The Kipawa River  vrs. The Tabaret River Diversion Project

Peter Karwacki, B Sc., Diploma Business Administration

Treasurer, Whitewater Ontario, member NOLAC, member Les Amis de La Rivière Kipawa,

Membership Form!!


Hydro-Quebec wants to divert the Kipawa River in Northwest Quebec from its natural streambed.  While the first time visitor is likely to emphatically proclaim the Kipawa River as the most beautiful, most serene place they have ever encountered,  hydro consultants and engineers, disconnected from the power of that place, are making cost/benefit recommendations that marginalize the inherent value of a free flowing Kipawa.

This paper will discuss the following points:

* The Kipawa River has its own inherent value which is related to the cost of simulating threatened whitewater habitats in general.
* The costs of recreating whitewater habitats are more understandable through the study of man-made whitewater venues.
* The cost to recreate or simulate a threatened whitewater habitat should be factored into the cost of hydro project feasibility. The Kipawa River’s own inherent value should be factored into the cost of the Tabaret Diversion Project
* Methods of gaining community acceptance should be public and open –independent third party arbitartion is recommended. Use of monetary incentives to encourage public acceptance is unethical, immoral and unjustly biased against the survival of whitewater habitats.
* Recreational use of whitewater habitats, like the Kipawa river are increasingly important engines of economic growth in Canada and around the world.

Keywords: Kipawa River, Tabaret, Hydro Québec,  Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa

La Rivière Kipawa,  Laniel, Québec - Short, sweet and Breathtaking

Background, Tourism, History, Recreational Value

The 16-km long Kipawa River flows down from Lake Kipawa  to Lake Temiscaming on the upper Ottawa River in Northwestern Québec. It is both  beautiful and virtually  pristine, with many sets of rapids, and a 90-foot waterfall, in an area which is steeped in history and rich natural heritage. Its mixed-wood forested banks are beautiful, particularly on the lower half where stands of big red and white pine tower over the shoreline cedars.

This is the traditional territory of the Algonquin First Nations. Early explorers and fur traders camped at the mouth of the Kipawa River as far back as the 1690s. Its colorful modern history  grew out of the virgin timber logging operations of the latter half of the 19th century when lumbermen  drove their logs down to the markets in the south.

In the 1900’s, the Kipawa was made the backdrop for a few popular films such as “The Silent Enemy”.  During its succession of owners, the lodge at river’s mouth has hosted north America’s rich and famous, a wealthy and privileged few who could access it by air and briefly enjoy its unique setting.

The first exploratory whitewater paddling on the Kipawa was  done in 1971 by  Jose Mediavilla and Joseph Jacob, both  from Rouyn, P.Q.  By1976 they were using the Kipawa for the moving-water portion of their white water certification courses, this despite the lack of the access road which has since been developed.

The rapids, once a barrier to exploration and public use, have become an attraction.  In 1985 the recreational use of the Kipawa River grew substantially as more paddlers became aware of it and its rapids were finally named. In 1987 the first Kipawa River Rally was held. The Rally has since introduced hundreds of paddlers from Quebec, Ontario and parts of the U.S. to the Kipawa River. The 15th Annual Kipawa River Rally, a river preservation fund-raising event, held June 23-25, 2001,  hosted 160 participants from far afield up 15% from the prior year.  [See Table One]

From Laniel, the Kipawa River begins its descent to Lac Temiscamingue. The community of Laniel  now actively organizes events associated with the Kipawa River Rally by hosting post paddling entertainment and refreshments.

The Kipawa River Trail exemplifies  positive development and natural resource usage that is possible for the Kipawa River. In July 2000 Federal Trail Project Funding was secured to upgrade and develop new portions of the 7-km, Kipawa River Trail.  Cooperative funding  included the paddling community ($33,500 - including a Federal Millennium fund grant), Tembec Environmental Fund ($5,000), the Municipality of Laniel ($8,000),  a provincial/MRC grant ($57,000) and Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa

The Kipawa River has been very popular with paddlers since 1970, and it’s recreational value is growing.  It attracts whitewater canoeists and kayakers from Quebec, Ontario and parts of the United States.  Today - the Kipawa River is also used by commercial white water outfitters (Madawaska Kanu Camp, Esprit Rafting and Paddlesafe) and has the full potential to be one of the cornerstones of a regional tourism development strategy that could provide economic benefits for area communities far into the future.

The Kipawa River, while short, is particularly valuable and should be protected and developed for its tourism and recreation potential.  The Kipawa River marks the northern end of a particularly beautiful natural area. The town of Temiscaming Sud marks the southern end. The area is forested and undeveloped. The shoreline of Lake Temiscaming along this stretch, with its towering cliffs is incredibly beautiful, rugged and historic.

The Kipawa’s Ecology

With the exception of one spot where the Kipawa winds out close to Hwy 101, past a small cottage north of Laniel, and one logging access bridge,  there is no development, no other cottages, and no buildings on the Kipawa River’s entire 16 km length.  Paddlers commonly see loons, ducks and Osprey along the river, which is an indication of the health of the aquatic ecosystem. Moose, bear and deer are also occasionally spotted.

Locals say the Kipawa River used to have a brook trout population.  The mouth of the Kipawa River remains one of the most popular sport fishing locations on Lake Temiscaming. Fishers come from 60 km up and down the lake to fish there, which is an indication of the health of the Kipawa River's aquatic ecosystem (fish come to feed on macro-invertebrates flushing out of the Kipawa River). The area around the mouth of the Kipawa River is one of the best and few locations on Lake Temiscaming where lake trout can be caught it being one of two known spawning grounds.


Lac Kipawa is an Ecological Entity and watershed – it is not a Reservoir

The Tabaret project is a proposal to dig a completely new outflow from Lake Kipawa, build a
132 mw generating station and feed it by diverting the 16-km section of the Kipawa River from its natural streambed. If this project goes ahead, the Kipawa River as it has been known, and as it has been for the past 12,000 years, will be eliminated.

Hydro-Québec is studying the feasibility of building a new hydropower plant, presumptuously referring to Lac Kipawa as a “reservoir” located in the Temiscaming region (Quebec). Lake Kipawa covers a surface area of 284 km². The proposed generating station would be located some 40 km northwest of Témiscaming Sud, between the two existing outlets the Kipawa river (Laniel dam) and Gordon Brook (Kipawa dam). Those dams were built between 1909 and 1911 to control flooding along the Ottawa River but releases apparently have sufficiently mimicked natural patterns to maintain a functional riverine ecosystem.

The Kipawa is the only natural outflow from Lake Kipawa while the 14-km Gordon Brook outlet runs through an urban landscape (4,000 inhabitants), the later portion running  through an artificial channel with industrial and residential water intakes located on the brook.

The Tabaret River Diversion Project

The Tabaret  project was first proposed in the 1970s. It was resurrected in 1997- 98, then postponed then revived in the winter/spring of 2000.  The project would cost over $200 million with construction estimated to take three years. The development would include a 500- meter-long headrace canal, a 130-MW power plant (90-m head) and a tailrace ending in the Temiscamingue Lake. The flooded area (1-km²) would encompass two lakes. According to Benoit Gagnon,  Project Environmental Biologist for Hydro-Québec this project would reduce,  significantly, the mean annual flow in the two outlets. Gagnon [1]

Hydro Quebec’s abstract in the compendium of the 2001 IAIA conference in Columbia, stated that calculation of the reserved flow was the major issue surrounding further development of Tabaret.  The reserved flow in each outlet is that flow of water required to preserve the aquatic habitats and to maintain the actual uses and values of this environment: recreationand tourism, white-water activities, drinking/industrial-water supply and landscape.

Hydro’s Gagnon, indicates the methodology of calculating the reserved flow would  include environmental, social and landscape surveys and working sessions with concerned public.  This is in line with  Hydro-Québec’s  undertaking to respect three conditions for Tabaret, which is the same for its stated criteria for establishing new hydroelectric generation projects which are: Hydro Quebec [2]

1. They must be profitable under current market conditions.
2. They must be environmentally acceptable, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
3. They must be well received by local communities.

Establishing the reserved flow, as cited by Gagnon, is significant as it determines the ecological, social, and economical impacts related to various reserved flows scenarios.  For example fish sheltered by the river and spawning at its mouth would be affected by any change to the current flow regime. Impact on amphibious life and riparian habitat is unknown as proper environmental surveys and assessments remain to be undertaken.

Local Populations have Conflicting Agendas

The formal position of Quebec Hydro is now that the Tabaret project is currently “suspended”  but pending agreements between Hydro-Quebec and local populations.  The issue of gaining an agreement with local populations is not straight forward. The population is widely distributed throughout Temiscamingue. See Tables Two and Three. The Regional Council (MRC) includes representatives of many communities who are neither physically  nor emotionally connected  to the Kipawa River yet stand to benefit from profit sharing arrangements.

Where Tabaret is concerned, many of the communities within the MRC will naturally have different objectives. Sides may be shrewdly played against each other.  Some stand to gain by revenue sharing, while Lac Kipawa and the community of Laniel stand to lose their way of life and economic benefits derived from tourism, cottagers, outfitters, canoeists and fishermen currently offered by the status quo.  Laniel’s population is the stakeholder group most concerned with ongoing development of the Kipawa River Trail and the river's recreational potential. They are but one voice on the MRC. An unorganized township, Laniel is at some disadvantage when negotiating its concerns with the MRC comprised as it is, with municipalities having greater expertise and financial resources at their disposal.

Besides Laniel, three Algonquin First Nations currently stand opposed to the project and Hydro Quebec’s approach, however that could change as demonstrated by proposed hydro developments on the Gatineau River portending a desire to negotiate control and economic benefit from their own resources.

In effect, Hydro Quebec’s negotiations seeking agreement with regional populations through incentives, are heavily weighted against the Kipawa River’s existence.

Hydro Offers Incentives for Community Buy-In

An example of the kind of incentives being offered stakeholders in other projects of this type are included in the agreement struck on September 2, 1999, when Hydro-Québec signed a partnership agreement with the Innu community of Betsiamites. The Pesamit (1999) Agreement, illustrates how these conditions can provide for a new model in relationships between utilities and local communities while providing a certain level of certainty to the utility before investing large sums. Roux [3]

The result of  a community-wide referendum before its execution, 50% of eligible voters voted 80% in favor of an agreement in which  the community of Betsiamites may invest up to 17.5%, or approximately C$14.35 million, of the cost of three partial river diversions to receive 17.5% of the additional electricity produced by the water from the partial diversions at existing powerhouses.

Agreements such as this are an enticing proposition to communities that may have difficulty with operational funding. They pose an almost insurmountable barrier to river preservation groups working on minimal budgets, unorganized offices exclusively on a volunteer basis. Juxtapose this against paid lobbyists and analysts who work with and are paid by Hydro Quebec to see that Tabaret proceeds.

Other concerns about Hydro’s criteria for Tabaret Development

Has Hydro-Quebec conducted honest, objective studies on the impacts of their Tabaret on the ecological values of the Kipawa River or on future tourism and recreation potential? Kipawa River advocates, Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa (see below), prefer that all impact studies, including public consultation studies, be paid for by Hydro-Quebec but controlled by an objective third party.

Hydro-Quebec naturally focuses on studies that support Tabaret.  This is a social environment in which the public may be easily be manipulated in favor of Tabaret  through economic incentives like those in the agreement previously mentioned.  Similarly, Hydro-Quebec could dam and destroy all of the riverine ecosystems in Quebec in the name of economics and power.  It is Les Amis’s assessment, therefore, that Tabaret  is unacceptable as it results in the ecological death of the Kipawa River.

There are other threats to the Kipawa besides Tabaret.  Private hydro developers may also express an interest in harnessing the Kipawa River’s resources for smaller 30MW or similar sized generating stations.  Its predictable that any developer would try to lure local support for their plans with promises of profit sharing.

Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa

Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa  has stepped in, as advocate,  to speak for the Kipawa River. Registered as non-profit, based in Temiscaming, Québec,  it  was founded in 1998 in response to Tabaret.  It serves to co-ordinate strategic responses from the paddling community, and other marginalized groups, to Tabaret.  It is an affiliation of provincial federations and local and regional paddling clubs in Quebec and Ontario, including Federation Quebecois Canot/Kayak, the Federation Quebecois Canoe/Kayak D'Eau Vive, the Ontario Wild Water Affiliation, H2ORadical (the Temiscaming Kayak Club), the Sudbury Canoe Club, etc.

Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa has the mission to protect the ecological and recreational
values in the Kipawa River from Laniel to Lake Temiscaming.

Protecting ecological values means:

ensuring the aquatic ecosystem is protected, maintained or enhanced

protecting fish habitat, in the river, and in Lake Temiscaming around the mouth of the river

Protecting recreational values means:

promoting the area’s rich history and natural heritage
recognizing the river’s historic recreational use
protecting and promoting the future tourism and recreation potential of the river and the region

Les Amis is completely opposed to Tabaret which it feels is too big for the Kipawa watershed
and far too destructive. They believe that there is a better, wiser way to make use of the Kipawa River’s
resources. Les Amis is pro-development and strongly supports the sustainable use of natural resources for
all. They believe Kipawa River resources should be wisely used and conserved for future generations.

Les Amis has looked very closely at Tabaret. Having spoken to biologists and engineers who are experts in their fields they’ve  also considered each of the project “conditions” set by Hydro Quebec, and come to the following conclusions:

Will Tabaret be profitable under current market conditions as proposed?

While difficult to estimate profitability based on the limited  figures Hydro has made public, Tabaret, as designed would use every drop of water available in the Kipawa watershed, yet run at 44 percent capacity. The generating station proposed is far too big for the Kipawa, and cannot be profitable under any reasonable business model, unless there are plans to bring morewater into the system from somewhere else. The nearby and historic Dumoine River may also fall victim to Tabaret. Hydro has not eliminated this possibility.

Will Tabaret be environmentally acceptable, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

Tabaret involves the diversion of the Kipawa River from its natural streambed. Kipawa diversion will eliminate the existing aquatic ecosystem of the river,  destroy fish habitat, severely restrict access and navigability for users of the river, and will impact water quality on parts of Lake Kipawa all unacceptable by any environmental measure.

Will Tabaret be well received by local communities?

Many of the discussions and negotiations over Tabaret have been held behind closed doors. Long-time users of the river and even property owners on the river, have been left out of discussions, marginalized, mollified or segmented into weaker special interest groups.

Les Amis is in favor of an open, honest, public consultations concerning the Tabaret project. If a it is to be well-received by local communities, the public must have an opportunity to be informed and evaluate its impacts.

10 Reasons Why Tabaret is a Bad Idea

1) Tabaret is too big. The station is designed to use every drop of water available in the Kipawa
watershed, yet run at only 44 percent capacity. Les Amis believe the Tabaret station is designed to use water diverted from the Dumoine River into the Kipawa watershed in the future.

2) The Tabaret project will eliminate the aquatic ecosystem of the Kipawa River. The Tabaret project plan involves the diversion of a 16-km section of the Kipawa River from its natural streambed into a new man-made outflow from Lake Kipawa.

3) Tabaret will leave a large industrial footprint on the landscape that will impact existing tourism
operations and eliminate future tourism potential.

4) Tabaret is an aggressive single-purpose development, designed to maximize power generation at the expense of all other uses.

5) River-diversion, such as the Tabaret project, taking large amounts of water out of a river’s natural
streambed and moving it to another place, is very destructive to the natural environment.

6) The Kipawa River has been designated a protected greenspace in the region with severe limitations on
development. This designation recognizes the ecological, historical and natural heritage value of
the river and the importance of protecting it. Tabaret will eliminate that value.

7) If necessary, there are other, smarter and more reasonable options for producing hydro power on
the Kipawa watershed. It is possible to build a low-impact generating station on the Kipawa river, and
manage it as a “run-of-the-river” station, making use of natural flows while maintaining other values,
with minimal impact on the environment.

8) The Kipawa watershed is a rich natural resource for the Temiscaming Region, reasonably close to large urban areas, with huge untapped potential for tourism and recreation development in the future.  Tabaret will severely reduce this potential.

9) Tabaret provides zero long-term economic benefit for the region through employment. The plan is for the station to be completely automated and remotely operated.

10) The Kipawa River is 12,000 years old. The river was there thousands of years before any people
came to the region.  Tabaret will change it forever. The future of this river is in our hands.

Les Amis Initiatives

Les Amis has pursued legal and political options in objecting to Tabaret  and its diversion of the Kipawa River. These include:

1. Confirming with federal department of Fisheries and Oceans that Tabaret requires comprehensive environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

2. Registering an objection to the transfer of the Laniel Dam from the federal department of Public Works and Government Services to Hydro Quebec. This transfer of federal property would need to happen if Tabaret goes ahead, and should trigger a federal environmental assessment of the project.

3. Communicating with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources about the impact of a river diversion on fish habitat impact on Lac Temiscamingue, a Quebec/Ontario boundary waterway.

The cost of recreating the Kipawa River’s whitewater habitat

Previously, the lack of economic models to evaluate the social and esthetic costs of power generation has been a liability when those costs have had no reasonable valuation. Without a new approach we are left with a sad tribute to our thirst for power and modern lifestyle.  Recent man-made developments provide insight into the cost of simulating white water habitats.

* Penrith Whitewater Stadium
* 1972, Munich, Germany:
* 1992, Barcelona, Spain
* 1996, Atlanta, United States
* South Bend Indiana, USA

Refer to Table Five.

One may conclude that it is better neither to recreate nor simulate the Kipawa, but rather to preserve it because the Kipawa River has inherent economic value without power generation.

Consider the cost of any simulated whitewater facility.  Extrapolate that amount to the approximate length of the Kipawa River at 16 km.  We’re looking at millions of dollars to recreate a simulated whitewater- like habitat that would only approximate the natural resource that is the Kipawa River. We must factor the loss of the whitewater habitat at a cost no doubt in excess of $93.5 million US dollars though many feel that the value of the habitat is priceless.

The Tabaret project, though strongly opposed, should factor into its costing the price of a simulated whitewater habitat that may be valued in excess of $93 million USD to recreate.  Although no one would ever actually pay $94 US million for the Kipawa River this is the only way that we can attach any level of value to any river, anywhere in the world.  There something more to a river than it's pure economic value.  Even if a decision was made to somehow try and simulate a whitewater environment the logistics and costs are considerable just to plan such a project.
Studies confirm that natural resources like the Kipawa constitute a social and economic asset of increasing importance to all Canadians.   Its estimated that in 1996, kayaking, canoeing and sailing contributed $200 million CDN to the Quebec provincial economy. Canadian Ministry of the Environment [10]

In the US, a recent OIA survey showed 6.4 million Americans kayaked in 2000, up 50% in just two years with self-described "enthusiasts" kayaking at least 10 times -- up 150% during that time. Miller [7]

In 2000, this diverse and affluent market, equally male or female and 3 % African-American, and growing, had a mean annual income of $66,000 US.

In conclusion, it is much easier to maintain and preserve an existing whitewater habitat than it is to recreate or simulate one.  While the number of whitewater facilities being constructed worldwide is increasing these facilities are mere forgeries and feeble imitations of the whitewater habitat that is already offered by the amazing Kipawa River.

Further, we know that cheap energy  is rarely acceptable and is often accompanied by undesirable impacts. Hydro Power should not be made available as quickly as the demand for it increases.  The loss of the free flowing waters of the Kipawa River is not a satisfactory trade off for the net proceeds of future power generation.

Past models  looked at construction costs, ongoing maintenance of  generating facilities, and present values of revenue streams.  New models should look beyond - to the impact of transforming the pristine Kipawa River into a dry, and lifeless rocky ditch.  What is the price of clean air, clean water, and unfettered natural environment?  The traditional models could not possibly evaluate the magnificent white pines that may soon stare down upon a dry gulch that was once the mighty Kipawa River. Say No to Tabaret!



Participant Growth : Kipawa Ralley
Accommodations 1st  14th  15th %/yr
Kipawa River Lodge   13 90 100
Laniel Campground 0 21 50
Other (estimate)     0 3 0 10
                 Total 13 141 160 +75%

Table 2

Local Muncipalities

Municipalities Population Surfacekm2 Date de constitution Mayor (1998)
Angliers 306 378.20 1945 Paul Coulombe
Béarn 973 566.48 1912 Raynald Gaudet
Belleterre 395 606.33 1942 Carmelle Nantel
Duhamel-Ouest 671 127.61 1911 Alcide Gaudet
Fugèreville 376 163.79 1921 Robert Pâquet
Guérin 297 203.10 1911 Arsène Généreux
Kipawa 549 47.20 1985 Claude Brisson
Laforce 456 612.65 1979 Alain Sinotte
Latulipe-et-Gaboury 351 298.38 1924 Roger Breton
Laverlochère 813 107.01 1912 Gérald Morin
Lorrainville (1) 1507 88.53 1930 Philippe Boutin
Moffet 226 431.46 1953 Roger Dubuque
Nédélec (2) 474 369.90 1909 Michel Ménard
Notre-Dame-du-Nord 1250 103.60 1928 Fidel Baril
Rémigny 364 935.03 1978 Marien Plourde
*Rivière-Kipawa et Laniel 95 12 766.36
St-Bruno-de-Guigues 1117 188.99 1912 Gérard Pétrin
St-Édouard-de-Fabre 734 216.18 1912 Mario Drouin
St-Eugène-de-Guigues 423 113.02 1912 Normand Roy
Témiscaming (3) 3112 861.77 1920 Philippe Barette
Ville-Marie 2855 13.59 1962 Sylvain Trudel
~ Timiskaming 478 21.68
~ Winneway (pop. Incl.dansLaforce)  0.09
~ Kébaowek 205 0.22
Totals 18027 19 221.17
* territoire non organisé  (unorganized territory)~ Réserves et établissements amérindiens (First Nation Reserve)(1) Regroupement village de Lorrainville et paroisse de Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes-de-Lorrainville le 16 février 1994 (Reorganization )(2) Annexion du territoire non organisé de Roulier à la municipalité de Nédelec le 7 octobre 1995(3) Regroupement Letang/Témiscaming le 26 mars 1988

MRC de Témiscamingue - Ronald Lafreniere, prefet 819-629-2829




Kilométers from Ville-Marie to (kilometers)
Notre-Dame-du-Nord 30 Témiscaming 86 Val-d’Or 246
Angliers 38 Rouyn-Noranda 143 Ottawa 479
Rémigny 58 North Bay 170 Toronto 507
New-Liskeard 73 La Sarre 229 Montréal 675
Belleterre 78 Amos 246 Québec city 918




Venue Length  (m) Flow( m/s) Drop in meters Cap Cost (local currency) Width(meters) Cap Cost 2(2002 US Dollars) Cost perkm in $MM USD
Penrith, Australia 320 m 14,000 l/s 5.5m 6.5 MM AUS 8 -14 m 3.36 MM USD $10.5 MM USD
Barcellona, Spain 340m/130m 15 m/s 6.5/1.5 6.83 MM 5 –17 6.83 MM USD 14.5
Munich, Germany 660m 6 m/s 4.5 4 MM US(1972) 10-12 7.24 MM USD 10.
Atlanta, USA 525m .02 m/s  24.4MMUS N/A 24.4 MM USD 46.47
SouthBend, USA 630m 40 m/s 3.6 4.5 MM US N/A 4.5 MM USD 7.14
Bratislava, Slovenia 460m/356m 7-12 m/s 6.6 Not Available N/A Not Available
Nottingham,UK 700m 8-28 m/s 3.5 2.86 MM lb (1986) N/A 5.13 MM USD 7.32
Subtotal 3305 m     51.46 MM USD
Kipawa, Quebec 16 km 25-300m/s 90  50-200 $93.42@ $15.57 MM USD / km $16 MM USD per kilometer



1)  Gagnon, Benoit, Rougerie, Jean-Francois, How to Determine the Reserved Flow? The Major Issue of Tabaret Hydroelectric Power Plant, Abstract from the  21st Annual Conference Event of the International Association for Impact International Association for Impact Assessment, as cited in  page 31

2) Hydro Quebec Strategic Plan 2002-2006 page 12 as cited in

3)  Roux, Denis and Rene, Simon, Pesamit (1999) Agreement - A Partnership Agreement, excerpt from IAIA'00 - Abstracts Volume of the International Association for Impact  Impact Assessment, author list S-T, as    cited in and as cited in
4)  Penrith Aquatic Park, Sydney, Australia,

5)  Kirsten R. Arnold, urban whitewater, Special Study Undergraduate in Landscape Architecture April 2001,Munich page 11, Atlanta page 13 – 15,

6)  Clarey, Christopher, How a Sport Saved Itself, , Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company
offer thrilling turn in city planning.
7)  Miller, Joe ,Whitewater Parks offer thrilling turn in city planning,, Staff Writer,

8)  MRC Témiscamingue statistics, Source:[6]

9)  Barcelona Spain and other Costings,, Page 4

10) Duwors et al, The Importance of Nature to Canadians, Environment Canada, Federal Provincial Territorial Task Force on the Importance of Nature to Canadians, ISBN 0-662-27494-6, Page 45

11) Sorenson, Scott, The Kipawa River Chronicles, Self Published, Amazon Books



For further information or if you comments or suggestions in aid of the preservation of the Kipawa River please forward them to.
Peter Karwacki
Box 39111, Ottawa, Ontario
613-738-1338 x3229

For more information on the Kipawa River:

The current Kipawa River Lodge owners Scott and Pat Sorensen, from Orem, Utah,  have researched the history of the river and their property on its lower section. Scott has published a book chronicling some of the events that have taken place on the river. “The Kipawa River Chronicles" is available through Amazon books on-line and a few retail outlets.

For more information about Energex 2002

For anyone interested in contributing towards the protection of the Kipawa River:
Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa

Peter Karwacki, President
Doug Skeggs  Past-President (705) 235-5637 (home) (705) 235-1216 (work) (705) 235-1251

Kipawa Trail

Whitewater Ontario site


The Kipawa River is endangered! Say No to Tabaret!

Since 1996 Quebec's energy policy has threatened 500 rivers, many of great heritage value. Hydro-Quebec would, if unchecked, dam and destroy all of them including the Kipawa River.

Hydro Quebec's proposed Tabaret project includes building a dam then flooding two small lakes and digging a new outflow from Lake Kipawa about 20 km south of Laniel. This would feed a new 132 MW generating station with water diverted from the Kipawa River. Since there is not enough water in the Kipawa watershed alone to drive this 132 MW station it is likely that Hydro Quebec’s future plans are to divert the Dumoine River into the Kipawa watershed thereby justifying the over-capacity design of the station.

While HQ has promised an economically feasible, environmentally acceptable and locally supported project it is doubtful this is really the case. Hydro means to strike an agreement with the Regional Municipal Council to signify local acceptance. This tends to exclude other members of the concerned public who may be more personally affected by Tabaret.

2 Tabaret is a bad Idea!

Tabaret is a bad idea because it will have a devastating impact on the aquatic ecosystem, existing tourism operations in the region and ultimately the future tourism and recreation potential in the region.

Tabaret will likely disrupt the natural ecosystem. Plant life and wild life is adversely afffected by fluctuations in the water levels. Unpredictable changes in climate and sedimentation are likely. Hunting and fishing enthusiasts, family campers and hikers - really everyone would be adversely affected by Hydro's plans.

This natural resource is not going to be with us without any effort on our part to protect it. In order for each generation, in turn, to enjoy it the threat to the Kipawa must be addressed by the community. In Temiscaming the most important threat to the environment is the Tabaret Hydro project. This proposal by Hydo Quebec’s project is so destructive and poorly conceived it indicates that Hydro Quebec is out of control in its pursuit of power generation at any cost.

Tabaret is an unnecessary and potentially destructive hydro project. It is both environmentally and ecologically insensitive because it requires diversion of water from a natural river bed. Certainly there are less intrusive alternatives for generating hydro power. Before any work proceeds more detailed impact studies are required, including honest public consultation studies paid for by Hydro-Quebec, and controlled by an objective third party. Anything may guarantee the ecological death of the Kipawa river - something that is totally unacceptable.


Contacts: Fédération Québécoise du canot et du kayak 4545, av. Pierre-De-Coubertin, CP 100, succursale M Montréal, Québec, H1V 3R2, ph: (514) 252-3001

Courriel: Site Internet:

Le Festival d'eau-vive de La Rivière Kipawa Site Internet:

Le sentier de randonnée pédestre Kipawa Site Internet:

Les Amis de la Riviere Kipawa

Executive Members of Les Amis: 2005 Doug Skeggs, Mike Shook, Jane Wightman, Peter Karwacki (Pres.), Dave Pollard

The Friends of the Kipawa River, formed in June 1998, is a non-profit river-advocacy organization registered in the province of Quebec. Les Amis is fundamentally opposed to Hydro Quebec's Tabaret Project and the private Temiscaming Power Project.

The organization “ Friends of the Kipawa River” was created in response to the Tabaret project and to protect the ecological and recreational values on the Kipawa River between Laniel and Lake Témiscaming

The Heritage Value of the Kipawa

In the early 1900’s the Kipawa River Lodge was the playground of the Topping family from New York. Through their connections with the film industry the Kipawa River was made a backdrop for a few feature films.

The pristine Kipawa River is the only natural outflowfrom Lake Kipawa. The the artificial “Gordon Brook” in Temiscaming was created in 1910.

Today the recreational value of the Kipawa River has grown as whitewater paddlers from across North America have discovered it,in fact the Kipawa River Rally has been held every year for the last 15 years and is the second largest gathering of its type in Northeastern North America

Except for where it passes High way 101 there is no development along the river’s entire 16 kim length. A magnificent lodge at the mouth of the river has its own unique history which is recounted by the owner, Scott Sorenson in his book, “The Kipawa River Chronicles”.

The mixed-wood forested banks of the Kipawa, particularly on the lower half of the river are beautiful. It is common to see loons, ducks and osprey along its shores. Moose, bear and deer are occasionally spotted. The mouth of the Kipawa is one of the most popular sport fishing locations on Lake Temiscaming as fish including lake trout come to feed.

A hiking trail has been established along the Kipawa river opening up access to the spectacular Grand Chute, a 90 foot waterfall. The trail is 7 km long and begins along hwy 101. Picnic shelters, scenic lookouts and toilets have been established for the enjoyment of all. There are potholes or “Marmites” at the Grand Chute waterfall formed by the grinding action of hard granite boulders acting with the force of the water against bedrock.

Say No to Tabaret!

Hydro Quebec is inducing local cooperation by promising cash payments based on income from the proposed Tabaret Hydro Station.

It is important to consider the potential lost tourism and recreation value if the Kipawa River Watershed is destroyed. Paltry economic payments may end up seeming a very poor trade.

It has yet to be shown that Quebec requires ongoing power development. Likely cheap power generation will benefit those outside the province to the detriment of the local tourism industry.


Your Help is Needed!


Tabaret is a Bad Idea!!

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Veuillez libeller votre Chèque comme suit: Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa

Peter Karwacki, 1620 Trenholm Lane, Ottawa, Ontario,K4A 4B6 wk 613-738-1338 Ext. 3229


"The secret exit's hidden and its deep and green and gold" kayaky