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, March 16, 2012

What happens when Infinte Money meets Finite World/Resources

Compound Interest: Debt Never Sleeps

annually compounded
will nearly double in ten years
after Year One 107
after Year Two 114.49
after Year Three 122.50
after Year Four 131.08
after Year Five 140.26
after Year Six 150.07
after year Seven 160.58
after year eight 171.82
after year nine 183.85
after year ten 196.72

As Ballard suggested: we underestimate the power of compound interest.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cut the Crap - Liquid Version

Thanks to Ecology Ottawa we have a new mascot: the avid reader.

Here is a similar theme, we simply don't want untreated human waste being dumped into the Ottawa River

Elizabeth May Speaks Out as only She Can

Canadian Environmental Assessment -- going, going, gone
By Elizabeth May on 13 March 2012 - 7:14pm

Confession: I am a pack rat who rarely throws out files. Last night I found the environmental assessment from the first EA process in which I participated. The Wreck Cove Hydroelectric Project EA was mailed to me on April 28, 1977. So that makes 35 years experience in environmental assessment.

Back then Environmental Assessment was under a Guidelines Order of the Privy Council, called the Environmental Assessment Review Process. Just how binding this cabinet order was remained an open question until a Federal court case on the Rafferty-Alameda Dams decision. Back in 1988 I had resigned on principle when my boss, the environment minister, signed the permits for the dams, without any environmental review. This caused the landmark Federal Court ruling.

Before my resignation, we had already been working on getting clear and effective environmental assessment law passed. As the Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister, I has steered the white paper through the Privy Council Office to get permission to draft what became the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

I have watched the painstaking process of bringing Canada into the 20th century of environmental law (that’s right, I meant 20th century). CEAA was never the world’s best EA law. It has been riddled with concessions to industry from the get-go.

It is a tool of planning to start an EA as soon as possible in the process. Tens of thousands of Canadian projects have been reviewed. The majority have seen improvements in the process. 99% proceed to be built, but many have modifications to reduce the environmental impact.

But the Harper Conservatives have turned it into a whipping boy for delay. Delay? It is an outrage that our limited, cautious approach to EA, SO much weaker than the law in the US, is too much for Harper.

First they weakened it in the 2010 Omnibus Budget Bill, forcing through taking energy projects out of EA and weakening comprehensive study. Then they cut CEAA’s budget by 40%.

Today, the House Committee for the Environment issued a pre-ordained set of recommendations to further destroy environmental review. Under CEAA every 5 years, there is a mandatory review of the Act. In 2000, the review took over a year. Hearings were held across the country. The process ran from January 2000 to March 2001. This time, the committee pulled the plug after hearing witnesses for nine days. That’s right -- the previous government studied the law for 15 months. The conservatives didn’t give it 15 days. Many witnesses, who had been
informed they would be heard, were turned away. I thought at the time that PMO must have told the Conservatives who control the committee to deliver ASAP a report to gut the process. And they did.

I fear that the sweeping changes – removing CEAA jurisdiction from any province with “equivalent” EA, removing the requirement to consider alternatives, ordering fixed time lines for reviews, giving the Minister increased powers, “streamlining” First Nations consultations – all point toward more nails in CEAA’s coffin.

After 35 years of working on environmental assessment, I am watching the current government weaken the process to less than we had in 1977. No government had a mandate to un-do environmental law. No government has a mandate to destroy our natural world.

end of cited article

This puts into mind the incident during the throne speech in which Depape self destructed in a blaze of glory with her "STOP HARPER" sign. At this time, the changes to the CEAA and EA review processes wasn't even mentioned.

Who among us would do an equivalent thing?

I think none.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Endangered Rivers

BC’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2012;

1. (tied). Sacred Headwaters of Skeena, Nass and Stikine (coalbed methane, new mines)

1. (tied) Kokish River (IPP proposal)

2. Kitimat (industrial development, pipeline proposal)

3. Peace River (hydro-electric dam proposal)

4. Kettle River (water extraction, development)

5. Fraser River, “Heart of the Fraser”(urbanization, industrial development, habitat loss)

6. Taku River (mining development, road proposal, leachate concerns)

7. Elk River (development, increasing selenium levels, wildlife migration issues)

8. Big Silver Creek (IPP proposal)

9. Coquitlam River (excessive sedimentation, urbanization – some progress evident)

Media only: backgrounder with complete details on each river is found at

For more information, please contact: Jeremy McCall, Exec. Dir., ORC, 604-873-5546

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