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, November 13, 2012

What do you have to do to get an environmental assessment?

November 7 Committee proceedings
Helen Cutts Vice-President, Policy Development Sector, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Thank you very much.
My name is Helen Cutts. I'm the vice-president of policy development at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. It's my pleasure to be with you this afternoon. My opening remarks will not take 10 minutes. That will give us more time for questions.
Division 21 in part 4 of the budget implementation act makes a minor technical amendment to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, or CEAA 2012, as it's known in the short form.
In order to provide some context for members of the committee with respect to the amendments proposed by Bill C-45, I will briefly describe the main features of the CEAA 2012.
This new act was brought into force in July shortly after Bill C-38 received royal assent.
These recent changes to federal environmental assessment are part of the responsible resource development plan. The objectives of this plan are to provide for more predictable and timely reviews, to reduce duplication for project reviews, to strengthen environmental protection, and to enhance consultations with aboriginal groups.
CEAA 2012 focuses on major projects. “Designated projects” is the term used in the legislation. Designated projects are identified in the project list regulations. The Minister of the Environment may also require the environmental assessment of a project not on the list. This scheme replaces the “all in unless excluded” approach of the former act.
Responsibility for environmental assessment has also been consolidated with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the National Energy Board. This replaces an approach that saw the act implemented by 40 to 50 federal authorities each year.
There are additional mechanisms for federal-provincial cooperation. A provincial environmental assessment may substitute for the federal process. At the end of the environmental assessment, the Minister of the Environment makes a decision, informed by the provincial report. Before approving substitution, the minister must be satisfied that the core requirements of CEAA 2012 will be met.
The Governor in Council may also declare a provincial environmental assessment to be equivalent, exempting the designated project from application of the act. The conditions for substitution must be met in this case as well.
The Governor in Council must also be satisfied that the province will make a determination as to whether the designated project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. It will ensure implementation of mitigation measures and a follow-up program.
There are now legislative timelines for environmental assessments: 365 days for an assessment by our agency; 24 months for an assessment by a review panel.
The minister may extend timelines by three months. Additional extensions may be granted by the Governor in Council. There is authority for regional environmental assessments that move beyond a project-specific focus. These are intended to assist with the assessment of cumulative environmental effects.
Finally, unlike the former act, CEAA 2012 includes enforcement provisions.
The amendments proposed by Bill C-45 are intended to address minor inconsistencies in the text of CEAA 2012 that have come to our attention over the past four months of implementation.
Clauses 425 to 427, as well as clauses 429 and 431, are intended to ensure concordance between the French and English versions of the act.
Clause 428 corrects an oversight with respect to conditions that can be put in a decision statement. At the end of an environmental assessment, a decision statement is provided to the proponent of a project. This statement sets out the conclusion as to whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. It also sets out conditions that are binding on the proponent; these are mitigation measures and requirements for a follow-up program.
The amendment proposes broader language with respect to the conditions to ensure that a decision statement can include administrative requirements such as reporting on the implementation of mitigation and follow-up.
Clause 430 clarifies that the obligation for federal authorities to ensure their action with respect to projects on federal lands do not cause significant adverse environmental effects is limited to the environmental effects caused by the components of the project that are situated on federal lands.
Finally, clause 432 proposes to close a loophole in the transition provisions. Currently, there is potential for a project to be exempted under the transition provisions even though it would have required an environmental assessment under the former act and would normally be subject to the new act. Where a proponent of a project was advised under the former act that an environmental assessment was not likely required, the transition provisions in CEAA 2012 exempt it from application of the new process.
This exemption would hold, even though a trigger under the former act—that is, a federal decision about a project—might subsequently be identified. The proposed amendment would subject a designated project, exempted under current provisions, to the requirements of the act if it is determined prior to January 1, 2014, that the project requires a federal decision that would have resulted in an environmental assessment under the former act. This amendment would ensure equitable treatment of similar designated projects under two different legislative schemes.

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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