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, October 30, 2012

Conservative's Lakes Protected

After federal changes to waterways rules, 89 per cent of protected lakes lap on Conservative shores
Almost one third contained in Ontario cottage country ridings held by Tories Clement and Devolin
By GLEN MCGREGOR, Ottawa Citizen October 29, 2012 6:45 PM

OTTAWA — The vast majority of lakes that retain federal protection under the government’s proposed changes to waterway rules lap up against ridings held by Conservative MPs.
While revisions to the Navigable Waters Protection Act has stripped federal oversight from thousands of Canadian waterways, 89 per cent of the lakes that will still be designated as protected are in Tory territory, a Citizen analysis shows.
By contrast, only 20 per cent of the designated lakes, itemized in the second omnibus budget bill, are in ridings held by New Democrats. Only six per cent splash on Liberal shores.
The list of lakes includes those surrounded by wealthy cottagers north of Toronto, in the Muskoka district of the riding held by Treasury Board President Tony Clement.
The Conservatives’ budget bill introduced earlier this month overhauls the Navigable Waters Protection Act, which currently requires federal approval for development on the thousands of bodies of water across the country that are big enough to float a canoe.
Under the new legislation, this protection will be limited to only 97 lakes and 62 creeks, rivers and canals, as well as Canada’s three oceans.
The Conservatives contend that the changes have no relation to environmental protection and are intended only to slice through the bureaucratic red tape that delays even small, inconsequential projects, such as modifications to bridges or wharves.
Critics claim the rewritten law, in concert with revisions of other regulations, further strips away environmental protection once provided by the mandatory federal review.
But the small number of lakes itemized will still enjoy scrutiny from federal law, and most of these — 87 of 97 — are within or next to ridings won by Conservatives in 2011.
In Clement’s riding of Parry Sound–Muskoka, for example, a dozen lakes retain the protection that government has lifted from thousands of other bodies of water across the country.
Among them is Lake Rosseau, where Hollywood celebrities, business moguls and NHL stars perch on its banks.
Empty lots on Lake Rosseau and its equally affluent neighbours, Lake Muskoka and Joseph Lake, start around $1 million. “Cottages” on their winding shores — typically luxury homes — routinely sell for between $2.5 million and $5 million.
Actress Goldie Hawn has a place there. So does former Detroit Red Wing Steve Yzerman and the family of late cable baron Ted Rogers.
Actor Tom Hanks, director Steven Spielberg and many Toronto Maple Leafs players are regular visitors to three lakes, according to the New York Times.
As Conservative MPs tend to hold a greater share of rural seats, it’s natural that their ridings will contain more designated lakes than those represented by New Democrats or Liberals, whose seats are more often urban or suburban and less often near water.
But the specific designation of certain lakes in cottage country under the government’s omnibus budget implementation bill will ensure Clement doesn’t face angry Muskoka cottagers.
Sixty-eight protected lakes are in Ontario and 15 are in B.C. Only four of the designated 97 lakes have shoreline in Quebec, slighting ridings held by the NDP, with a majority of its caucus from Quebec.
Transport Canada says it chose the designated waterways by looking at Statistics Canada’s freight movement data and other sources to determine which were the busiest.
To qualify, protected bodies of water must be “accessible by ports and marinas in proximity to heavily populated areas,” and support “heavy commercial and/or recreational navigation activity,” the department says.
But the department also said it did a further “qualitative analysis” that considered the historical importance of each waterway, its proximity to heavily-populated areas and other factors.
The department did not say who made the final determination or why so few lakes in Quebec cottage country were included.
The number of lakes abutting NDP or Liberal ridings would be even lower were it not for the inclusion of the massive Great Lakes on the protected list. Lake Ontario alone borders 22 electoral districts, including six urban seats in Toronto and Hamilton held by the NDP.
Many of Ontario’s protected lakes are clustered in Clement’s riding and the adjacent Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes–Brock, represented by Conservative MP Barry Devolin. Between them, their ridings contain 29 protected lakes.
Another 27 designated lakes are split between the Eastern Ontario ridings of Leeds–Grenville, held by Conservative Gord Brown, and Lanark–Frontenac–Lennox and Addington, represented by Conservative Scott Reid.
In British Columbia, most of the designated lakes are in the interior, in the Okanagan valley or the Kootenays.
The Citizen used mapping software called ArcGIS to determine which federal electoral district the shoreline of each lake named in the budget bill overlaps. This data was combined with election results from 2011 to calculate breakdowns by MPs’ parties.

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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