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

Monday, June 2, 2014

Whatever happened to Adam's Mine? - The Half Life of a Political "Promise" is 60 days!

Naturally from Wikipaedia
In 2003, the Ontario Liberal Party, led by Dalton McGuinty, won the provincial election and on April 5, 2004, provincial Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay and Minister of the Environment Leona Dombrowsky introduced legislation which revoked all certificates and permits related to the Adams Mine proposal.

This had the effect of permanently killing the 1996 plan.
Charlie Angus, a local musician and author, was one of the community leaders who organized the campaign against the Adams Mine proposal. He subsequently ran for political office, and was elected to Parliament in the 2004 federal election.

Toronto continues to export its trash to Michigan, causing a great deal of controversy for southern Ontario and Michigan communities which endure the transport of waste through their communities. Critics continue to point out that Toronto's exporting plan avoids forcing the city and region to come to terms with the waste its citizens generate, however there appears to be little political will to reduce consumption and bring about a regional waste management strategy which will avoid the necessity to export to distant landfills. The shipping of garbage to Michigan briefly became an issue in the United States presidential election, 2004 when John Kerry, on a campaign stop in Michigan, promised to ban the import of Canadian garbage if he was elected. In September, 2005, the Michigan state legislature voted almost unanimously against accepting Toronto's garbage.

The debate was finally put to rest on June 17th, 2004 when the Adams Mine Lake Act was passed by a vote of 63 to 18. The Act, signed into law by the Lieutenant Governor, made the mine property strictly off-limits for waste storage. The Act also revoked all existing approvals pertaining to the project. The agreement went a step further and prohbited any legal action to be taken against the Ontario Government as a result of the legislation. This came as bad news to the owner of the Adams Mine property. He was to be compensated for the purchase of the property, associated studies and tests, legal services, property taxes and government approval costs.

Today the mine remains very much the way it was left. Equipment fills the buildings, manuals and books sit on shelves and office equipment is still in place. From What are the "Top Ten" Concerns?

1. Contaminated Groundwater
2. Contaminated Surface Water
3. Bad Design
4. Toxins will bioaccumulate.
5. Negative affects on other businesses, such as tourism and farming.
6. Publicly unacceptable.
7. Undermines waste reduction and recycling.
8. Long term monitoring.
9. Ignores Algonquin land rights.
10. Bad land use.
(plus many others under these broad categories)
from Of interest to Community Groups who are addressing projects of this type:
What was done to stop the Adams Mine landfill proposal near Kirkland Lake

The rules governing landfills are strong enough to prevent bad projects, “but the rules, for whatever reason, aren't interpreted correctly.” (Vanhof) “It's your job to make them prove it,”
“You want to make it safe and if stopping it is the only way to make it safe, so be it.” Note: Public opposition killed the first Adams Mine proposal, but the plan was modified and the site was eventually approved, despite continued public outcry. Opponents spent a year monitoring the mine to disprove the landfill proponents assertions in the second proposal, but government officials weren't interested in what they had to say. “The Ministry (of Environment) didn't want to hear anything, basically told us to go away,” The tide turned when landfill opponents in the business community hired an independent expert to conduct a review and critical analysis of hydrogeological (groundwater) investigations related to the proposal.The results caused the decision to approve the site to be reversed so make a stand on groundwater safety.
There were more than 20 groups involved in the Adams Mine fight, from radical environmentalists opposed to the landfill on principle to business, First Nations and seniors groups so it's important to rally as many groups as possible in fighting a landfill. But it's equally important that the groups maintain separate identities, which was key when the business group hired an independent expert in the Adams Mine situation. “Someone who is opposed (to a landfill) in principle is going to have a hard time getting someone to go to bat for them,”.
Having the right experts on board and having the people behind you is key, pointing out that a lack of significant public opposition is taken as tacit approval by landfill proponents.“The companies behind these things gauge the difficulty (of receiving site approval) by how much people are opposed.” When it comes to getting politicians involved in fighting a proposal, elected officials are the voice of the people.“They have to be pushed, all of them,”
Opponents have to “push all the right buttons, if you're going to make it safe.” from

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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