Working Hard to Safeguard Paddling Assets for All Canadians

All about Whitewater

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

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tabaret Rears its Ugly Head

The transfer of the Dam to Quebec for the purposes of Tabaret was already mentioned in the Kipawa Dam Operating Manual. The environmental assessment of the dam refurbishment did not even address this point.

Further, the dam is now being transferred in a renovated state: basically a cash transfer from the Taxpayers of CANADA to the province of Quebec.

This happens no where else that I know of.

The refurbished dam creates a more perfect diversion for the Tabaret Project. Note the Opemican Park NOTCH elsewhere on this site.

Once the tap is turned of that's it for the Kipawa, once mighty it becomes a dried out gulch.

For details read below:

No: T-452-06

incorporated as 1162209036 QUEBEC INC.



This case involves a federal court application by Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa for judicial review of a decision by Transport Canada and PWGSC to eliminate historic navigation rights on the Kipawa River at the location of the Laniel flood control dam in Laniel Quebec.

Note to long afterwards we see this:

Minister Fortier Confirms the Intention of the Government of Canada to Transfer Three Dams to the Government of Quebec

CCNMatthews; 8/24/2006

The Honourable Michael M Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced the decision of the Government of Canada to transfer the management of three dams, located in the Temiscamingue region, to the Government of Quebec. Negotiations between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec are expected to be finalized by the end of 2006.

"This transfer will allow the Government of Quebec to obtain an asset well-suited to its mandate to manage its own energy and natural resources, while allowing the federal government to focus on our federal priorities," said Minister Fortier, adding, "this is a concrete demonstration of the vision of federalism of the new Government of Canada".

The transfer of these dams is consistent with federal government policy to divest of assets that are not supportive of federal programs. Once the transfer takes place, the province will assume full responsibility for the operation, maintenance and improvements of the three dams.

The transfer of the Kipawa and Des Quinze Dams, along with the agreement to transfer Laniel, may take place in 2007. The Government has agreed to delay the actual transfer of the Laniel Dam to take place only when its reconstruction has been completed. The contract was awarded in November 2005 and the work is underway.

The transfer will include the reconstruction of the Laniel Dam, and a financial compensation from the Government of Canada. This compensation will represent the actual value of the capital costs to repair and operate the dams for a period of 20 years, which will allow the Government of Quebec to continue to operate, maintain and upgrade the three dams.

The three dams were all constructed by the Government of Canada between 1912 and 1914 to control water levels on the Ottawa River.

Ce texte est egalement disponible en francais.



The Government of Canada has confirmed the intention to transfer three dams in Temiscamingue to the Government of Quebec. The transfers of the Kipawa and Des Quinze dams will take place in early 2007, after the Government of Quebec has concluded its approval process. This transfer will include a financial compensation from the Government of Canada to allow the Government of Quebec to continue maintenance and upgrades of the dams. The federal government will complete a reconstruction project at Laniel Dam, currently underway, before the transfer of this dam takes place.

The federal government built the three dams in the early part of the twentieth century, to control the water level of the Ottawa River. They are all landmarks in their local communities and have benefited the local community and attracted tourists.

The Laniel Dam is located across the Kipawa River at the outlet of Kipawa Lake, in the town of Laniel, Quebec. It is a concrete gravity dam with two gates, approximately 31 metres in length. This dam was constructed between 1910 and 1912. Major repairs were undertaken on the deck, piers and abutments in 1988, 1993 and 1996. A contract was announced in November 2005 to rebuild the dam, for health and safety reasons. The contract was awarded to David S. Laflamme Construction Inc., and the work will likely be completed in 2008. The federal Government has agreed to ensure that this work is completed before the dam is transferred to the Government of Quebec.

The Kipawa Dam is across Gordon Creek at the outlet of Kipawa Lake in the town of Kipawa, Quebec. It is a concrete gravity dam with bottom gates and is about 10 meters long. This dam was built between 1910 and 1912. The roadway deck was rebuilt in 1993 and 1994. It has been regularly inspected, maintained and is in good condition.

The Des Quinze Dam is across the Ottawa River at the outlet of Quinze Lake, in the village of Angliers, Quebec. It is a concrete gravity dam complete with 19 gates measuring approximately 143 metres long. There is also a long dike on the north-west side and a secondary dike to the east. This dam was constructed between 1911 and 1914. It was later reconstructed in 1939 and 1940, just downstream of the old dam. The roadway deck was widened in 1990 and part of the operating deck was rebuilt. The remaining part of the operating deck was rebuilt in 1996 and 1997, leaving it in good condition.

All of these transfers will provide the Province a valuable natural resource that will benefit the people of Quebec.

SOURCE: Public Works and Government Services Canada

Office of Minister Fortier
Jean-Luc Benoit
Director of Communications
(819) 997-5421
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Media Relations
(819) 956-2315

**********Have a Nice Day**********

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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