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, November 22, 2007

Typical Whitewater Park Deliberations

This summary come from Saskatoon where there are considering a whitewater Park by altering an existing weir on the Saskatchewan river

TO: Secretary, Planning and Operations Committee
FROM: General Manager, Community Services Department
DATE: October 22, 2007
SUBJECT: Whitewater Park Proposal Community Engagement Feedback
FILE NO: CK. 4129-1, LS. 5520-1

RECOMMENDATION: that the request for the Functional Design Study on the Whitewater Park Proposal be referred to the 2008 Capital Budget Committee.


During its March 12, 2007 meeting, City Council received a report from the General Manager, Community Services Department regarding a Whitewater Park recreational facility. Representatives from the Whitewater Park Committee advised City Council that their organization had done a significant amount of public consultation and requested that a stakeholder group be established to prepare a preliminary design for consideration during the 2008 Capital Budget. City Council resolved:

“1) that the Administration prepare a capital budget submission to proceed with the public consultation as described in this report to determine the level of interest for a whitewater recreation facility in Saskatoon and to identify issues and concerns from neighbours and other stakeholders related to the operation of such a facility at the proposed location (i.e. the weir);

2) that should the above capital budget project be approved by City Council, the information gathered from the above consultations and the technical expertise within our Corporate staff be used to develop a list of design and operational criteria for inclusion in the terms of reference for any preliminary or detailed design plans that may be approved by City Council in the future; and

3) that the Administration and Whitewater Park Committee work together in setting budget and timing of the preliminary design.”

During its July 16, 2007 meeting, City Council considered a report from the General Manager, Community Services Department outlining a Community Engagement Strategy for the proposed Whitewater Park at the weir. City Council approved that the Administration proceed with the Community Engagement Strategy outlined in the report to determine the level of interest for a whitewater recreation facility in Saskatoon and to identify issues and concerns from stakeholders.

The purpose of this report is to bring forward the results of the public consultation process, and to identify the components that would be included in terms of reference for a preliminary design study that would address the issues raised through the public consultation process.


As was reported to City Council in July, the Whitewater Park Committee had already done a significant amount of public consultation on this project during late 2005 to May 2007. To supplement the community consultations conducted by the Whitewater Park Committee, the Administration implemented the Community Engagement Strategy approved by City Council.

Summary Feedback

During the community engagement process, your Administration received verbal comments and questions raised at the internal stakeholder meeting and at the special meeting for the neighbouring community associations. In addition to this, there were comment forms and emails submitted. In total there were approximately 375 comments, questions, and concerns received. There were a significant number of the comments collected from supporters of the Whitewater Park Committee, and the Committee took an active role in promoting the public engagement opportunities and encouraged their supporters to forward comments in support of the Whitewater Park.

The summary can be categorized as follows:

• 65 percent were Saskatoon residents and strongly in favour of the project,
• 15 percent were non-city residents in favour of the project. Comprised primarily of rowing and kayaking clubs and individuals from across Canada interested in having the facility available to use for training or recreational purposes.
• 15 percent were Saskatoon residents strongly opposed to the project; and
• 5 percent had mixed reviews. They were not absolutely opposed to the project but wanted to ensure a number of issues were addressed if the project was to proceed.

The following is a summary of the public input opportunities and a general summary of the feedback gathered:

1. Internal Stakeholder meeting – A meeting was held with staff from various Civic departments, who may be directly or indirectly affected by this project. Fifteen staff attended representing 12 Branches within the Corporation, and the discussion centred on general comments and requirements surrounding the design and development of the Whitewater Park.

2. Meeting with neighbouring Community Associations – This meeting was hosted on September 13, 2007, with 11 people were in attendance representing City Park, North Park, Richmond Heights, River Heights, and Caswell Hill. There was interest in the project as it would open the river for use and it would provide a good facility for the rowing and canoeing clubs. However, the concerns were as follows:

- noise;
- lack of parking and access to the facility;
- traffic to the area;
- changes to the promenade recently dedicated by Prince Charles; and
- safety of the weir.

There was general consensus that the water park should be developed at a different location along the river, such as the east side of the river adjacent to the University of Saskatchewan.

3. Open House Meetings and E-mails - There were two open house meetings hosted, one hosted on site at the weir on Saturday, September 22, 2007 (approximately 300 people attended) and one hosted at SIAST, Kelsey Campus on September 27, 2007 (approximately 125 people attended). The Whitewater Park Committee distributed notices of the open house meetings encouraging people to attend. Presentations on the Whitewater Park were made at both meetings by representatives of the Whitewater Park Committee. The following is a summary of the comments:

a) In support of Whitewater Park:

• Opportunity to get better use of the river.
• Tourism and economic benefits.
• Will make the weir safer and more environmentally friendly.
• Will increase the interest in the sport or kayaking and paddling.
• Provides a facility to encourage people to get more physically active.

b) Opposed to the Whitewater Park:

• Will take away the quiet and the undeveloped east side of the river for walking.
• Not a priority for the capital construction in comparison to other demands, e.g. fixing the streets, improving snow removal, constructing the south bridge, and addressing the affordable housing crisis.
• Doesn’t serve a large portion of the population.
• Negative impact to the wildlife, specifically the migratory birds that use the island as a bird sanctuary, in particular pelicans and geese.
• Pelicans are currently a tourist attraction and that would be lost.
• The river water is dirty and the debris floats downstream.
• Parking and increased traffic along Spadina Crescent.
• Negative impact on the real estate value of homes near the weir.
• Increased noise and the potential to attract youths at all hours of the night.
• The weir has not reached its life expectancy; therefore, should not be decommissioned.
• Safety issues associated with using the river as a Whitewater Park.

4. Methods of Creating awareness of the Community Engagement Plan
During the consultation processes, there were concerns raised about the lack of advertising and notification of the public forums and the presentations being skewed towards supporting the development of the Whitewater Park. The process was designed to provide a variety of public engagement opportunities, and the tools used (open house meetings, website, email, fax, and mail) are consistent with other public engagement processes administered by the Community Services Department. The specific tools and meeting notices included:

• Notice of the public meetings was delivered door to door in the four adjacent neighbourhoods.
• Notice of the public meetings was published in The StarPhoenix on September 8 and 15, 2007.
• Posters with notice of the meetings and information on the Whitewater Park were put on display in all Civic centres.
• News Releases were sent out with information about the public meetings and posted on the front page of the City of Saskatoon website.
• Notice of the public meetings was sent out to all 675 e-mail contact addresses currently on file with the Whitewater Park Committee.
• Storyboards were developed for presentation during the open house meetings.
• Comment Sheets were available at all public meetings to gather feedback on the level of interest and commitment of usage of the water park.
• Web page was developed with specific information on the Whitewater Park Proposal and information on how to provide comments on the proposal.
• Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ) sheet was prepared and available on the web page and at all public meetings.

In addition to the planned promotion of the public meetings, there was also an article by Les MacPherson in The StarPhoenix early in September with comments about the Water Park and notice of the planned public meetings. Also, another StarPhoenix article was written by Jill Smith on September 24, 2007, reminding residents of the upcoming September 27, 2007 public meeting.

Terms of Reference for Function Design Study
The public consultation process identified a number of issues and concerns that need to be addressed through the design process. The following is a list of design and operational criteria for inclusion in the terms of reference for preliminary design:

• Safety.
• Minimize impact to residents adjacent to the park.
• Parking.
• Noise attenuation.
• Provision of support amenities (e.g. washroom facilities, garbage receptacles, public phones).
• Provisions of trails and launch areas to provide easy access to the Whitewater Park and a place to launch and store equipment.
• Minimizing the damage caused to the river bank during the construction of the facility.
• Water quality – will need to be addressed during periods of high water levels and increased water flows when debris in the river significantly increases.
• Design consideration for the whitewater pathways and avoiding collision with the support pillars of the Canadian National Railway Bridge.
• For events held at the facility, need a provision for viewing areas that do not cause any damage to the natural areas of the river banks.
• A hydrological study to assess impacts on river currents, the river banks and potential for erosion of the bank.
• Environmental impact study.
• The design needs to address the fish habitat and habitat compensation issues.
• Power generation – should consider if it is possible to create within the new park.


The only option is to deny the recommendation to refer the request for a Function Design Study to the 2008 Capital Budget Committee.


There are no policy implications.


The estimated cost of a design consultant is approximately $150,000. The Administration will report back to City Council with the design options and order of magnitude capital and operating costs.


Public Notice pursuant to Section 3 of Policy No. C01-021, Public Notice Policy, is not required.

Written by: Lynne Lacroix, Branch Manager, Community Development and
Catherine Gryba, Branch Manager, Leisure Services

Approved by: “Paul Gauthier”
Paul Gauthier, General Manager
Community Services Department
Dated: “November 1, 2007”

Approved by: “Phil Richards”
Phil Richards, City Manager
Dated: “November 1, 2007”

C: His Worship the Mayor WhitewaterPark Results of CommunityConsultation/cm

Monday, November 19, 2007

Marmora Area Kayak and Canoe Festival

Some have started to plan a Festival for early April 2008.
They have support from the community of Marmora and are just getting the initial stages of the festival up and going.

The festival will be non-profit with any proceeds going to a local charity. We have chosen Easter Seals as the charity.
Some of the money (if any) made go back towards the paddling community.
A % of the proceeds may be going to Whitewater Ontario.

While this is NOT a Whitewater Ontario sponsored event the proceeds are going to WO. WO identifies this as a kayaking event in Ontario

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact Cale Reeder at or 705-639-2303.


Madawaska: courtesy of MKC, in Quebec provides links to gauges that are operated by the Quebec Hydologic service as well as the Environment Canada ones.

The Quebec gauges provide graphs that are very clear and useful to paddlers. The links to the EC gauges require the minor inconvenience of a few extra clicks to get to the station you wish to view.

Scroll down to the Outaouais section on the table you'll see the links for the Ottawa R. drainage and could compare the Petite Nation R. gauge (station 40406) from Quebec to the ones provided for the Rocher Fondu section (station 2KF005 - which provides date for Britannia, Mattawa and Temiskaming gauges) or the Kipawa R. at Laniel (station 2JE015) provided by EC.


To get to the gauge data one has to select the gauge desired by searching by province or basin and 'accept' the disclaimer. It is also possible to create a portfolio list of stations you wish to monitor through this site but you still need to 'accept' the disclaimer before proceeding to the actual station data.

General hydrographic site: [Link]

Edited portfolio for my 'home' river:

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