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, October 18, 2007

Change in venue for the court case





[b]FYI the courtroom will actually be in the Supreme Court of Canada building on Wellington Street, ground floor, to the right of the entrance. I was advised today. [/b]

Let folks who were planning on attending know that the hearing will not be at 90 Sparks.

sorry, its because we're expecting a crowd.

Les Amis fly colours at MEC GEAR SWAP

The poster advertises the court date, October 23rd. Let me if you have a good location for one.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What's all this about the Kipawa Judicial Review?

October 23, 2007: The fate of Kipawa is in the hands of the federal Court.

The Friends of the Kipawa river, a non-profit organization, was forced by PWG Services of Canada, to cancel the 21st white water Festival on the Kipawa river. This annual festival, held every year on the St-Jean-Baptist weekend gathers approximately 300 whitewater paddling amateurs. During 18 years, PWGSC had made efforts to ensure an optimal flow for the benefit of the festival. This cooperation was reversed after the advertisement of the project for the refurbishment of the Laniel dam.

The water gauge of level of 02JE015 (Laniel) located downstream from the dam Laniel, published on the internet, is converted into flows. The table of conversion was modified at the end of 2005, which resulted in a discontinuity between the filed data and the real time data. The flow of the 2005 festival (95 m3/s) had appeared curiously weak to us, especially since in the week which preceded it , enormous quantities of water had been released (150m3/s).

Our description of the river, published on our site internet² indicated whereas the laniel dam was un runnable below 100m3/s, we had not held account of the change of the interpretation of the gauge. When we noted the new guage interpretation, we started to suspect that the goal of the operators of the dam was to prevent us from running the sluice of the dam - this confusion of water levels ruined their plan. The data in real time shows that the level was higher than 7m for 20 days, between the record year 2002 and 2004. In 2005 one can see a minimum level which corresponds exactly to the dates planned for the Festival of the river Kipawa and which corresponds to an insufficient flow (60 m3/s) to cross the dam safely. It is also a level which removes the exceptional character of the festival.

The first advertisement of Public works and Governmental Services of Canada published in the local newspapers, indicated paddlers would be deprived of the first third of the river. We followed the instructions of this advertisement concerning the use of the shuttle of loading, instructions which are reproduced on a profusion of installed signage.

Comparing the words with the acts of PWGSC, there has been an ongoing inconsistency which led us to carry our case to federal court and led us to doubt success for the festival 2007. The profusion of communiqués from PWGSC flooded the press with the advertisement of its cancellation, did not change our decision.
PWGSC, likely is more concerned with its image than of the behaviour of the festival. One of the commercial rafting companies believed the declarations of good intentions of PWGSC and paid a high price. The descent of the Kipawa river formed part of its trip schedule for 2007 and it had garnered a great number of reservations for the weekend of the St-Jean-Baptist. PWGSC confired a sufficient flow - as in the past. The operation was a fiasco. In response to complaints, PWGSC answered by a standard letter pointing out the critical role the Laniel dam plays in the management of water of the basin of Ottawa, management placed under the supervision of the Commission of planning of the regularization of the Ottawa River.

Well, the planning commission of the Otawa river is made up of seven representatives (three of the government of Canada, two of the government of Ontario and two of the government of Quebec). Its mandate is defined as follows: "to establish general principles, priorities and policies of regulation, for the principal resevoirs of the basin and to implement them". One finds there also a summary of all the constraints of the management of the river : to protect from flooding banks of the river and its tributaries, particularly: to protect the banks of the river and its tributaries, particularly in the area of Montreal, which result mainly in the curtaining of flows in mid-April and the first week of May to preserve the interests of the various users of water, especially those involved with the hydroelectric energy production.

Among the other users needs, the minimal flow of low water level to ensure the security of supply of drinking water for municipalities. There are also constraints particular to the management of the lake Kipawa: to maintain the level of the lake between 267.45 and 269.75 meters for all the year, to limit the erosion and the destruction of the docks, to minimize the disturbance of the spawning time of fish, in particular pickerel, to maintain a level minimum of 269.50 meters of June 1 at November 1, for the needs for the pleasure sailing. The level of June 26, 2007: 269.51 meters to the limit.

But in the case of the lake Kipawa, in June 2007, there no were extreme hydrological conditions, the outgoing flow of the dam could be largely uncoupled from the flow entering.

The justifications of PWGSC for their management of the DAM during June 2007, DOES NOT STAND UP TO analysis, even briefly. The attitude of PWGSC has harmful consequences which extend well beyond cancellation from a whitewater festival. The festival and the descent by raft attract a Canadian (and even international) following of waterwater amateurs in the area of Laniel. This fame is confirmed by the Observatory of Abitibi Témiscamingue in its Portrait of the dam, March 20076.

By paddling the river, the public discovers landscapes of great beauty which are among the assets of the project of the national park Opémican. The restrictions to navigation issued by PWGSC, does more than deprive the park of Whitewater attractions. Recall that the Friends of the Kipawa river financed with $35.000 CAD the path which lines the river, thanks to the funds raised from past festivals.

Integration of the environmental assessment in the project of the new/refurbished dam Laniel.
February 4, 2004, under article 5 of the Canadian Law on the environnemental assessments, Public works and governmental Services Canada is named federal Coordinator of the environmental assessment of the refurbishment of the dam at Laniel.
PWGSC is also the promoter of the project, which puts it in the position of judge and jury.

PWGSC entrusted part of the study to the Experimental and Numerical Group of Engineering of the Flows of Water. A photograph of the model of the new Laniel dam which comprises 4 gates on February 21, 2005, the update of the Canadian Register of environmental evaluation showss that Fisheries and Oceans could grant a licence or an authorization under the terms of the paragraph 35(2) of the Law on fishing. A modified version of the Laniel dam project is born: one added a fifth discharge gate there (cf Fig 10), whose function is to simulate the escapes (important) of the old Laniel dam and to thus maintain an ecosystem in the Kipawa river.

One sees here an effect of the taking into account of the Law on fish which is used to protect watery fauna.

The new dam concept simulates the water releases of the old dam. March 11, 2005, the RCEEA published an Opinion concerning the participation of the particularly laconic public: "the document entitled" Request relating to the participation of the public in the environmental evaluation " is available. Please note that the period of consultation is now finished." In the document, on the fourth page, the last small paragraph entitled "Request relating to the participation of the public" shows that "the description of the range of the evaluation and the preliminary report/ratio of the prior examination will be available soon." and that "PWGSC set up a plan of communication so that all the speakers are informed and that they have the advisability of commenting on before important decisions are made."

June 24, 2005, new update of the RCEEA: Transport Canada could grant an authorization under the paragraph 6(4) of the Navigable Waters Act and could grant an authorization under the subparagraph 5(1)a) of same act, . This law is supposed to prohibit any obstacle to navigation and would be an embarrassment to PWGSC in the continuation of its project, which envisages gates opening upwards, making it impossible to run the sluice of the dam with boats - a problem that Les Amis had not failed to raise at the time of consultations.

October 7, 2005, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency publishes on its registry that the document entitled "environmental Evaluation report" is available on request. It will be noted that PWGSC took nearly 6 months to compile this document and that the only way of learning of its "publication" was to consult the Registry at the right time. It was a good way to keep the public from getting involved, don' t you think?

November 7, 2005, in an official statement of the honourable Jean-C. Lapierre, Minister for Transport and political lieutenant for Quebec, announced in the name of honourable Scott Brison, public governmental Service and Minister for Labour, the attribution of a contract of $13 406 560 was granted, following an invitation to tender, with the company David S. Laflamme Construction Inc for the rebuilding of the Laniel Laniel dam. Work will end in autumn 2007. It declares "... Travaux Public and governmental Services Canada (PWGSC) took time to examine all the options well, and it held vast consultations before beginning work of replacement of the Laniel dam. The project will be carried out with a view to the environment and according to the principle of durability...

This advertisement came only 1 month after that of the availability of the" environmental Evaluation report.
The minister did not leave much time to the public to obtain this document, to take note and to comment on it of it.

December 17, 2005, the Gazette of Canada Part I published the notice by PWGSC for the plan for approval by Transports Canada of the plans and the site of the work under the terms of article 9 of The navigable Waters Protection Act. "... Only the comments made in writing and received at the latest 30 days following the date of publication of this opinion will be considered.

Even if all the comments answering these requirements are considered, no individual answer is sent...
"PWGSC chose the Gazette of Canada and mid-December to publish this opinion, which makes it almost impossible to express an opinion for these periods of festivals.
Moreover, the fact of not answering makes the operation even more opaque.
Was this really a meaningful plan of public consultation by PWGSC?

February 9, 2006, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency publishes the decision 04-01-940 15 of approval of the project of PWGSC and Transport Canada to the Canadian Registry of environmental evaluation, 3 months after the attribution of the contract.
One might think that PWGSC put the plough before horse. PWGSC asked for public feedback while being unaware of those of whitewater amateurs and the professionals. The Friends of the Kipawa river used all the means placed at their disposal to alert the federal Coordinator of the environmental evaluation for this environmental evaluation of the consequences of its project, but in vain.
We found ourselves systematically in front of the facts only by learning of these decisions by the press releases and the advertisements from the local newspapers. However, the concerns of different interests were taken into account, as we can note it. The governmental administration used the term of yachtmen, thus avoiding distinguishing for example, between competences of a guide of raft and a driver of pedal boat.

May 31, 2005, the Web site of the scientific Presses of the CNRC16 publishes the study of C Marche1 and A. Oriac which has as a title "Evaluation of the consequences of rupture of a Laniel dam: detailed calculations or simplified method?".
This study relates to two examples: dam Laniel and the Lumsden Laniel dam, both located in the hydrographic network of the Kipawa resevoir at Témiscamingue, whereas it there of the hundreds of other dams in Quebec.
Was this a way of sensitizing the elected officials with the urgency of work?

November 8, 2005, in a press release of Radio-Canada entitled Ottawa takes the great lengths to reduce the risks , Pierre Téotonio of the federal ministry of Public works declares "In fact, it is to ensure the safety of the neighbouring communities.

Although maintenance work running [ of the Laniel dam ] was carried out during years, its capacity of evacuation must be increased to make it possible to better resist high water levesl ". It is also learned that "the contract of restoration of the Laniel dam was granted a building firm of Ontario" but that "According to the general manager of the MRC Témiscamingue, Denis Clermont, all is implemented so that the area benefits from this important investment".

March 13, 2006, the Friends of the Kipawa river launched their dispute of the environmental evaluation n federal Court.

April 20, 2006, in a press release by CBC/Radio-Canada entitled "kayakers want to put an end to the work"
the president of the MRC of Témiscamingue, Jean-Pierre Charron, reveals his indignation.

April 24, 2006, in a press release of CBC/Radio-Canada entitled Kayak Festival. The elected officials of Laniel distance themselves, the town council of Laniel nails the coffin shut by withdrawing "its support with the promoters of the festival of kayak... "during festivities, kayakers use of the sluice of the Laniel dam to descend the river. The elected officials consider now the activity dangerous."
What??, only the day before of the 20th festival, this is a late and unfounded statement, since there never was accident on this rapid. It is also one denies past and expert competence of the raft companies .

The photograph showing a raft crossing the Laniel dam for summer was withdrawn from official Internet site of the area, "Gate of Témiscamingue".

The photograph showing a raft crossing the Laniel dam was withdrawn from official Internet site of the area, "Gate of Témiscamingue". We never asserted that the dam should not be refurbished. The media beating does nothing but mask the bottom of the problem: if PWGSC made provisions allowing the crossing of the apron of the Laniel dam by motor bike-snow, with quads and with the hikers, if it added a discharge culvert to conform to Law on fishing, why it didn't equip this new channel with the system of gates existing on the old Laniel dam?

Equipment could have been reused, to reduce the costs. This would have enabled them to respect the Law on the navigable protection of water and to complete work with the satisfaction of all the parties to the project.
PWGSC preferred to make expensive additional installations (shuttles, portage trails, water guages) Our requests are not likely to slow down the project. If work is currently delayed, it is not our doing, but because of geological problems, as a press release of CBC/Radio-Canada indicated August 2, 2006 the dam Laniel: The renovation work is interrupted."..." There is a problem with cracks in the underlying rock. It is not a major surprise, except that they is a little bit more problems than than one had envisaged ", explains a manager of Public works Canada, Yvon Morin, now deceased. This unforeseen occurence pushes back the completeion of work to late in 2008, whereas it had been fixed at the autumn 2007... "

December 20, 2006, a press release of the Ministry for the Durable Development, Environment and Parks of Quebec, reads that the government of Quebec acquired three dams including the Laniel dam from the Federal government.The tranfer of these dams is quite a strange generosity, in full crisis of equalization: "... [it ] will include/understand a financial compensation of 44 M$ from the federal government, which corresponds to the costs of repair and maintenance of standards at the Laniel dams on a twenty years horizon.
The dam Laniel, currently in repair, will be transferred once the work is completed."

August 24, 2006, in a press release on CBC/ Radio-Canada titled Témiscamingue. Ottawa gives up three Laniel dams to Québec., "Hydro-electric projects on the back burner for a long time could finally be carried out. The building work of a power project called Regional, envisaged 14 yearsago , in Angliers, could for example go first."

September 4, 2006, in an official statement of CBC/Radio-Canada titled No deviation of the Kipawa river, the spokesman of Hydro-Quebec declares:
"the regional direction of Hydro-Quebec does not see any bond between the future transfer of three Laniel dams of Témiscamingue to the province and its project of hydroelectric power station Tabaret."

One can doubt the accuracy of this declaration, because Hydro-Quebec must be able to count on a reliable provisioning of the future power station of 130MW, and one of the preconditions is that the dam Laniel is operational.

This official statement sows confusion, because at any Hydro-Quebec time does not announce the abandonment of Tabaret or any other project of diversion of the river.
The MRC of Témiscamingue defends the Tabaret project savagely.

February 22, 2005, Mr Denis Clermont, then secretary-treasurer of the MRC Témiscamingue, forwarded to the regional minister, to Mr Pierre Corbeil, a certified copy of resolution # 02-05- 046A, adopted unanimously by the administrative committee of the MRC of Témiscamingue, from its ordinary session of

February 9, 2005. In this resolution, request is made to the minister to commence the Tabaret project as soon as possible. One learns there: "... the government authorized Hydro-Quebec in 1998 to undertake in-depth studies for a possible construction of the power station. Hydro-Quebec concluded an agreement with the MRC from Témiscamingue on October 24, 2001, concerning inter alia, regional Development funds and a committee of follow-up. Thus, the MRC would receive 400 000 $ per year during fifty (50) years, indexed as from the startup of the power station envisaged in 2008.
Hydro-Quebec offered as much to the First Nations of the Kipawa sector, according to the result of the negotiations between them, which obviously, never took place.
It should be retained, in the final analysis, that the two (2) agreements would be identical. On the same water level (lake Kipawa), the First Nations of Wolf Lake and Eagle Village proposed a private project of (30 MW ).
According to its energy Policy in force, the government must encourage and support collaboration and the partnerships with Hydro-Quebec. Indeed, the director of Cabinet of the Minister for the Natural resources and Parks, Mrs Luce Asselin, mentions in her letter of October 14, 2004 "that it is within the framework of the parliamentary Commitee on energy safety and future Inhabitants of Quebec that the governmental orientations in regards hydroelectric development will be evaluated and that following this exercise, the government of Quebec will define new base of development of hydraulic sites which make it up".
The Tabaret project is thus delayed, having consequences for MRC of Témiscamingue on the order of 400 000 $ per year, and as much on the indigenous side.
It thus acts of a loss of 800 000 $ per year for Témiscamingue, of which we ask for refunding just as the revival of the Tabaret project, as soon as possible... " Thus the nervousness of the MRC is better understood when the repair of the dam Laniel is delayed, because it is a precondition to the Tabaret project.
One also includes/understands why the MRC withdrew its support for the Kipawa festival when it suspected us of delaying the realization.

May 14, 2004, in the press release of CBC/Radio-Canada titled "the mayors of Témiscamingue urges Hydro-Quebec to act", one notes already impatience: "..Hydro-Quebec says that the project is far from dead and that the ball is precisely in the camp of the elected officials.
The mayor of Saint-Bruno-of-Guigues, Gerard Pétrin, "There are perhaps the aboriginals which applied the brake on the project, then the municipalities concerned with this construction. Us, of the remainder of Témiscamingue, "..."

May 13, 2005, in the press release of CBC/Radio-Canada titled the delays in the hydroelectric project of the lake Kipawa the general manager of the MRC, Denis Clermont concludes: "The Provincial government will have to find a way of convincing the First Nations of Témiscamingue, which support their own project of minicentrale."
Thus there is a competitive project defended by the Algonquins. The Friends of the Kipawa river underline the incompatibility of the two hydro-electric projects with the future national park Opémican.
The integration of the site of Opémican to the network of the national parks of Quebec is the joint request object of the regional Council of development of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Abitibi-Témiscamingue Tourism, MRC of Témiscamingue, Temiskaming Development corporation, town of Témiscaming and Opémican Corporation, transmitted in 2002 to minister Legendre, responsible for Tourism, Fauna and the Parks.

December 23, 2004, in the official statement of CBC/Radio-Canada titled Projet of national park in Témiscamingue25 one notes that: "...
The Opémican site has only 6 square kilometres, which is too small to make a national park. Quebec thus invited the persons in charge to obtain the authorizations necessary to widen this territory "the Coulombe Commission precisely speaks to increase the protected surface area. If there is population growth, ", The diversion of the Kipawa river contravenes the charter of the landscape québécois.

February 2007: publication of the MDDEP, Réserve projected of Opémican ] shows the new delimitation of the park.
One notices the exclusion of a central zone, in the shape of peel. The central part contains the outlet planned for the Tabaret project. The hiking trail project skirting Lake Témiscamingue, is cut by the restitution of water of the Kipawa river.
According to inhabitants' of the area, the central part contains also an immense still virgin forest free of any exploitation.
The park is thus likely to be composed of a wooded fringe which will include the bed of a drained river where one will see a white cut and hydroelectric installations, the Great Fall and last the rapid (which was used as decorations with a Hollywood film) will be nothing any more but memories.
A landscape of such a banality does not have a tourist attraction. However, the economic repercussions that the elected officials await are hardly modest: in the information memorandum of May 2006 "Project of national park Opémican ", published by the Temiskaming Development corporation, 35000 visitors per annum and 92 employees are envisioned.

The Hollywood rapid
The diversion of the Kipawa river contravenes the basic principles which justified the choice of the Parks Service in the delimitation of the territory of the Opémican park and in particular with: "the inclusion of terrestrial and watery zones offering strong potentials for the development of entertaining and educational activities."

"Festival of the kayak on the Kipawa river: Each year, with the festival of the St-Jean (June 24), more than 150 kayakers come from Quebec, Ontario and the United States, meet the members of "the friends of the Kipawa river" to face the 13 rapids (out of 17 km) of Kipawa, a very famous river of North America for the kayak and the rafting. Pleasure and strong feelings guaranteed." The Friends of the Kipawa river consider as organizers, that the behaviour of this festival is not viable any more under the conditions imposed by PWGSC.
This diversion is likely to disturb the biosystème considerably. However the latter is in the heart of the reserve of Opémican.
In conclusion, let us quote the disillusioned report of the report presented within the framework of the CONSULTATION ON the PROJECT OF DURABLE PLAN OF DEVELOPMENT OF the QUÉBEC33 by the regional Municipality of county of Témiscamingue, February 17, 2005:
"Since October 2001, the project [ Tabaret ] did not progress. Hydro-Quebec considers that "the social acceptability" is not there neither municipalities nor the First Nations."
Is this a sign that a debate around the development of the Kipawa river is still possible?

We have paid a heavy price to make heard, a point of view quite different from that of the MRC of Témiscamingue, PWGSC and of Hydro-Quebec.
The legal expenses that we incur are estimated at more than $100 000. We face this exorbitant expenditure thanks to the generous gifts of the paddling community- amateurs which actively support us in this cause. But we would have preferred to devoting these funds towards recreotourism at the Kipawa.

The arrogant attitude of these public institutions in this situation has been most frustrating. The delays taken by the repair of the dam Laniel does not have impact on the Opémican project: indeed the calendar of this last envisaged a beginning of the public consultations in 2009. However this calendar itself was deferred. The interested parties are again likely to find themselves facing hydro-electric development, and the public may start to become aware of the perverse effects of the harnessing of the rivers on the landscapes and the quality of the surface water, which constitutes the essence of drinking water.

Whitewater Ontario Annual General Meeting - 2007 Edition

We are having our annual general meeting in Peterborough on November 3rd

Whitewater Ontario A.G.M
Best Western Otonabee Inn
84 Lansdowne St E
(705) 742-3454

I hope you and some of your friends will use the opportunity to engage this group of volunteers.

River preservation has been facilitated by Whitewater Ontario on the coat tails of its Slalom racing grants from the Ministry of Health. Yet without this funding and the obligations that come with it Whitewater Ontario could not afford its office, its website, its phone lines, the upkeep of the Minden Wildwater Preserve and so many other things.

Most of all, Whitewater Ontario needs volunteers, people who want to promote and sustain the sport they love. Since we live in a society dominated by big business, big government and big unions, the voice of the individual is magnified by their membership in an organization like Whitewater Ontario, which is, by default the only Non Governmental Organization working to preserve recreational whitewater in Ontario. ( and also in Canada - remember Whitewater Ontario is the largest single contributor to the Kipawa River Legal Defense Fund.

Again, the meeting details:

Whitewater Ontario 2007 Annual General Meeting

Whitewater Ontario's 2007 AGM will be held in Peterborough at the Best Western Hotel in Peterborough (84 Lansdowne Street E) at 9:30 AM on November 3rd. All members or potential members are welcome to attend.

More information on the venue is here:

Canoe Ontario's AGM will be following at 1:00 PM and all Whitewater Ontario members are encouraged to attend.

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