we also get office continuity and support for meetings and a central point of contact for our members inquiries.
So we will have to examine ways to restructure our office functions/hours in light of the funding cut backs – or develop other sources of funding. We will continue to meet via teleconference as much as feasible considering the cost of transportation, this is our most economical alternative.

There was no 25th anniversary party. We lacked horsepower to make it happen but there is no shame in having a good 27th We continue to hope Victor Ettel will take on the job of Property Manager. In the interim Gary and Cammy have held the fort. How lucky we are to have them in our fold. We have garbage problems: the municipality has increased standards at its landfill so that recycling is mandatory: this is complicated by the fact that locals dump there trash in our bins. So much for no trace camping.
Over the summer I appointed Jeff Strano as VP of Marketing Operations hoping that he might use his local contacts in Minden to shake up some support for the preserve.
In addition, I made arrangements with Sir Sanford Flemming Recreation and Tourism Students to conduct Management and marketing studies for Minden Wildwater Preserve. Their final reports form a great resource for us but as for implementation: we lack funds. For this I have applied for a $35,0000 grant from MEC and in the next year I will also apply to the Trillium Foundation.
Orillia Light and Power advised us that our annual rent for the shoreline property at the take out has been increased to $200 a year plus GST and coinsured name on our liability policy held by Guthrie.
I conducted a work weekend in Minden with Gary George. He and I made modifications to the buildings plumbing to solve the dish washing problem. There were nine volunteers on May 22 and I issued each of them a monthly camping pass for June in appreciation.
There were some discussions concerning the safety training taking place on the Gull. I informed the users, of our expectations and I am certain that the trainers are very clear and amenable to our requirements.
Discussions were held with the Trent Severn Waterway to try and secure more regular releases and cooperation. A special task force was formed and discussions were held last winter.
Finally, we were successful in getting a Human Resources Student Grant for the summer. The presence of the student helped keep the property in good order while ensuring camping fees were properly collected.

The progress to form a joint program with Paddle Canada is ongoing. We were unable to start the program for the 2007 year due to previous agreements with ORCKA and Paddle Canada. Plans are underway to implement the new program for the 2008 instruction session. A proposal has been opened to form a Canoe Kayak Canada/Paddle Canada National program. Details in the VP-Instruction report

Club Development
Very little has happened on this front again owing to the lack of funds however there was considerable email traffic on boater board to try and stimulate interest in a new river preservation network. The importance of having a staff member working on this cannot be underestimated.
There was an effort to promote membership at the Toronto Outdoor Show. I am not convinced that this is working for us.
I made arrangements with the American Wildwater Affiliation. We are now a member. As a result all Whitewater Ontario members may receive a discounted individual membership.
I have operated my personal blog at offering commentary on current events for Whitewater Ontario and also Les Amis de la rivière Kipawa focusing on key river preservation issues.
Jim Tayler prepared the 2007 event book on a cost recovered basis.


We were successful in securing grant funding through the Provincial Quest for Gold program to hire a full time coach in Ottawa. This years racing program was expanded with new races and efforts to include open boat classes. At the high performance level Ontario athletes accounted for more than 50% of the boats winning places on the national Junior and Senior slalom teams. And Ontario won the Brian Greer Trophy as best province at the national championships.

Efforts to expand the racing program including club development in other parts of the province have been constrained by limited funding and in many regions, lack of local expertise or interest.


Future ideas include Whitewater Ontario registering as a contractor for National Defense and providing support for soldiers who have been de limbed below the waste. Kayaking can provide them with satisfaction and personal accomplish at the level of the able bodied.


Thanks to Donna Boadway for her excellent administrative support and Steve Pomeroy for keeping me honest in all my dealings, and Carol Westwood for keeping me straight on task, Jim Tayler for keeping me optimistic, and Gary George for giving me something to say more often than he would have liked. This has been a real team effort. Let’s forge ahead and create a new day for Whitewater Ontario.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day Two at Federal Court - excitment abounds

Here Doug Skeggs and I are seen in front of the Supreme Court building in Ottawa where the Federal Court Case was heard.

Now it remains for the judge, justice Noel to make is ruling, this will likely take about two months. Its a complicated case.

The essential right of all canadians to ply navigable waters is at stake with the government countering that they can simply use NWPA 6(4) to take that right away without consultation.

Lets see where this takes us?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Les Amis has their "first " day in court

In this image are Dave Pollard, Member chair, Francois Diebolt, Treasurer and Peter Karwacki, Vice President of Les Amis.

We are in the foyer of the Supreme Court Building.

Tomorrow, October 24 will be the chance for Rob Monti, of Nelligan Payne representing, Les Amis to rebutt the remarks of the justic lawyer. Please come out.

starts at 09:30

exciting stuff this, having the government finally account for their actions - theirs is a very shakey three legged table which relies on 6(4) of the NWPA which in the midst of a public consultative EA process requires no public consultation - flying the governments underwear in the wind.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Change in venue for the court case





[b]FYI the courtroom will actually be in the Supreme Court of Canada building on Wellington Street, ground floor, to the right of the entrance. I was advised today. [/b]

Let folks who were planning on attending know that the hearing will not be at 90 Sparks.

sorry, its because we're expecting a crowd.

Les Amis fly colours at MEC GEAR SWAP

The poster advertises the court date, October 23rd. Let me if you have a good location for one.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What's all this about the Kipawa Judicial Review?

October 23, 2007: The fate of Kipawa is in the hands of the federal Court.

The Friends of the Kipawa river, a non-profit organization, was forced by PWG Services of Canada, to cancel the 21st white water Festival on the Kipawa river. This annual festival, held every year on the St-Jean-Baptist weekend gathers approximately 300 whitewater paddling amateurs. During 18 years, PWGSC had made efforts to ensure an optimal flow for the benefit of the festival. This cooperation was reversed after the advertisement of the project for the refurbishment of the Laniel dam.

The water gauge of level of 02JE015 (Laniel) located downstream from the dam Laniel, published on the internet, is converted into flows. The table of conversion was modified at the end of 2005, which resulted in a discontinuity between the filed data and the real time data. The flow of the 2005 festival (95 m3/s) had appeared curiously weak to us, especially since in the week which preceded it , enormous quantities of water had been released (150m3/s).

Our description of the river, published on our site internet² indicated whereas the laniel dam was un runnable below 100m3/s, we had not held account of the change of the interpretation of the gauge. When we noted the new guage interpretation, we started to suspect that the goal of the operators of the dam was to prevent us from running the sluice of the dam - this confusion of water levels ruined their plan. The data in real time shows that the level was higher than 7m for 20 days, between the record year 2002 and 2004. In 2005 one can see a minimum level which corresponds exactly to the dates planned for the Festival of the river Kipawa and which corresponds to an insufficient flow (60 m3/s) to cross the dam safely. It is also a level which removes the exceptional character of the festival.

The first advertisement of Public works and Governmental Services of Canada published in the local newspapers, indicated paddlers would be deprived of the first third of the river. We followed the instructions of this advertisement concerning the use of the shuttle of loading, instructions which are reproduced on a profusion of installed signage.

Comparing the words with the acts of PWGSC, there has been an ongoing inconsistency which led us to carry our case to federal court and led us to doubt success for the festival 2007. The profusion of communiqués from PWGSC flooded the press with the advertisement of its cancellation, did not change our decision.
PWGSC, likely is more concerned with its image than of the behaviour of the festival. One of the commercial rafting companies believed the declarations of good intentions of PWGSC and paid a high price. The descent of the Kipawa river formed part of its trip schedule for 2007 and it had garnered a great number of reservations for the weekend of the St-Jean-Baptist. PWGSC confired a sufficient flow - as in the past. The operation was a fiasco. In response to complaints, PWGSC answered by a standard letter pointing out the critical role the Laniel dam plays in the management of water of the basin of Ottawa, management placed under the supervision of the Commission of planning of the regularization of the Ottawa River.

Well, the planning commission of the Otawa river is made up of seven representatives (three of the government of Canada, two of the government of Ontario and two of the government of Quebec). Its mandate is defined as follows: "to establish general principles, priorities and policies of regulation, for the principal resevoirs of the basin and to implement them". One finds there also a summary of all the constraints of the management of the river : to protect from flooding banks of the river and its tributaries, particularly: to protect the banks of the river and its tributaries, particularly in the area of Montreal, which result mainly in the curtaining of flows in mid-April and the first week of May to preserve the interests of the various users of water, especially those involved with the hydroelectric energy production.

Among the other users needs, the minimal flow of low water level to ensure the security of supply of drinking water for municipalities. There are also constraints particular to the management of the lake Kipawa: to maintain the level of the lake between 267.45 and 269.75 meters for all the year, to limit the erosion and the destruction of the docks, to minimize the disturbance of the spawning time of fish, in particular pickerel, to maintain a level minimum of 269.50 meters of June 1 at November 1, for the needs for the pleasure sailing. The level of June 26, 2007: 269.51 meters to the limit.

But in the case of the lake Kipawa, in June 2007, there no were extreme hydrological conditions, the outgoing flow of the dam could be largely uncoupled from the flow entering.

The justifications of PWGSC for their management of the DAM during June 2007, DOES NOT STAND UP TO analysis, even briefly. The attitude of PWGSC has harmful consequences which extend well beyond cancellation from a whitewater festival. The festival and the descent by raft attract a Canadian (and even international) following of waterwater amateurs in the area of Laniel. This fame is confirmed by the Observatory of Abitibi Témiscamingue in its Portrait of the dam, March 20076.

By paddling the river, the public discovers landscapes of great beauty which are among the assets of the project of the national park Opémican. The restrictions to navigation issued by PWGSC, does more than deprive the park of Whitewater attractions. Recall that the Friends of the Kipawa river financed with $35.000 CAD the path which lines the river, thanks to the funds raised from past festivals.

Integration of the environmental assessment in the project of the new/refurbished dam Laniel.
February 4, 2004, under article 5 of the Canadian Law on the environnemental assessments, Public works and governmental Services Canada is named federal Coordinator of the environmental assessment of the refurbishment of the dam at Laniel.
PWGSC is also the promoter of the project, which puts it in the position of judge and jury.

PWGSC entrusted part of the study to the Experimental and Numerical Group of Engineering of the Flows of Water. A photograph of the model of the new Laniel dam which comprises 4 gates on February 21, 2005, the update of the Canadian Register of environmental evaluation showss that Fisheries and Oceans could grant a licence or an authorization under the terms of the paragraph 35(2) of the Law on fishing. A modified version of the Laniel dam project is born: one added a fifth discharge gate there (cf Fig 10), whose function is to simulate the escapes (important) of the old Laniel dam and to thus maintain an ecosystem in the Kipawa river.

One sees here an effect of the taking into account of the Law on fish which is used to protect watery fauna.

The new dam concept simulates the water releases of the old dam. March 11, 2005, the RCEEA published an Opinion concerning the participation of the particularly laconic public: "the document entitled" Request relating to the participation of the public in the environmental evaluation " is available. Please note that the period of consultation is now finished." In the document, on the fourth page, the last small paragraph entitled "Request relating to the participation of the public" shows that "the description of the range of the evaluation and the preliminary report/ratio of the prior examination will be available soon." and that "PWGSC set up a plan of communication so that all the speakers are informed and that they have the advisability of commenting on before important decisions are made."

June 24, 2005, new update of the RCEEA: Transport Canada could grant an authorization under the paragraph 6(4) of the Navigable Waters Act and could grant an authorization under the subparagraph 5(1)a) of same act, . This law is supposed to prohibit any obstacle to navigation and would be an embarrassment to PWGSC in the continuation of its project, which envisages gates opening upwards, making it impossible to run the sluice of the dam with boats - a problem that Les Amis had not failed to raise at the time of consultations.

October 7, 2005, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency publishes on its registry that the document entitled "environmental Evaluation report" is available on request. It will be noted that PWGSC took nearly 6 months to compile this document and that the only way of learning of its "publication" was to consult the Registry at the right time. It was a good way to keep the public from getting involved, don' t you think?

November 7, 2005, in an official statement of the honourable Jean-C. Lapierre, Minister for Transport and political lieutenant for Quebec, announced in the name of honourable Scott Brison, public governmental Service and Minister for Labour, the attribution of a contract of $13 406 560 was granted, following an invitation to tender, with the company David S. Laflamme Construction Inc for the rebuilding of the Laniel Laniel dam. Work will end in autumn 2007. It declares "... Travaux Public and governmental Services Canada (PWGSC) took time to examine all the options well, and it held vast consultations before beginning work of replacement of the Laniel dam. The project will be carried out with a view to the environment and according to the principle of durability...

This advertisement came only 1 month after that of the availability of the" environmental Evaluation report.
The minister did not leave much time to the public to obtain this document, to take note and to comment on it of it.

December 17, 2005, the Gazette of Canada Part I published the notice by PWGSC for the plan for approval by Transports Canada of the plans and the site of the work under the terms of article 9 of The navigable Waters Protection Act. "... Only the comments made in writing and received at the latest 30 days following the date of publication of this opinion will be considered.

Even if all the comments answering these requirements are considered, no individual answer is sent...
"PWGSC chose the Gazette of Canada and mid-December to publish this opinion, which makes it almost impossible to express an opinion for these periods of festivals.
Moreover, the fact of not answering makes the operation even more opaque.
Was this really a meaningful plan of public consultation by PWGSC?

February 9, 2006, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency publishes the decision 04-01-940 15 of approval of the project of PWGSC and Transport Canada to the Canadian Registry of environmental evaluation, 3 months after the attribution of the contract.
One might think that PWGSC put the plough before horse. PWGSC asked for public feedback while being unaware of those of whitewater amateurs and the professionals. The Friends of the Kipawa river used all the means placed at their disposal to alert the federal Coordinator of the environmental evaluation for this environmental evaluation of the consequences of its project, but in vain.
We found ourselves systematically in front of the facts only by learning of these decisions by the press releases and the advertisements from the local newspapers. However, the concerns of different interests were taken into account, as we can note it. The governmental administration used the term of yachtmen, thus avoiding distinguishing for example, between competences of a guide of raft and a driver of pedal boat.

May 31, 2005, the Web site of the scientific Presses of the CNRC16 publishes the study of C Marche1 and A. Oriac which has as a title "Evaluation of the consequences of rupture of a Laniel dam: detailed calculations or simplified method?".
This study relates to two examples: dam Laniel and the Lumsden Laniel dam, both located in the hydrographic network of the Kipawa resevoir at Témiscamingue, whereas it there of the hundreds of other dams in Quebec.
Was this a way of sensitizing the elected officials with the urgency of work?

November 8, 2005, in a press release of Radio-Canada entitled Ottawa takes the great lengths to reduce the risks , Pierre Téotonio of the federal ministry of Public works declares "In fact, it is to ensure the safety of the neighbouring communities.

Although maintenance work running [ of the Laniel dam ] was carried out during years, its capacity of evacuation must be increased to make it possible to better resist high water levesl ". It is also learned that "the contract of restoration of the Laniel dam was granted a building firm of Ontario" but that "According to the general manager of the MRC Témiscamingue, Denis Clermont, all is implemented so that the area benefits from this important investment".

March 13, 2006, the Friends of the Kipawa river launched their dispute of the environmental evaluation n federal Court.

April 20, 2006, in a press release by CBC/Radio-Canada entitled "kayakers want to put an end to the work"
the president of the MRC of Témiscamingue, Jean-Pierre Charron, reveals his indignation.

April 24, 2006, in a press release of CBC/Radio-Canada entitled Kayak Festival. The elected officials of Laniel distance themselves, the town council of Laniel nails the coffin shut by withdrawing "its support with the promoters of the festival of kayak... "during festivities, kayakers use of the sluice of the Laniel dam to descend the river. The elected officials consider now the activity dangerous."
What??, only the day before of the 20th festival, this is a late and unfounded statement, since there never was accident on this rapid. It is also one denies past and expert competence of the raft companies .

The photograph showing a raft crossing the Laniel dam for summer was withdrawn from official Internet site of the area, "Gate of Témiscamingue".

The photograph showing a raft crossing the Laniel dam was withdrawn from official Internet site of the area, "Gate of Témiscamingue". We never asserted that the dam should not be refurbished. The media beating does nothing but mask the bottom of the problem: if PWGSC made provisions allowing the crossing of the apron of the Laniel dam by motor bike-snow, with quads and with the hikers, if it added a discharge culvert to conform to Law on fishing, why it didn't equip this new channel with the system of gates existing on the old Laniel dam?

Equipment could have been reused, to reduce the costs. This would have enabled them to respect the Law on the navigable protection of water and to complete work with the satisfaction of all the parties to the project.
PWGSC preferred to make expensive additional installations (shuttles, portage trails, water guages) Our requests are not likely to slow down the project. If work is currently delayed, it is not our doing, but because of geological problems, as a press release of CBC/Radio-Canada indicated August 2, 2006 the dam Laniel: The renovation work is interrupted."..." There is a problem with cracks in the underlying rock. It is not a major surprise, except that they is a little bit more problems than than one had envisaged ", explains a manager of Public works Canada, Yvon Morin, now deceased. This unforeseen occurence pushes back the completeion of work to late in 2008, whereas it had been fixed at the autumn 2007... "

December 20, 2006, a press release of the Ministry for the Durable Development, Environment and Parks of Quebec, reads that the government of Quebec acquired three dams including the Laniel dam from the Federal government.The tranfer of these dams is quite a strange generosity, in full crisis of equalization: "... [it ] will include/understand a financial compensation of 44 M$ from the federal government, which corresponds to the costs of repair and maintenance of standards at the Laniel dams on a twenty years horizon.
The dam Laniel, currently in repair, will be transferred once the work is completed."

August 24, 2006, in a press release on CBC/ Radio-Canada titled Témiscamingue. Ottawa gives up three Laniel dams to Québec., "Hydro-electric projects on the back burner for a long time could finally be carried out. The building work of a power project called Regional, envisaged 14 yearsago , in Angliers, could for example go first."

September 4, 2006, in an official statement of CBC/Radio-Canada titled No deviation of the Kipawa river, the spokesman of Hydro-Quebec declares:
"the regional direction of Hydro-Quebec does not see any bond between the future transfer of three Laniel dams of Témiscamingue to the province and its project of hydroelectric power station Tabaret."

One can doubt the accuracy of this declaration, because Hydro-Quebec must be able to count on a reliable provisioning of the future power station of 130MW, and one of the preconditions is that the dam Laniel is operational.

This official statement sows confusion, because at any Hydro-Quebec time does not announce the abandonment of Tabaret or any other project of diversion of the river.
The MRC of Témiscamingue defends the Tabaret project savagely.

February 22, 2005, Mr Denis Clermont, then secretary-treasurer of the MRC Témiscamingue, forwarded to the regional minister, to Mr Pierre Corbeil, a certified copy of resolution # 02-05- 046A, adopted unanimously by the administrative committee of the MRC of Témiscamingue, from its ordinary session of

February 9, 2005. In this resolution, request is made to the minister to commence the Tabaret project as soon as possible. One learns there: "... the government authorized Hydro-Quebec in 1998 to undertake in-depth studies for a possible construction of the power station. Hydro-Quebec concluded an agreement with the MRC from Témiscamingue on October 24, 2001, concerning inter alia, regional Development funds and a committee of follow-up. Thus, the MRC would receive 400 000 $ per year during fifty (50) years, indexed as from the startup of the power station envisaged in 2008.
Hydro-Quebec offered as much to the First Nations of the Kipawa sector, according to the result of the negotiations between them, which obviously, never took place.
It should be retained, in the final analysis, that the two (2) agreements would be identical. On the same water level (lake Kipawa), the First Nations of Wolf Lake and Eagle Village proposed a private project of (30 MW ).
According to its energy Policy in force, the government must encourage and support collaboration and the partnerships with Hydro-Quebec. Indeed, the director of Cabinet of the Minister for the Natural resources and Parks, Mrs Luce Asselin, mentions in her letter of October 14, 2004 "that it is within the framework of the parliamentary Commitee on energy safety and future Inhabitants of Quebec that the governmental orientations in regards hydroelectric development will be evaluated and that following this exercise, the government of Quebec will define new base of development of hydraulic sites which make it up".
The Tabaret project is thus delayed, having consequences for MRC of Témiscamingue on the order of 400 000 $ per year, and as much on the indigenous side.
It thus acts of a loss of 800 000 $ per year for Témiscamingue, of which we ask for refunding just as the revival of the Tabaret project, as soon as possible... " Thus the nervousness of the MRC is better understood when the repair of the dam Laniel is delayed, because it is a precondition to the Tabaret project.
One also includes/understands why the MRC withdrew its support for the Kipawa festival when it suspected us of delaying the realization.

May 14, 2004, in the press release of CBC/Radio-Canada titled "the mayors of Témiscamingue urges Hydro-Quebec to act", one notes already impatience: "..Hydro-Quebec says that the project is far from dead and that the ball is precisely in the camp of the elected officials.
The mayor of Saint-Bruno-of-Guigues, Gerard Pétrin, "There are perhaps the aboriginals which applied the brake on the project, then the municipalities concerned with this construction. Us, of the remainder of Témiscamingue, "..."

May 13, 2005, in the press release of CBC/Radio-Canada titled the delays in the hydroelectric project of the lake Kipawa the general manager of the MRC, Denis Clermont concludes: "The Provincial government will have to find a way of convincing the First Nations of Témiscamingue, which support their own project of minicentrale."
Thus there is a competitive project defended by the Algonquins. The Friends of the Kipawa river underline the incompatibility of the two hydro-electric projects with the future national park Opémican.
The integration of the site of Opémican to the network of the national parks of Quebec is the joint request object of the regional Council of development of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Abitibi-Témiscamingue Tourism, MRC of Témiscamingue, Temiskaming Development corporation, town of Témiscaming and Opémican Corporation, transmitted in 2002 to minister Legendre, responsible for Tourism, Fauna and the Parks.

December 23, 2004, in the official statement of CBC/Radio-Canada titled Projet of national park in Témiscamingue25 one notes that: "...
The Opémican site has only 6 square kilometres, which is too small to make a national park. Quebec thus invited the persons in charge to obtain the authorizations necessary to widen this territory "the Coulombe Commission precisely speaks to increase the protected surface area. If there is population growth, ", The diversion of the Kipawa river contravenes the charter of the landscape québécois.

February 2007: publication of the MDDEP, Réserve projected of Opémican ] shows the new delimitation of the park.
One notices the exclusion of a central zone, in the shape of peel. The central part contains the outlet planned for the Tabaret project. The hiking trail project skirting Lake Témiscamingue, is cut by the restitution of water of the Kipawa river.
According to inhabitants' of the area, the central part contains also an immense still virgin forest free of any exploitation.
The park is thus likely to be composed of a wooded fringe which will include the bed of a drained river where one will see a white cut and hydroelectric installations, the Great Fall and last the rapid (which was used as decorations with a Hollywood film) will be nothing any more but memories.
A landscape of such a banality does not have a tourist attraction. However, the economic repercussions that the elected officials await are hardly modest: in the information memorandum of May 2006 "Project of national park Opémican ", published by the Temiskaming Development corporation, 35000 visitors per annum and 92 employees are envisioned.

The Hollywood rapid
The diversion of the Kipawa river contravenes the basic principles which justified the choice of the Parks Service in the delimitation of the territory of the Opémican park and in particular with: "the inclusion of terrestrial and watery zones offering strong potentials for the development of entertaining and educational activities."

"Festival of the kayak on the Kipawa river: Each year, with the festival of the St-Jean (June 24), more than 150 kayakers come from Quebec, Ontario and the United States, meet the members of "the friends of the Kipawa river" to face the 13 rapids (out of 17 km) of Kipawa, a very famous river of North America for the kayak and the rafting. Pleasure and strong feelings guaranteed." The Friends of the Kipawa river consider as organizers, that the behaviour of this festival is not viable any more under the conditions imposed by PWGSC.
This diversion is likely to disturb the biosystème considerably. However the latter is in the heart of the reserve of Opémican.
In conclusion, let us quote the disillusioned report of the report presented within the framework of the CONSULTATION ON the PROJECT OF DURABLE PLAN OF DEVELOPMENT OF the QUÉBEC33 by the regional Municipality of county of Témiscamingue, February 17, 2005:
"Since October 2001, the project [ Tabaret ] did not progress. Hydro-Quebec considers that "the social acceptability" is not there neither municipalities nor the First Nations."
Is this a sign that a debate around the development of the Kipawa river is still possible?

We have paid a heavy price to make heard, a point of view quite different from that of the MRC of Témiscamingue, PWGSC and of Hydro-Quebec.
The legal expenses that we incur are estimated at more than $100 000. We face this exorbitant expenditure thanks to the generous gifts of the paddling community- amateurs which actively support us in this cause. But we would have preferred to devoting these funds towards recreotourism at the Kipawa.

The arrogant attitude of these public institutions in this situation has been most frustrating. The delays taken by the repair of the dam Laniel does not have impact on the Opémican project: indeed the calendar of this last envisaged a beginning of the public consultations in 2009. However this calendar itself was deferred. The interested parties are again likely to find themselves facing hydro-electric development, and the public may start to become aware of the perverse effects of the harnessing of the rivers on the landscapes and the quality of the surface water, which constitutes the essence of drinking water.

Whitewater Ontario Annual General Meeting - 2007 Edition

We are having our annual general meeting in Peterborough on November 3rd

Whitewater Ontario A.G.M
Best Western Otonabee Inn
84 Lansdowne St E
(705) 742-3454

I hope you and some of your friends will use the opportunity to engage this group of volunteers.

River preservation has been facilitated by Whitewater Ontario on the coat tails of its Slalom racing grants from the Ministry of Health. Yet without this funding and the obligations that come with it Whitewater Ontario could not afford its office, its website, its phone lines, the upkeep of the Minden Wildwater Preserve and so many other things.

Most of all, Whitewater Ontario needs volunteers, people who want to promote and sustain the sport they love. Since we live in a society dominated by big business, big government and big unions, the voice of the individual is magnified by their membership in an organization like Whitewater Ontario, which is, by default the only Non Governmental Organization working to preserve recreational whitewater in Ontario. ( and also in Canada - remember Whitewater Ontario is the largest single contributor to the Kipawa River Legal Defense Fund.

Again, the meeting details:

Whitewater Ontario 2007 Annual General Meeting

Whitewater Ontario's 2007 AGM will be held in Peterborough at the Best Western Hotel in Peterborough (84 Lansdowne Street E) at 9:30 AM on November 3rd. All members or potential members are welcome to attend.

More information on the venue is here:

Canoe Ontario's AGM will be following at 1:00 PM and all Whitewater Ontario members are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Laniel Dam - A Thanksgiving Turkey

As of Oct07, 2007 the new gates have not been completed. The dam is apparently still leaking at its base, possibly from beneath the old section.

The ill conceived snow fence is now removed from the mouth of the old structure as it existed prior to the 2006 rally.

Consider that the reason the contract for the dam was awarded prior to the completion of the environmental assessment citing impending disaster to Temiskaming from the possible yet highly improbable 10,000 year flood.

Well, here we are, well towards the end of 2007 and the new gates are yet to be completed.

Remember, our day in Federal court is October 23rd, 2007. 90 Sparks Street at 09:30 hours.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Minden Wildwater Preserve: Recycling is IN

We received a notice from our garbage collection company that NO RECYCLABLES can be put into the garbage bins any longer.

Anything that is recyclable must be removed by you (and other campers) from the site. This is a new regulation made by the township.

Thanks for your cooperation in this matter. Hope you have a great weekend course.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Judicial Review Needs You!

The court date is October 23rd: Elgin Street, Ottawa, Federal Court building at 09:30 hours.

We would like to fill the public gallery.

We need to:

- do an email distribution to the Les Amis membership

- do a news release to try to get media coverage

- email invite to Wally at Trailhead or to MEC to maybe have
them get it out through their networks

- put a poster up at MEC and Trailhead

- try to get the Montreal people to come, maybe set up a van to
come from Montreal

- try to offer overnight accommodation for people who might be
coming from out of town

If you would like to help us achieve this please contact me at subject line: court

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's new at Whitewater Ontario

Minutes of the Executive

At the recent teleconference attended by Steve Pomeroy, Jim Taylor, Claudia Van Wijk, James Smedley, Bill day, Carol Westwood and Peter Karwacki: September 26, 2007 at 19:30 hours

Finances are always a concern. The year, started with $25,000 cash on hand. Given the activity level: cash at year end is expected to be $15,000.

Minden attendance is up but cash raised from clinics is down.

The Date of the Annual General Meeting is set (AGM) for November 3rd, at 0900 AM. It will be in Peterborough, Ontario at the Best Western Hotel.

Travel to recreational center planning conference by Gary George is approved: His registration will be paid by WO as the benefits for Minden are obvious. Sponsorship amount approved is $350. USD.

Quest for Gold Athelete Carding
The criteria for the awarding of cards is approved and displayed on the Whitewater Ontario Website:
The members of the executive approved the criteria and process as developed by Doug Corkery of the ORR.

WO receives 4 cards which will be split between 8 paddlers. About $5000 is the financial value of the card award.

Canoe Ontario Report

CO will also have its AGM in Peterborough on November 3rd, 2008

Gullfest 2008
The date of Gullfest in 2008 was set for July 12/13 2008
The Andrew Westlake Slalom will be held June 28, 29, 2008.

VP of communications will start work on the 2008 event book.

Regional Items:

Bill Day is requesting paddling clinic assistance for the 2008 year. Thunder Bay has the largest collection of cadet paddlers in Ontario.

President's Report

The Judicial Review of the Environmental Assessment of the Kipawa Rivr Dam Refurbishment will be heard in Ottawa on October 23rd at 09:30 hours.

Whitewater Ontario has joined the Ontario Environmental Network and is now a stakeholder of record on water issues. WO successfully added the recreational value of whitewater to the water agenda.

Whitewater Ontario has applied for grant funds from Mountain Equipment coop (MEC) for the faciliatation of the Minden MWWP preserve Marketing and Management Study recommendations for self sustainability.

The father of Donna Boadway passed recently. As administrative contact, the members expressed their sympathy. A card was sent.

Whitewater Ontario is a member of the American Whitewater Association. As a result any member of Whitewater Ontario is eligible for a discounted AWA membership.

Lower Madawaska Take Out
Here is a message from the good folks at MKC concerning fundraising to upgrade the Lower madawaska takeout

River Awareness:
The Lower Madawaska River Take-Out Needs Your Help!

The Lower Madawaska River between Aumond Bay and Griffith is classified as a non-operating waterway provincial park in the Ontario Parks system; thus, does not receive any funding for up keep and maintenance. It is up to us users, the paddlers of the area, who benefit from this remote wilderness area section to ensure that it remains so.

For the past 20 years, both Boundless Adventures and Madawaska Kanu Centre staff have maintained these areas as best they could. Now we are focusing on raising funds for an upgrade on the Buck Bay take-out road.
Eight years ago we raised funds that were matched by the MNR to fix up the put-in road at Aumonds Bay. It is now time to do the same for the take-out road at Buck Bay.

In the past MNR has matched all donations, we are hoping that this will be the case for the Lower Mad Project. If we raise $5,000 and it is matched by the MNR the total would be $10,000- which is the amount needed to fix the road. Boundless Adventures and MKC have each pledged $1000 (and are only a fraction of the users). To raise the remaining funds we are asking the paddling community who paddle this fantastic Ontario whitewater gem to donate $30 each to this cause.

Please help by spreading the word and donating to this cause.

MKC is collecting funds on behalf of the project. Please send you donation to:

MKC- Lower Mad Project
39 First Ave
Ottawa, ON
K1S 2G1 613 594 5268


Monday, September 17, 2007

YOU Tube Videos with Gull River and Minden

Thursday, September 6, 2007

40 kayaks and not a raft in sight: the Ottawa on Labour Day Weekend

This tranquil scene belies the subterfuge at work: its taken just post demolition of the Judges "shack" at the Lorne, the subject of a criminal "Arson" investigation.

The Shack, erected by Wilderness Tours for the World Championship elicited the derison and bare tolerance of many.

The Arsonist(s) are at large, apparently the Ottawa Valley has a new Monkey Wrench Gang at work.

Read this rock'em sock'em account by the author: Edward Abbey to get a sense of vigilante justice running amock.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Inflatables on the Ottawa?

Clearly: inflatables are not allowed.

Private Inflatables on the Ottawa River: is this good or bad

Get involved in access issues by networking with other interested and effectives parties.

Question: is there a need to continue to work with Ottawa River rafting companies to secure access for private inflatables? Controlled access and egress seems to limit competition.

OWL provides private kayak access to the river at McKoys. This is an invaluable kayaker resource that should be preserved and protected.
Wilderness Tours has recently hosted the World Freestyle championships and provides kayak take out at "Black's" another invaluable resource. Thanks to farmer Black and Joe Kowalski.

On the other hand, private inflatables (Shredders, duckies Etc.) are not currently allowed at kayak/C1 access in favour of the LaPasse put-in
and take out on some public access above Portage.

Private companies have the right to decide who uses their property and facilities, including deciding how cars are parked on their
access roads and what kind of craft is going in and out.

Some may see the limiting of private inflatables use of the river by controlling access as a very serious access issue other may care less.

Private rafters are legitimate river users and that may consider a ban on private rafts as unreasonable restriction flying in the face of access responsibilities of commercial riverside landowners : which at present are moral and ethical rather than legal or practical.

But the whitewater section of the Ottawa river is not a park. Its banks are under municipal and or private jurisdiction and organization. There is no responsibility to provide access for all.

True public access to the Ottawa river would have to be provided by a level of government acting in the public interest. Until that step is taken controlled access and egress and the threat of blocked access will
allow operators to pick and choose who can run a river that is being and essential create a situation where the river itself has become a privately owned resource.

Whitewater Ontario is very interested in all aspects of river development which may impinge upon the traditional rights of whitewater recreational and commercial paddlers. We wish to establish a dialogue with key Ministry (MNR) Contacts and take steps to ensure that Whitewater Ontario and/or its affiliates will be considered as potential intervenors, committee members and stakeholders of record for the development of new water management plans in the province. As whitewater paddlers, our interests often overlap with the interests of hydro-power development. But we understand that is the reality of resource use today, and that the best development is a development that takes into consideration all of the values of a resource. Whitewater Ontario would like to be directly notified, via email dispatches, of pending river development projects that may impinge upon traditional whitewater paddling activities including bridges, or dams, which may curtail traditional navigation as described under the Navigable Waters Protection Act and any shoreside development which may curtail traditional access and portage rights. To this end, Whitewater Ontario is working to beome a stakeholder of record on all new site applications. We believe the number of new site projects that paddlers will have concerns about will be small but we will be able to provide assistance in the public consultation, environmental assessment and impact assessment phases.

Outside of Ontario we are dismayed by the case the of a Quebec river, the Kipawa, which is currently being argued in federal court, where a dam owner completely ignored the navigation rights of paddlers in contravention of the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

Your assistance would be appreciated in achieving these objectives by becoming more involved with Whitewater Ontario as an active member, working on committees, projects, or as a member of the executive decision making group.

For ongoing information be sure to contact our office administrator, Donna Boadway, or me as the president of Whitewater Ontario. I have a personal blog, and there is the official site of Whitewater Ontario:

Thanks again for becoming a member
Working hard to safeguard paddling assets for all Canadians


Monday, July 23, 2007

Has Success Spoiled the Ottawa River?

On one hand we want the public to understand the economic value of whitewater. On the other, we see that overuse of any natural resource can be a problem.

At the very least paddlers can approach the sport with caution, paddling safely and managing use in such a way that is courteous and sustainable.

The question remains: how to deal with "yahoos" and "dorks" on the river.

If you get involved and try to help, you may become exposed to liabilty. If you ignore the situation (if there are children) and something serious happens you live with guilt.

If you see something that looks like it's leading to a real accident, speak up.
If rebuffed as being a busy body or worry wart then respond with something like, " I guess someone like me who spends hundreds of days playing in whitewater wouldn't really know anything at all about that" and let the pieces fall where they may.

Not every one doing something 'apparently stupid' is actually deserving of the outcome. Say something like, "have you done this before?"

Crashing, surf?, dangerous currents? rocky shoreline?

No, this is not Minden, its the coast of california where the state has made access easy by improved and unimproved trails. In that state there is no liabiity to anybody for permitting access to the coastline.

Here in Canada we must put up a six foot high fence around pools to dissuade children because a pool is considered an attractive nuisance.

TO summarize:

To the apparently adult participant...

1. ask "have you done this before"

2. accept that you haven't seen it all or heard it all - if rebuked

3. help pick up the pieces as a good samaritan after the fact if you can

I'm reminded of the Kipawa Case where safety was used as the concern about running the laniel dam sluice, while ATV's were facilitated in running the dam's deck.

We don't think its a good idea to run mopeds on the QEW but to my knowledge its perfectly legal to do so.

I think a track record of safety is a good indicator but yahoos and bunyaulks abound.

If children are the concern: call the Children's Aid Society! or the Police as they are the only parties embued with the right to intervene.

Regarding Kayak/Raft collisions

The difference between a raft running the river and "running over" a guy who has jumped on the wave in front of the raft - and the next case, the raft guide purposely mowing over kayaks in an eddy or jumping on the wave from the eddy running them over is significant.

For example, If you were driving down the road and someone on a skateboard jumped off the sidewalk in front of your vehicle and you hit them you probably would not be charged. ...However if you were chasing the skateboarder through a parking lot in your vehicle and hit him, charges would likely be pending.

12 200lb gorbies plus a raft and guide weigh close to 3000lb. Piloting a raft in such a way as to intentionally run over people is a dangerous and unsustainable proposition.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

ALEX for 10 pts...what is the Canadian Environmental Network

What's all this?

My first interest is to become more knowledgeable and active concerning the CEN.
This is a rather large black hole at present.

Frankly I'm a bit surprised at how my group, LARK, could have advanced so far in its mission to preserve the rights of Canadians to navigate their lakes, rivers and streams unfettered by the capricious actions of government and at the same time not been notified or even obliquely affected by the CEN!!

But maybe this is a good thing?

As I have said, I'm an activist. I write letters, attend meetings, deliver papers, forment, and where certain bureaucrates are concerned, possibly torment. Still, I'd rather work from the inside out than from the outside in. Currently it is no fun at all being an environmentalist.

The Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN - notice RCEN - right away a problem since the name is CEN logically but here we see the consistent inclusion of the french "R")

Environmental Non-Government Organizations can become RCEN members by joining their regional affiliate environmental network, which would be either the Ontario Environment Network (OEN) for Whitewater Ontario or the Réseau affilié des associations environnementales du Québec (RAAEQ) where LARK is located.

The RCEN is not a government agency, it is a non-government, non-advocacy, non-partisan network, with over 800 member groups across Canada.

If you have never heard of them, it’s probably because apparently RCEN/CEN doesn't take positions on issues.

Their role is to facilitate communication and build capacity among our member groups, and to get them involved in consultations with the federal government on environmental policy issues.

CEN members attend these consultations on behalf of their own organizations, and while they do consult with the broader RCEN/CEN membership before and afterwards in order to gather input and disseminate information, they do not represent the RCEN/CEN at external meetings.

One of their key processes is the delegate selection process. The RCEN/CEN puts out calls for delegates for over 100 consultations annually; and have a well-established delegate selection process that is respected by environmental groups and government alike for being bilingual, democratic and transparent.

See their website at

Delegates must be current members of the RCEN/CEN in good standing.

Once an RCEN member, sign up for CEN weekly e-bulletins (also on-line at ), with up to date information on RCEN/CEN member activities and RCEN/CEN Calls for delegates.

Members join a National Caucus and get connected with groups across Canada working on similar issues.

see their website at .

Joining the RCEN will also allow you to join one of their ten National Caucuses that collaborate on various environmental issues, including the Water, Fisheries and Oceans Caucus.

LARK is based on Quebec with Ontario members: nothing is neat and tidy. I noticed it costs $40 to be a member in Ontario and $20 to be a member in Quebec, Plus, the form for membership is available on the Quebec site but nothing no doc no pdf is actively available on the Ontario site.

For more information, visit the RCEN/CEN website. You can find the contact info for our regional affiliate networks, as well as information on our National Caucuses.

Leela Ramachandran

National Caucus Coordinator/Coordonnatrice des caucus nationaux

Canadian Environmental Network

Réseau canadien de l'environnement

300-945 Wellington West

Ottawa, ON K1Y 2X5

Tel: 613-728-9810 ext. 223

Fax: 613-728-2963
1. Since the 2006 Annual report is unavailable, would it also be possible to have the names and contact information for the current Board of Directors, the names of their respective ENG's indicating the name of the current Chairperson please?

The list of Board members is the following:
BoD Chair 2006: STEVE RISON , Citizen Advisory for Environmental Research, Chair for 1 year
Vice Chair 2006: DOUG BADGER, High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee, Aboriginal Representative 2004
Treasurer 2006: ANDREA WAYWANKO, Sierra Club – Prairie Chapter, Regional Affiliate Representative 2005
Secretary 2006: MICHAEL SIMPSON, One Sky, Member at Large Representative 2004
GABRIELLE KRETZCHMAR , New Brunswick Partners in Agriculture, National Caucus Representative 2006
OLIVIER KOLMEL , Conseil régional de l’environnement-Montréal, Francophone Representative 2006
YUJING GU , Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Youth Representative 2006
DENISE HAMMEL , First Nation Technical Services Advisory Group, Member at Large Representative 2006
PHILIPPE BOURKE , Regroupement national des conseils régionaux en environnement, Quebec Affiliate Representative 2006
More information about our governance is available at

2. Back in 2004, what led to the disaffiliation of the RQGE?

I wasn't involved with the disaffiliation of the RQGE, but I understand they had a different vision of networking from the RCEN's. The RCEN focuses on networking with ENGOs, even when ENGO members have opposite views on various topics. The RCEN serves as a discussion forum to facilitate communications among ENGOs, and with the Government.

The RAAEQ is now the RCEN's Quebec Affiliate. They currently have more than 70 members.

3. What are your past experiences with petitions to the auditor general's office?

Because we are a non-advocacy, non-partisan organization, the RCEN does not send petitions.
RCEN members do send petitions from time to time, and the RCEN may provide communication support for strategizing purposes, but the RCEN does not send petitions.

4. Would it be possible to include the recreational use of naturally occuring whitewater as an item on the list of Water issues?

Once you become a member of a Provincial Affiliate, you may decide to join regional caucuses/activities and to join a national caucus.
To join a national caucus, a member should contact the appropriate National Caucus Coordinator. The Caucus Steering Committee is made aware of new caucus members.
Once you become a member of the Water caucus, you decide with the rest of the group which issues to discuss. National Caucus Coordinators don't decide which issues will be dealt with.
They can sometimes make recommendations, but the caucus has the final say.

5. Concering the navel gazing done by the BCEN and Quebec (reports such as Sandra Thompson report concerning the BCEN) would you say that these findings are more or less universal: from your point of view: as it seems to me they are.

All Provincial Affiliates have had ups and downs throughout the years, because of variations in regional topics, funding availability, provincial governments, etc. But currently, both the BCEN and the RAAEQ work well with the rest of the network.

6. About the OEN:

To contact the OEN, you should talk to Phillip Penna by email at or by phone at (705) 840-2888.
The OEN membership subscription form is available at

Resources vary from province to province, depending on provincial funding, foundation resources, donations, and other local sources of funding.
In the past 15 years, I believe the RCEN's central office received more funding than its affiliates.

7. Annual report and funding:

I found the attached past annual reports on our website at Two of them are password protected. I'm not sure why. I'll try to get the passwords and get back to you.

Our funding comes from coordination contracts with various Government of Canada Departments. Most of our work takes place with Environment Canada.

Working hard to safeguard paddling assets for all Canadians

Canadian Rivers

Canadian Rivers
I speak for river users too!

The Queen is not amused!

The Queen is not amused!

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

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

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

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
  • 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