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, May 4, 2007

Kipawa: Frequently Asked Questions SECTION

The Kipawa Legal Challenge is a request for a Judicial Review of the Environmental Screening Process conducted by PWGSC for the Refurbishment of the Laniel Dam. What exactly is that Process?



The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (“CEA Agency”) determines if the Canadian
Environmental Assessment Act (“CEAA”) applies to a project, and follows a four-step review process for
environmental studies conducted under its jurisdiction:

Step 1: Does CEAA Apply?

The CEAA requires federal authorities to undertake environmental assessments of projects when they are
proponents or when they are proposing to take one of the following actions that would enable a project to
proceed, in whole or in part, by:

• providing some form of financial assistance to the project
• having the administration of federal lands and selling, leasing, or otherwise disposing of those
lands or any interest in those lands
• issuing a permit, licence, authorization, or other regulatory approval listed in the Law List
Since an application has been made to NRCan for WPPI funding, the proposed Project is subject to the
conditions and requirements of CEAA. Once the applicability of the CEAA has been determined, the next
step is to identify the type of study required.

Step 2: Identification of Study Type

There are two general types of studies identified under CEAA: Self-Directed and Public Review.

The majority of federal projects are assessed through a screening; however, some projects require a
comprehensive study. These projects are described in the Comprehensive Study List Regulation and
tend to be large projects having the potential for significant adverse environmental effects. They may also
generate public concerns. Screening studies are typically undertaken for small-scale projects with minor,
predictable, and mitigable environmental effects, whereas comprehensive studies deal with projects that
have the potential to result in significant environmental effects.

Approximately 95% of the environmental studies conducted under CEAA are screenings. ESP (Environmental Screening Process)

Section 18 (1) of CEAA states that where a project is not described in the Exclusion List Regulation or the
Comprehensive Study List Regulation, the Responsible Authority (“RA”) shall ensure that a screening of
the project is conducted. The proposed Project is not described in either the Exclusion List or
Comprehensive Study List Regulations. Thus, the Project has been assessed as screening study and this
ESR/EIS prepared.

A screening study is a self-directed assessment in which the RA, in conjunction with other Federal
Authorities (“FA”), determines the scope of the study, manages the EA process, and ensures the
proponent prepares an appropriate screening study. For the proposed Project it is possible that the
following agencies will be RAs and thus responsibility may fall to them to ensure that the screening report
is carried out in compliance with the CEAA:

• Natural Resources Canada (“NRCan”)
• Fisheries and Oceans Canada (“DFO”)
• Correctional Services Canada
• Transport Canada.

Where more than one RA is involved with a project the RAs may decide if a lead RA should be designated
to coordinate tasks in conducting the EA. If a lead RA is not designated the EA can be managed as a
committee. It is important to note that lead RA is an administrative function; the designation of a lead RA
does not change the legal responsibilities of the various federal authorities under CEAA. The FAs for this
Project may include:
• Environment Canada/Canadian Wildlife Service
• Health Canada
• Transport Canada.

Step 3: RA Determination

The RA’s determination is not whether to proceed with the project, but rather concerns the likelihood of
significant adverse environmental effects. The three determination options available to the RA are:

1. the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects – following this
determination the RA may exercise any power or perform any duty or function that would permit
the project to be carried out in whole or in part
2. the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be justified –
following this determination the RA may not exercise any power or perform any duty or function
that would permit the project to be carried out in whole or in part, or
3. it is uncertain whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, or
the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that may be justifiable, or
public concerns warrant referral to a mediator or review panel – following any of these
determinations the RA must refer the project to the federal Minister of the Environment for a
referral to a mediator or review panel.

Step 4: Review and Determination

The decision options for an RA following a review panel or mediation are as follows, the project is:
• not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects or the project is likely to cause
significant adverse environmental effects that can be justified in the circumstances – following this
determination the RA may exercise any power or perform any duty or function that would permit
the project to be carried out in whole or in part, or
• likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be justified – following this
determination the RA may not exercise any power or perform a any duty or function that would
permit the project to be carried out in whole or in part.


Regulation 116/01 sets out the ESP as a proponent driven, self-assessment process.
The proponent is responsible for
1. determining if the project falls within the ESP and
2. when to formally commence the process.
3. The proponent is also responsible for determining the time required to adequately conduct the
ESP and
4. when to publicly release project documentation and/or solicit comments from stakeholders.

Under Regulation 116/01 new projects are classified into one of three categories:
• Category A: projects that are expected to have minimal potential environmental effects and do not
require approval under the EAA
• Category B: projects that have potential environmental effects that can likely be mitigated, but
require approval under the ESP of the EAA
• Category C: projects that have known potentially significant environmental effects and require the
preparation of an “individual environmental assessment” under the EAA.

There are two possible stages of environmental study required under the ESP depending upon the
potential adverse environmental effects of a project and/or stakeholder issues: “screening” and
“environmental review”.

All projects subject to the ESP are required to go through the screening stage, which requires proponents to apply a series of screening criteria to identify the potential adverse environmental effects of the project.

The more detailed stage, an environmental review, is required if potential concerns raised during the screening stage dictate a need for additional, detailed studies.

Based upon the MOE’s categorization of electricity projects, wind turbines / plants greater than or equal to
2 MW are classified as Category B Projects and thus subject to approval under the ESP of the EAA. This
categorization, coupled with the results of the screening criteria checklist (section 6 and Appendix B),
has led the Project to be assessed as an environmental screening under Regulation 116/01.


Working within the federal, provincial, and municipal approvals processes, and consistent with the
potential RA’s scope of study and the MOE’s environmental screening criteria checklist, the main
objectives of the ESR will be threefold:

1. to identify, define, and assess the potential effects of the Project on Valued Ecosystem
Components (“VECs”). The VECs identified for study represent environmental features that are
known to occur or have a reasonable probability of occurrence within the study area and which
subsequently could be affected by the Project (e.g., wetlands, avian species, terrestrial flora, etc.).
2. to ensure environmental considerations are explicitly addressed and incorporated into the
planning, design, and decision-making processes
3. considering objectives one and two, to design a project follow-up and monitoring program that
contains plans to prevent, mitigate, and compensate for the potentially adverse environmental
effects of the Project.


Environmental Assessment is commonly defined as the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating, and
mitigating the environmental effects of a proposed project prior to making irreversible project decisions
and commitments (IAIA, 1999).

In carrying out the ESR the assessment will rely upon a number of
common data collection techniques (e.g., primary and secondary data) and predictive tools (e.g.,
dispersion modelling), all of which considered the following factors:

• Purposive: activities should lead to informed decision-making.
• Rigorous: assessment should apply best practicable science, employing techniques
appropriate to address the issues under investigation.
• Focused: concentrating on key issues and significant environmental effects.
• Practical: process should result in information and outputs that assist with decision-making in
a manner that minimizes time and finance requirements for the proponent.
• Transparent: the process should be easily understood and replicable by project

How does one get to the Kipawa Campground

From Pembroke:
Hwy 17 west to Mattawa
Turn right to Juntion hwy #63 then right to Temiskaming this shortcut saves driving to North Bay.
Once you cross the bridges follow Hwy #101 north for 40 min.
You will come to the small town of Laniel, this is the put in site.
Camping is available just across the bridge or follow the road North for +- 7km and turn left on the Grande Chutes Road 7km, this will bring you to the take out and Scott Sorenson's.

PS There is one gas station/depannuer(store) in Laniel, stop in and talk to the owners, they own the camping site and will know what is going on.

Our advantage is that we are focused on this one issue but it does encompass the essence of our sport.

The blog covers much of what you've asked about . For back postings you must click on the arrows.

The Kipawa Case: Laniel Dam Refurbishment: Judicial Review -So, we got run over like a speedbump and need to be an 800 lb gorilla to
set/reset the precedent.


Aside from Les Amis are there other local/provincial organizations with
protection/access as their mandate?


None truly dedicated

Are they connected?


Talking with AW?

Not recently, problem: membership insurance: makes joint membership at present unaffordable

River access law in Canada:do we have less legal tools than the Americans particularly in Quebec along with the far lower population and density.
What law do we have to work with?

Canadian Environmental Assessment ACT
Canadian environmental Protection ACT
Navigable Waters Protection ACt
Ontario Environmental bill of Rights

In Ontairo MOE an MNR are at loggerheads: one protects the other exploits the environment.

How do you Ship Kayaks: BUS

playboat-shipping experience via Greyhound.

As long as your boat is 7ft long or less you'll be in fine shape. Wrapped/duct-taped some cardboard around it, more because there was some fine-print which said that they were not liable for damage to unpackaged items, so you want it classed as 'packaged' so that if anything did happen to it there would have some form of recourse. There may be limits to insurance, about $400 worth, for about $9. I Shipping from Ottawa to Calgary: all told, just about $40-$50 for shipping, insurance and COD charge if relevant. Time: about 5 days

Vancouver to Guelph in 4 days. just the boat itself, no wrap or bags or any of that stuff. worked perfectly.

Playboat from Ottawa to Canmore, 65$ wrapped in bubbles. Not one was popped! May take a while though, think it was about 5 days late

Peterborough to Lake Louise for $58.00. It arrived in 4 days and was in fine shape. Wrapped it in the manufacturers original shipping material that may be available at a local outfitter for free, 40 lbs. with wrapping

all star shipped from Moncton NB to Kingston, Ontario which took 22 hours.Starting with Acadian Bus Lines then got transferred in Montreal to Coach Canada. This was MUCH less costly than UPS or courier.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Working with the Community of Minden Hills

Is Minden Hills a town that cannot meet it's obligations to constituents? Could staff and council accept more responsibility?

At this time the Minden Hills Township staff has neither the time, money nor the
additional staff to "help" with the Minden Wild Water Preserve. There are many local initiatives underway in the Township which are manned solely by volunteers. Although the Township appreciates WO's concerns for the river they are not in a position to assist with the clean-up or management of the preserve property.

Whitewater Ontario requests council to support a partnership aimed at promotion of the area in general. Like others, the Minden Wildwater Preserve is in need of funding and assistance.

The 25th anniversary is a great reason to build our fortunes at the Preserve. Whitewater Ontario will be communicating that by erecting a sign and donation station.

Whitewater Ontario hopes to erect a donation box on river right.
The request for permission to erect signage and a collection box on the
Horseshoe Lake Road side on the river must be presented to council.

In addition more proactive work will be done along the river right banks. The only way we can put a donation box on that side of the river is if we start right now cleaning and maintaining that bank.

Once Whitewater Ontario has established that it is actually doing something for the folks who use that side of the river, then, in good faith, it should be justified in asking for support in the way of public donations.

For more information

Township of Minden Hills
Cammy George
705-286-6005 fax

Whitewater Ontario
Peter Karwacki

Minden Work: Spring Clean UP Task Lists

Minden Whitewater Preserve needs some attention.

We need to get the park in shape for the season.

We'll arrange to meet anybody who can get to the park over the next few weeks and point them at whatever amount of work they are willing to do.

We'll open buildings and locate tools, purchase sundry items required, whatever support is needed I'll try to get it in place.

It looks like we have a group forming up for the 12th and 13th. However there is lots could be done before then so send me your ideas, times and I'll make sure you get your chance to volunteer.

Most important task at hand

Full cleaning of the training center public areas, kitchen, washrooms and main hall / classroom area.


Felling of a handfull of half fallen trees and in connection to that plenty of downed trees need cutting and stacking in or near the firewood shed.

Third priority

General brushing out of trails and roads as well as scrub brush removal also needs to be done.


Leaf raking, this is a huge job that will take several people a solid day to get thru. So if you can give an hour or 2 and rake a couple campsites that would be awesome.


Redistribution of Picnic Tables one to each site and the rest spread out around the group camp area. Perhaps there are a few needing minor repairs.


Get the firepits in order, many are overwhelmed with junk or half burnt logs etc. A pair of gloves and a shovel would go a long way to making firepits more functional and destroying the makeshift firepits would be a great help also.

These are the important things that must be handled before we start the camping season.

It looks as if people are stepping up to get this stuff done and thats a relief, I was concerned we may not be able to open the gates this year.

WO has been without a Property Manager for sometime now and those of us who have other things to do for the organization can't manage all of the parks needs as well as our other commitments.

Your help is not just welcome it is absolutely neccesary if we're gonna have our campground this summer

Minden Wildwater Preserve Work Weekend May 12,13

This is an appeal from Whitewater Ontario.

The Preserve is in need of a serious clean up, dangerous trees,
deadfalls, leaves, picnic tables in all the wrong places etc etc. The
Training Center Building could use a real good clean up inside and out.

There is a huge volume of work required to make the place useful for
the upcoming season.

We will not, in good faith open the gates with the number of downed or
dangerous trees, left as they are.

Naturally we have appealed to the membership to step up and figure out
how to get the place ready to be open for the season that's about to

We will try to facilitate whatever plans people would like to make.

The May Long weekend is just 3 weeks away - that would be a great time
to help out.

Other inducments are being planned. Food, beverages and comeraderie.

Anyone handy with a chainsaw? services appreciated.

The specific jobs needing done are as follows;

Leaves raked.

Dangerous and downed trees cut and stacked as firewood.

Picnic Tables returned and distributed to sites.

Training Center building needs thorough cleaning.

Roads and lanes need raking and pruning back.

Feel free to contact me with any ideas or plans you may have.

BRING YOUR OWN TOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

PHIL's Hole: Ottawa River

Quest for Gold Funding: Helping Atheletes Win

As part of the submission for the Quest for Gold Coach grant for ORR, WO committed to contribute toward the travel costs for ORR head coach JiriPsrkavic when supporting Ontario athletes.

We have accordingly budgeted $2,000 for this purpose in this years budget. Last week Jiri traveled to Charlotte North Carolina for the join US/Canada national team trials to coach a number of our athletes and helped Ontario /ORR take 7 (6 boats) of 9 (8 boats) selected to the national senior team.

We are authorizing an allocation of $453.60 from this budget to cover Jiri travel expenses as follows: Jiri's share of van rental and gas ($203.40), his hotel (100.20) meal allowance 5 days @30 as per CKC allowance ($150).

We have budgeted $3,000 for athlete assistance of which we have spent $500 to date.

We are allocating travel assistance in the amount of $100 to each of the non-nationally carded Ontario athletes that attended Senior Team Trials
(Cam Smedley,
Katrina Van Wijk,
Spencer Pomeroy,
Adam Cutts
Jamie Cutts,
Micheal Tayler,
Kathleen Taylor and
Jiri(jr) Prskavec)

a total of $800.

The following athletes were named to the national senior team for the 3 world cup races in Europe this summer and the World Championship in Brazil in Oct

Canadian Team Trials after 3 days. 8 boats are on the Senior National Team:

David Ford (Edmonton),
Pierre Levesque (Valleyfield, Que),
John Hastings Ottawa/ORR


Sara Potvin-Bernal (Chelsea)/ORR

James Cartwright (Ottawa/ORR),
Craig Allen Chilliwack),
Spencer Pomeroy (Ottawa)/ORR

Mike Holroyd/Tom Hewitt (Gatineau)/ORR

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