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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Where and what is GAZA?

Honestly I don't know why but I think this business about GAZA is important.  It has to do with the way Israel was created in the first place. There is and ebb and flow in the tide of human affairs. There are lessons from the past that if not learned may lead to the same mistakes.

What can be learned from the GAZA affair?

Palestinian/Israeli conflict  (with thanks to WiKI Paedia)

Today Hamas launches rockets then Israel retaliates with bombing of Gaza strip.  Would any other country on earth tolerate rockets being fired on its civilian population. What other country would tolerate an embargo of its borders?

The root cause of anger in the region is the continued occupation of GAZA which started in 1949 with the establishment of the Israeli state within Palestine.  Military history shows that people embark on war without being certain about the outcome. Political leaders begin with goals they want to achieve, and may well have high confidence that they can be achieved by force. Hamas' goal of "ending occupation" means by definition the complete destruction of Israel as a separate country. Islamic terrorists do not believe in long term peace with non believers.

The Israelis know about oppression too but so do the Palestinians. In Gaza, the world's largest open-air prison, a million and a half people try to survive.  In the most densely populated area of the world, Gaza's Palestinians are constantly subject to random searches. West Bank Palestinians have lived for 45 years under Israeli military occupation. 4 million others live in squalid refugee camps.  More than 1.4 million Palestinian men, women and children are 'trapped' in the Gaza Strip. Israel's blockade restricts what can come into the Gaza strip. Oppressed people will fight, dig tunnels and shoot home-made rockets.  A recent report by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians found that,anemia is widespread, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers.

The unstoppable truth is the during WWII many millions of Jewish people were killed by the Nazis as part of the Holocaust. Its likely the allies knew about this.  At the end of the conflict the victors discussed where the new jewish state would be - not North America, not Europe. They settled on Palestine because the British ruled Palestine (1923–1948) through Allied and associated powers after the First World War. Towards the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the All-Palestine government was proclaimed in the Egyptian occupied Gaza City recognized by six of the then seven members of the Arab League: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, but not by Transjordan.  Further it was not recognised by any country outside the Arab League.

The Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement of 24 February 1949 established the present boundary between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Both sides declared that the boundary was not an international border. The southern border of Gaza with Egypt continued to be the international border which had been drawn in 1906 between the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire.

The influx of Palestinian refugees who fled to the Gaza Strip or Egypt were issued All-Palestine passports. The All-Palestine Government disolved in 1959, and Gaza was occupied by Egypt until 1967. Gaza was administered through a military governor.

Israel controlled the Gaza Strip beginning in June 1967, after the Six-Day War. Israeli "occupation" refers to land Israel gained after the 1967 war. To Hamas "occupation" means that all of Israel is occupied Arab land.  During the period of Israeli control, Israel created a settlement bloc, Gush Katif, in the southwest corner of the Strip near Rafah and the Egyptian border. In total Israel created 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip, comprising 20% of the total territory. These settlements served Israel's security concerns.

In March 1979 Israel and Egypt signed the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. The treaty provided for the withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had captured during the Six-Day War. Egypt renounced all territorial claims to territory north of the international border.

In May 1994, following the Palestinian-Israeli agreements known as the Oslo Accords, a phased transfer of governmental authority to the Palestinians took place. Much of the Strip (except for the settlement blocs and military areas) came under Palestinian control. The Israeli forces left Gaza City and other urban areas, leaving the new Palestinian Authority to administer and police those areas. The Palestinian Authority, led by Yasser Arafat, chose Gaza City as its first provincial headquarters. In September 1995, Israel and the PLO signed a second peace agreement, extending the Palestinian Authority to most West Bank towns. The agreement also established an elected 88-member Palestinian National Council, which held its inaugural session in Gaza in March 1996.

Between 1994 and 1996, Israel built the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier to improve security in Israel.  Between December 2000 and June 2001, the barrier between Gaza and Israel was reconstructed. A barrier on the Gaza Strip-Egypt border was constructed starting in 2004. The main crossing points are the northern Erez Crossing into Israel and the southern Rafah Crossing into Egypt. The eastern Karni Crossing used for cargo, closed down in 2011.Israel controls the Gaza Strip's northern borders, as well as its territorial waters and airspace. Egypt controls Gaza Strip's southern border, under an agreement between it and Israel.]

In February 2005, the Israeli government voted to implement a unilateral disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip. The plan began to be implemented on 15 August 2005, and was completed on 12 September 2005. Under the plan, all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip (and four in the West Bank) and the joint Israeli-Palestinian Erez Industrial Zone were dismantled with the removal of all 9,000 Israeli settlers (most of them in the Gush Katif settlement area in the Strip's southwest). On 12 September 2005 the Israeli cabinet formally declared an end to Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip. Israel also withdrew from the Philadelphi Route, which is a narrow strip adjacent to the Strip's border with Egypt, after Egypt's agreement to secure its side of the border. Under the Oslo Accords the Philadelphi Route was to remain under Israeli control to prevent the smuggling of weapons and people across the border with Egypt. With Egypt agreeing to patrol its side of the border, it was hoped that the objective would be achieved. The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza was monitored by the Israeli army through special surveillance cameras.

The Israel Defence Forces left the Gaza Strip on 1 September 2005 as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, and all Israeli citizens were evicted from the area. An 'Agreement on Movement and Access' between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was brokered by Condoleezza Rice in November 2005 to improve Palestinian freedom of movement and economic activity in the Gaza Strip. Under its terms, the Rafah crossing with Egypt was to be reopened, with transits monitored by the Palestinian National Authority and the European Union. Only people with Palestinian ID, or foreign nationals, by exception, in certain categories, subject to Israeli oversight, were permitted to cross in and out. All goods, vehicles and trucks to and from Egypt passed through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, under Israeli supervision. Goods were also permitted transit at the Karni crossing in the north.

Israel is the occupying power of the Gaza Strip as Israel controls Gaza's airspace and territorial waters, and does not allow the movement of goods in or out of Gaza by air or sea (only by land). The border crossing into Egypt is not controlled by Israel; like Israel, Egypt has alternately restricted or allowed goods and people to cross that border.

In 2006, the Palestinians held elections. Fatah won in the West Bank and Hamas won in Gaza. Fatah staged an attempted coup inside of Gaza;   During the next 6 months Hamas and Fatah battled throughout Gaza as Hamas fighters took over all security forces and government offices. Hamas rejected the notion of a 2 state solution. The Hamas Charter (1988) states that "Dying for this jihad is expected and desirable for all citizens, they will be rewarded later.  In 2010 representative Usamah Hamdan referred to this charter, the two state solution and recognition of Israel.

The Israelis controlled the Egyptian border crossing into Gaza when Mubarek was in power.  The Muslim brotherhood has come to power in Egypt, easing the embargo of the Egyptian border but the blockade of the sea approaches by Israel is now gong into its 7th year.

Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 states that "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited."

By targeting Ahmed al-Jabari, leader of the al-Qassam Brigade, Israel may have sabotaged Egyptian efforts to conclude a truce between all Palestinian factions and the Israelis. Israel may have actually provoked this conflict by arbitrarily murdering this Hamas official.

New York Times article on Hamas rockets:

Iran is involved in this war. Iranian rockets are used by Hamas. The Iranian-built Fajr series of rockets are threatening Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time since the 1991 Gulf war.

Arab peace plan of 2002 has been rejected by the Israeli and US governments.

I think Hell just froze over.... Climate change a 'real and present danger,' Kent says Next UN Climate Change Conference set for Doha, Qatar on Nov. 26

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