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 22, 2012

President's Report for 2012

Les amis de la rivière Kipawa
Report from the President
26th Kipawa River Rally, June 23rd, 2012
Hello again and welcome to the Kipawa River Rally.

This has been a relatively relaxing year, but there have been some interesting events and high lights.
First, here is a list of our executive members:
Francois Diebolt -Treasurer
Peter Karwacki - President Rick Issaacson - Vice President
Wendy Sladen - Secretary/Membership Chair
Wayne Donnison - Rally Coordinator
Sandra Kiviaho - website coordinator

Thanks to all of our executive members and volunteers for their efforts to support LARK over the past year.
While Rick and Francois are not attending the rally this year they have agreed to run again in their positions should others not step forward.

We had some new folks on the executive last year, Wendy Sladen notified the membership of the meeting, 30 days in advance to comply with our by-laws. Sandra Kiviaho worked with Francois Diebolt to update our website which is now chuck full of images, video and french translations. It is much improved and a ready resource for others. Etienne Green and Tommy Allan have been our eyes and ears on the ground during the past year and their help has been greatly appreciated. As usual we thank Jim Coffey, Scott and Pat Sorensen, and Doug Skeggs for their ongoing support.

2011 Financial Summary Report
June 2012                                       Credit      Debit
Balance April 2011 - March 2012 (CREDITS) $1,918.34
Donations + Membership $624.90
interests $0.21
Total income $625.

11 April 2011 - March 2012 (DEBITS)
 Portage trail signage CK 156 $121.57
coded wrist bands CK 155 $60.00
Registraire du Quebec – fees $32.00
 LARK income tax report $51.27
Total expense $264.84 $360.27
Closing Balance $2,278.61

Not show above: A trust cheque from Birchall Northey LLP in the amount of $948,36 refunding an unused balance in our account. This puts our balance at around $3226.97 (less monthly webhosting and corporate registration fees of about $150 since the end of March)

 By way of comparison, here is the report for the previous year:

2010 Financial Summary Report June 2010
Credit Debit Balance April 2010 - March 2011
(CREDITS) $1,342.46
Donations $775.00
Membership $40.00
 interests $0.22
Total income $815.22

April 2010 - March 2011 (DEBITS)
Web hosting fees $152.55
Registraire du Quebec – fees $36.00
LARK income tax report $50.79
 Total expense $239.34 $575.88
Closing Balance $1,918.34

During the course of the last 12 months, Les amis made petitions to the provincial government of Quebec to: 1. have standing as a stakeholder in the developmenot of Opemican National (provincial) Park. Thanks to Tommy Allan, Doug Skeggs and Scott Sorensen for bringing the message forward. We are informed that the Hydro Quebec project, Tabaret is no longer excluded from the proposed Opemican Park which seems to mean that the project is "dead".

 2. allow Bonne Rouge camp ground to continue to operate on the Gatineau River Les amis was recognized by the Ottawa Riverkeeper at its 2012 annual general meeting for its tireless work to protect and preserve the Kipawa River, one of the key tributaries of the Ottawa River.

Lately we have been witness to the general malaise in the environmental movement. We are called radicals and obstructionists by our own government. Omnibus Bill c-38 has gutted the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. It is clear that our ability to protect the environment through legitimate means has been lessened. This does not diminish our desire to continue to do so.

Ask yourselves, what does it mean to have a healthy Kipawa River: how do we know we are there?

 Things we try to look for include:

A natural flow (except our rally release).

Transportation of sediment and nutrients but not too much erosion or excessive scouring of the riverbank and riverbed.

Strong and varied plant communities that provide critical habitat for fish and other riverine animals,

Productive and diverse habitat that can support numerous animal species.

Good water quality with minimal amounts of pollution and toxics.

Many macro invertebrates (bugs!) as food for many riverine species.

Diversity of fish and wildlife species.

A community that protects it through organize river clean up days and engages other community members in issues related to river health.

A healthy, caring community is an essential facet of a healthy river. Staying on top of these issues show the "authorities" we care about OUR river. We neeed to build up a larger body of knowledge about the river and build up our network of individual experts and public support that make us the "river experts" With this "expertise" and recognition from various decision makers - we can begin encouraging a partnership with the appropriate authorities to help maximize the use of the PUBLIC SPACES associated with the river.

With regards to Tabaret: is the recent Opemican announcement a victory? The half life of a political promise is about 60 days. If the area previously earmarked for Tabaret is now PART of Opemican then maybe that means that Tabaret is dead. We should celebrate anyway! So tonight after the AGM we will set off some fireworks. A modest display. Thanks again to all of you. Enjoy the river, the lodge, and safe paddling.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How to choose a paddle

Refer to leverage mechanics on Wiki

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