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

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's new at Whitewater Ontario

Minutes of the Executive

At the recent teleconference attended by Steve Pomeroy, Jim Taylor, Claudia Van Wijk, James Smedley, Bill day, Carol Westwood and Peter Karwacki: September 26, 2007 at 19:30 hours

Finances are always a concern. The year, started with $25,000 cash on hand. Given the activity level: cash at year end is expected to be $15,000.

Minden attendance is up but cash raised from clinics is down.

The Date of the Annual General Meeting is set (AGM) for November 3rd, at 0900 AM. It will be in Peterborough, Ontario at the Best Western Hotel.

Travel to recreational center planning conference by Gary George is approved: His registration will be paid by WO as the benefits for Minden are obvious. Sponsorship amount approved is $350. USD.

Quest for Gold Athelete Carding
The criteria for the awarding of cards is approved and displayed on the Whitewater Ontario Website:
The members of the executive approved the criteria and process as developed by Doug Corkery of the ORR.

WO receives 4 cards which will be split between 8 paddlers. About $5000 is the financial value of the card award.

Canoe Ontario Report

CO will also have its AGM in Peterborough on November 3rd, 2008

Gullfest 2008
The date of Gullfest in 2008 was set for July 12/13 2008
The Andrew Westlake Slalom will be held June 28, 29, 2008.

VP of communications will start work on the 2008 event book.

Regional Items:

Bill Day is requesting paddling clinic assistance for the 2008 year. Thunder Bay has the largest collection of cadet paddlers in Ontario.

President's Report

The Judicial Review of the Environmental Assessment of the Kipawa Rivr Dam Refurbishment will be heard in Ottawa on October 23rd at 09:30 hours.

Whitewater Ontario has joined the Ontario Environmental Network and is now a stakeholder of record on water issues. WO successfully added the recreational value of whitewater to the water agenda.

Whitewater Ontario has applied for grant funds from Mountain Equipment coop (MEC) for the faciliatation of the Minden MWWP preserve Marketing and Management Study recommendations for self sustainability.

The father of Donna Boadway passed recently. As administrative contact, the members expressed their sympathy. A card was sent.

Whitewater Ontario is a member of the American Whitewater Association. As a result any member of Whitewater Ontario is eligible for a discounted AWA membership.

Lower Madawaska Take Out
Here is a message from the good folks at MKC concerning fundraising to upgrade the Lower madawaska takeout

River Awareness:
The Lower Madawaska River Take-Out Needs Your Help!

The Lower Madawaska River between Aumond Bay and Griffith is classified as a non-operating waterway provincial park in the Ontario Parks system; thus, does not receive any funding for up keep and maintenance. It is up to us users, the paddlers of the area, who benefit from this remote wilderness area section to ensure that it remains so.

For the past 20 years, both Boundless Adventures and Madawaska Kanu Centre staff have maintained these areas as best they could. Now we are focusing on raising funds for an upgrade on the Buck Bay take-out road.
Eight years ago we raised funds that were matched by the MNR to fix up the put-in road at Aumonds Bay. It is now time to do the same for the take-out road at Buck Bay.

In the past MNR has matched all donations, we are hoping that this will be the case for the Lower Mad Project. If we raise $5,000 and it is matched by the MNR the total would be $10,000- which is the amount needed to fix the road. Boundless Adventures and MKC have each pledged $1000 (and are only a fraction of the users). To raise the remaining funds we are asking the paddling community who paddle this fantastic Ontario whitewater gem to donate $30 each to this cause.

Please help by spreading the word and donating to this cause.

MKC is collecting funds on behalf of the project. Please send you donation to:

MKC- Lower Mad Project
39 First Ave
Ottawa, ON
K1S 2G1 613 594 5268


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