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, December 18, 2009

Hugo Chavez, Copenhagen, and Us

Dec. 17th, 2009 Video: Hugo Chavez speech, inspiring and courageous in his delivery. A man of the hour but will enough people support a social solution that will help all, or will the propaganda and spin bar the way to any positive way out of this mess. Worth watching...

Check the three clips (Total 27 min) of the Hugo Chavez speech in Copenhagen, Dec. 17th, 2009 at: (Spanish and English) simultaneously

or click below:

Hugo Chavez 1/3 voice of the people

Hugo Chavez 2/3 voice of the people

Hugo Chavez 3/3 voice of the people

Please share it with others...thanks.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Friends of the Kipawa River

* Outdoor Sports: Whitewater Paddling, Cycling, Climbing, Trekking;
* Natural History: Travel/study Tours in Ethnology of the Algonquins,
* History of Logging and Mining, Early Fur Trade
* Nature Reserve tours and Species Studies: Spring and Fall Flower Photography, Birding, Trekking and Sightseeing.

In Temiskaming we are fortunate to enjoy one of the most magnificent rivers in the world.

It thunders down from Lake Kipawa, rolls along highway 101, and crashes down to Lake Temiskaming. From the Nahani River in the far north to the Grand River in the south, rivers help define our country and our natural heritage.
Unfortunately, we haven’t been smart about the Kipawa River – and it shows. It has not been protected and is threatened by two diversion proposals!

It’s time to set a goal for river preservation in Temiskaming. The Kipawa is a Wild & Scenic River that should be protected from dams, diversions, and other disruptions to its natural state.

Quebec has many miles of rivers and streams. We should preserve the 19 miles of our most pristine river, through Wild & Scenic designation. We know it can be done.

Protecting the Kipawa river provides people with opportunities for recreation and generates economic benefits as well. We need this protected river for fishing, camping, picnicking, whitewater boating, or simply getting out to
the nature from time to time. River recreation pumps millions of dollars into Quebec’s economy every year and provides steady income for rural communities. It can do so in Temiskaming!.

At the same time, protecting the Kipawa river guarantees a home for countless creatures from river otters and osprey to bass and pickerel. We have a responsibility to make sure that future generations have the opportunity to see these beautiful animals in their natural homes. Protect just 19 km of Quebec's magnificent rivers? Surely we can do that.

There was a time when people in Quebec took riverbanks and creeksides for granted. Now the rapid pace of development forces us to plan carefully to preserve our open spaces. This is especially true in some of the fastest growing regions of Quebec. Creating a Kipawa river pathway with easy access for everyone must be a key element of our forward-thinking planning.

This isn't just a local idea. All around the world, communities recognize the collective benefits of establishing river pathways for all their residents to enjoy picnicking, bike riding, swimming, jogging, and strolling along a river. Ensuring that everyone has access to riverfront areas improves the quality of life in a community. Riverside parks offer opportunities for camping, fishing, and family reunions.

If only a few developers control a community's waterfront, then most people are shut out. With unlimited development, the Kipawa Rier riverbanks will more likely be lined with concrete and “No Trespassing” signs than with pathways and picnic tables.

River pathways offer much more than just recreation. They play a critical role in flood management and habitat restoration. The natural weather cycle of Quebec includes a wet spring. When rainfall is above normal, the Kipawa rises accordingly. Keeping the land along the riverbanks open and undeveloped allows the water to rise without threatening homes or lives.

River pathways also play a critical role in habitat restoration, and they bring nature to us. Birds and animals that naturally make their homes along the Kipawa are allowed a place to live and their populations flourish.

River pathways simply make life better for all of us. Preserving our pristine river and creating a river pathway for everyone is part of Les Amis' common sense plan to preserve, restore, and sustain the Kipawa river. Learn more about this proposal and our entire 20-year plan at

The Kipawa river belongs to everyone, and everyone should enjoy the environmental, economic, and recreational benefits. Friends of the Kipawa River advocate a long-term plan to preserve, restore, and sustain this amazing river. We
propose an achievable, five-point plan to benefit all that can be fully realized within twenty years.

Preserve the 19 miles of the Kipawa River– Quebec’s most pristine river through Wild & Scenic designation. It will be the first River in Canada to achieve such a designation. The Kipawa river provides unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation, important habitat for fish and wildlife, and a critical source of clean water. Protecting this most beautiful river as Wild & Scenic will preserve our natural heritage for future generations.

Establish 25 miles of river pathways with easy public access. River pathways offer recreational opportunities for biking, walking, school outings,and picnics. This will bring nature into easy reach of Quebec's urban areas, providing habitat for dozens of native species. Everyone should have access to our beautiful Kipawa river.

Ease the impact of existing dams & remove those that are obsolete. Return the Kipawa river to its natural flows allowing native species and natural ecosystems to recover and create opportunities for increased recreational tourism like fishing and rafting.

Protect and restore water quality for people & wildlife. Every living thing needs clean water - and for many that water comes from the Kipawa river.

Protecting and restoring the water quality in the Kipawa is a critical component of meeting the fresh water needs of Temiskaming.

Learn more about this plan and other ways Friends of the Kipawa River can help to save the Kipawa River at


Friends of the Kipawa River


The Kipawa river cannot protect itself. Our magnificent river faces increasing pressure from developers, polluters, and dam builders.

Friends of the Kipawa River, Temiskaming's main river conservation
organization, advocates a common sense approach to preserving the Kipawa river, restoring parts of the river that have been damaged, and promoting sustainable water management to ease the pressures on it.

Our policy experts earn the respect of provincial officials. Our volunteers educate hundreds of people each year. Most importantly, our members take action. They write letters. They attend meetings. They tell agencies and corporations that we care about the Kipawa river. The more members we have and the more active you are, the more effectively we can implement our river-saving plan.

We know – and you know – that the Kipawa river is a treasure to be preserved, not just a resource to be exploited.

Join Friends of the Kipawa River now and help us put our plan to work.

Yes, I want to join Friends of the Kipawa River and help save the Kipawa River.

CITY Province Postal Code
E-MAIL ADDRESS (we need your email address to reach you
with urgent alerts)

Enclosed is my tax
deductible contribution of:
❑ $35 ❑ $50 ❑ $100 ❑ $250
❑ Other ____________
❑ I have enclosed a check made payable to:
Friends of the River
❑ I prefer to charge my contribution to my:
❑ Visa ❑ MasterCard ❑ American Express

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