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

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

No comments:

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