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, June 25, 2010

Report of the President to the AGM of Les Amis

Les amis de la rivière Kipawa
Report of the President to the AGM
June 26th, 2010

Les amis, with the broad support of its membership was able to pay off its court costs:
Les Amis de la riviere Kipawa vs The Attorney General of Canada and al

Court File No. A-4-08 file: 5-378838 $2,463.51
Court File NO. 5-378838 S.C.C. 32874 Judgement January 29, 2009 $1,949.24
Total $4412.75

Les Amis received a letter from crown attorney Vincent Vielleux advising that its expenses had been paid in full, our cheque from treasurer Francois in the amount of $2083.80 having been received. He wished us well in paddling the Kipawa for years to come. The total amount raised wa $6,787. We thank the donors for the support which has enabled Les Amis to move forward with its mission to protect and preserve the ecological and recreational values of the Kipawa River. The details of the donations are available on my personal blog posted December 12, 2009 at

Of special note were the large donations from Esprit Rafting and our attorney at lower court: Rob Monti.

Leading up to this the executive of Les Amis had planned a General Meeting to consider whether or not it should declare bankruptcy. Fortunately this was obviated by the donations raised by the membership. Only two members attended the meeting. Members voted with their donations.

Les amis was a signatory to a petition in a coalition with 14 other environmental groups to have the proposed changes to the CEAA stripped from the budget – OMNIBUS Bill c-9. This bill is currently at the level of the senate. This was consistent with our earlier efforts to stall bill c-20 which gutted the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

Unfortunately, due to lack of water, not lack of cooperation from the Federal Government, the 24th Kipawa River Rally was cancelled. Members are encouraged to attend the Kipawa River Lodge at the AGM June 25,26, 27th, 2010. I would like to thank the Federal Department of Public Works , Goods and Services Canada for their ongoing support of Les Amis in hosting their Kipawa River Rally.

Les Amis continues to be a member of the Canadian Environmental Network.

Les Amis made inquires concerning the designation of the Kipawa River as a World Heritge Site.

Les Amis met with Innergex by teleconference to learn of their plans for water diversion for the Kipawa River. It was learned that the Kipawa River had been diverted for about 50 years from 1905 through 1968.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the executive of Les Amis has presented plaques of appreciation and recognition to Rob Monti, Doug Skeggs and Jim Coffey for their tireless efforts to protect and preserve the Kipawa River from 2006 through 2010.

Its been quite a year. For 2010 onwards Les Amis' s position: 'No diversion of the Kipawa' faces immediate opposition from the local Algonquin bands as they want their Innergex project to proceed. Hydro Quebec wants its Tabaret project to proceed. The township of Laniel has a mayor who has been tasked to try and push the Tabaret project at the level of the MRC.

I thank my fellow executive members, our award recipients, and the membership for their support over the past year.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ontario's Whitewater Festivals Cancelling due to Lack of WATER

This just in

We have just been informed by the organizing committee of Gullfest 2010, that the event has been cancelled due to low water levels at the Gull. This event was scheduled to run on the weekend of July 3-4, 2010 at the Preserve in Minden.

Whitewater Ontario office
905 985-5256 (fax)

411 Carnegie Beach Road
Port Perry, ON L9L 1B6

To this add:


and of course, the Kipawa River Rally

Monday, June 21, 2010

Les Amis de la Riviere Kipawa AGM June 26th, Kipawa River Lodge at 7:30 PM


The AGM is still scheduled for this weekend June 26th, 2010!:

The 24th Annual Kipawa Rally has been cancelled due to unavailability of rally level water flows. LARK's Annual General Meeting (Les Amis de la Riviere Kipawa) is scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 pm at the Kipawa River LODGE – election of executive members will take place and all are welcome to attend

Camping will be available at the scenic Kipawa Lodge (takeout) and also in the village of Laniel (put-in) Camping at the Kipawa Lodge is $25 per night and includes the rally registration fee payable to Scott Sorensen. Tenters may use the river cabin for cooking and toilet facilities. Camping is also available at Camping Laniel ( in the village of Laniel.

Fish fry dinner WHICH WAS TO be hosted Saturday night by the Sorenson family on Saturday night at 6 pm is cancelled due to the lack of fish.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to gather around the campfire and socialize with friends and be part of the LARK organization. See you at the Kipawa!

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