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

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Ottawa River Access Point: Courtesy of OWL Rafting

Thanks to Claudia, Dirk, Hermann and Christa

Vision and contribution to the recreational paddling community

Comments on 2007 World Freestyle Championships: Ottawa River

Steve Fisher wowed the crowd and even snapped a paddle blade off while he was inverted but still stayed on the Bus for a few more moves. Esprit cruised by with a 2 boat training trip, one clean the other dumped, great cheers from all the spectators!

The wave started small at 8:00 am but was huge by 11:00am. The show kept getting bigger as the day went.

photo courtesy of Holeriders: Robert Faubert photographer

Freestyle strategy
Aspects of judging
Paddling Conditions
What it takes to win on a big wave.
Mishaps broken paddles, paddle manufacturer anyways?
Hard work = yes
Scheduling = in the hands of the dams upstream
Reporting = event time and date, and location

Level Six
Worlds Website
Chasing Rain
Claire O'Hara
Emily Wall
Fiona Jarvie
Joe Carberry
Team Dagger
Jackson Kayak
Entropy Gear
The worlds held mid week on a monster wave is the best thing that could happen to Freestyle.
The contestants are doing things that average boaters can't do which makes watching the sport more enjoyable for the average boater as one can appreciate the ability of the players.
The moves are way beyond what average boaters can dream of and on a wave that most boaters are scared of. That is what a pro sport is made of and should give this sport the recognition it deserves.
Joe Kowalski did a great job organizing: Multiple vans and boats shuttled people from the Farmhouse B&B to WT lunchspot, to the island in no time flat. The day went off without a hitch!

Competitors on average, seemed to nail one or two moves per ride. It was humbling actually to see some of these great boaters occasionally flush off before even pulling a move. Buseater is not that forgiving, so you had to be a real fighter to pull lots of moves and hang in there. Often for no apparent reason in the middle of a good ride, a boater would just get kicked, swallowed in the seam and flushed down the toilet bowl. As always there were some insane wipeouts! When the moves went down though, they were huge- lots of air!
Some had some amazing rides, pegging a variety of moves off consecutatively. So it was definately fun to be a spectator... very hard to gauge what points a ride would get though.

There was a condensed format. Each contestant got a practice ride and then four competition rides (the best two of which earned the points) . It took boaters a while to get organised, on the rope... waiting for the judges to score etc, it was a long day. There were cameras everywhere. With nine hours of competition per day.

Some of the WT staff are putting in 18 hour days and they are putting on an awsome time- great event and great parties!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Minden work Weekend May 06/07, 2007

As its turns out quite a bit of work was done and more needs to be done.

Anything people can do to help us clean up would be appreciated especially in the washrooms.

To give you an idea of the herculean efforts that took place last weekend...

The pipes in most of the lower washrooms froze out. There were dozens of splits and broken joints. 8 hours of volunteer time was spent on Saturday soldering and repairing plumbing.

Brad and Kim Whipp along with Wayne Donison cut and stacked fire wood. Jon McPhee assisted them and they managed to remove all the dangerous deadfalls.

Bill Ness cleaned and generally buffed the exterior and grounds of the building.

Russ Duhaime and his family raked and removed brush from the general area around the parking lot and building.

Jon's partner Dianne Connors and Bill Ness's wife Rita cleaned the entire upper floor and kitchen using river water as Gary George, the defacto plumber was unable to get the water running until very late in the day. An amazing feat considering the distance to carry the water.

In the end the interior may be presentable, the lower washrooms are still questionable and the outhouses need attention. Porcupines have attacked them as they love to eat plywood.

The campsites are still unraked, the roads need cleaning and some grading, there is brush hanging on all roads and trails and the picnic tables are as they were left last fall.

Firepits are uncleaned, although that is somewhat minor. There are several cords of wood stacked in various places around the site that ought to be moved to the wood shed. The woodshed could stand a restacking and then we could fill it with the fresh stuff.

These are the sorts of things that now need attention.

We still need a solid effort this weekend to get the leaves off and
the sites looking useful. There are plenty of details to address and
many minor improvements and repairs to tables, outhouses, sheds etc. Many
markers and boulders demarking sites need fixing or replacement.

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