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, June 23, 2009

Power Project proposed for Petawawa River - YIKES!

Petawawa River (Town Section)

Flowing through the heart of Petawawa, the “Pet” is a favorite
with locals for its many access points and outstanding play spots.
This undammed river peaks in late May, when Railroad, Lovers,
and Suicide are truly huge (six and up on the gauge). Most
paddlers opt to park and play at high levels at the Catwalk or
Golf Course rapids. Medium levels see the most interesting river
running, and levels below two on the gauge create technical
eddy hopping. Check local clubs for dates and times for group
paddles—a good way to learn the river is to paddle with a local.

Hello all:

Although we are gaining ground in terms of media and public awareness, we still need your help.

As the .pdf outlines, Petawawa Green Energy Development (PGED) is preparing their Waterpower Site Strategy. They are accepting comments from the public, and are then required / expected to address them when they submit the WSS to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

This is not the same as a public consultation for an EA. That comes later.

What I need from the kayaking and outdoors community is to take a second to send off an e-mail to in regards to 2KB21 at Big Eddy at the CPR Bridge and tell them you arent so keen on this development. Doesn't need to be pretty.

Step One: Click the e-mail address given above or below.
Step Two: Cut and paste this info below.
Step Three: Send.
Step Four: Tell a friend to do the same.

If you were so inclined you could Cc:;;;


Im writing to express my concern about the 2KB21 site development on the Petawawa River. (Petawawa River at Big Eddy.)

I have concerns about the irreversible damage that this dam project will cause should it go ahead.

This includes but is not limited to:
- environmental damage during construction
- loss of a Canadian right to navigation
- loss of tourism revenue
- loss of recreational boating and swimming opportunities for residents
- destruction of habitat for flora and fauna
- damage to a major tributary of the heritage-designated Ottawa River
- damage to fish habitat for lake sturgeon and other species
- reduced flow rates in the Ottawa River

I would ask that the Waterpower Site Strategy document address these concerns.

As a citizen of Canada, I feel that this project is the loss of a PUBLIC resource for the gain of a PRIVATE enterprise, and I am strongly opposed to it proceeding.

These projects also involve roads in and out, powerlines, barbed wire fencing along the river, loss of portage, and then we get to enjoy all those STAY SAFE STAY CLEAR signs too.

Petawawa Green Energy Development Inc. has applied to the Ministry of Natural Resources to release a site on Crown land in order to develop it as a hydro-electric generating station. As a component of this process the proponent is required to submit a Waterpower Site Strategy (WSS) document. This document will describe the conceptual design and operation of the facility. Provided the WSS is accepted by the MNR, the proponent will attain Applicant of Record Status for site number 2KB21 at Big Eddy at the CPR Bridge (The Railway Rapid) on the Petawawa River. Current planning for this project estimates a generation potential of up to 10MW. Upon approval of the WSS and issuance of the Applicant of Record, the proponent will proceed with a Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects (Class EA) process as well as other permits and approvals required to secure land tenure. The Class EA is administered by the Ministry of the Environment and includes opportunities for public participation which will take place following this WSS consultation period. The Class EA consultation period will include notifications to the community regarding the availability of reports, studies and public open house events.

The proponent has retained ORTECH Environmental to assist them in this process.
Notice of Waterpower Site Strategy
Big Eddy at the CPR Bridge – Petawawa River
Interested parties are invited to comment in writing on this proposed development until July 14, 2009.
For more information please contact:
Leah Deveaux
ORTECH Environmental
804 Southdown Rd.
Mississauga ON; L5J 2Y4
Phone: 1-877-774-6560 ext. 305
905-822-4120 ext. 305

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