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5th Heritage River Conference in Winnipeg -support requested

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    Peter Karwacki

    My proposal for a paper for the 5th Heritage River Conference in Winnipeg has been accepted, see below.

    Anybody interested in helping me pay for this trip, contact me at
    kayaky[@] It usually comes in at around $750. Why do I do this?


    "Putting teeth in the
    CEAA screening assessments: Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa experience with the screening process for dam refurbishment on the Kipawa River"

    June 10-13, 2007.

    Title Page

    Title of the presentation: Putting teeth in the the CEAA Screening Assessments: Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa experience with the screening process for Dam Refurbishment on the Kipawa River

    Topical Area: Management of rivers through new models, strategies, or tools and the legal and institutional issues that may arise. Managing rivers with special considerations such as flooding, transportation, recreation or conservation.

    Presenter: Peter Karwacki

    Affiliation: President: Whitewater Ontario

    Vice President: Les Amis de la Rivière Kipawa

    Mailing address: Peter Karwacki, 1620 Trenholm Lane, Ottawa, Ontario, K4A 4B6

    Phone: 613-837-2810
    Work: 613-738-1338 x3229


    Fax number: 613-738-1737

    Email address:

    Biographical Sketch:

    Peter Karwacki is an avid whitewater kayaker out of Northern Ontario. He started paddling the Kipawa in 1985. One of its rapids, “Pete’s Dragonâ€

    Peter Karwacki

    Any lawyers out there amongst you that would be interested in helping to create a foundation for the Minden Wildwater Preserve?



    Yet again another request for money for another river that is not in Ontario. Maybe the WO should become the CO.

    I’d give you $750, but with my Kipawa donation, my Level Six save the Kipawa shirt, my ticket for the Kipawa Karma thing on the Gorge and the up coming concert in T.O. (of which I am not local too so travel time and overnight stay are needed) I am a little cash strapped this spring. Hopefully the fall this year is as good as lasts because the way things are going I won’t be able to paddle any of the rivers that were trying to save until then.

    Note –This reminds me of government
    1 billion dollars given to Transit authority in Toronto last week. The first thing the guy receiving the money says in the interview is that its not enough and only a fraction of what they need. Funny thing is it is never enough and is always a fraction of what they need.


    Hum… I wonder?

    Paul :lol:

    Peter Karwacki

    Details on the CHRS program are located here:

    I realize there is fatigue out there. Myself, I have benefited from the paddling community, ever since my trip to Poland to Energex but on the other hand, I have been working more or less tirelessly since then, first becoming president of Les Amis, and then President of Whitewater Ontario.

    For this particular conference I am paying the airfare,about $450 worth. I don’t know what else to say. I’m not doing this for my health.

    I don’t know. One part of me says, give up, another says fight the good fight.

    One thing is certain, if a case like the Kipawa River cannot be won based on the compelling evidence: see, none can be won. The only thing missing here is public outcry which has been lacking.

    So my approach this time is to point out the flaws in the CEAA process and ask for change, change in the way screening assessments are done, and a complete review of the legal philosophy that says, it is not illegal… to be wrong.

    With that principle operating, the odds are stacked against our paddling resources.


    Peter Karwacki

    Subject: Proposal for Guest speaker/article

    This is an unsolicited proposal for a topic as guest speaker for interested clubs, groups and government departments involved in the environmental assessment process in Canada.

    If you can raise a group together of 10 persons my talk ranges on the order of 20 to 35 minutes without questions and answers.

    It contains a personal resume but I also have a personal website.

    I represent Les amis de la riviere Kipawa, an NGO that is currently taking the Federal Government to court over an environmental assessment.
    I have accummulated much knowledge and experience over the last 9 years on the topic of river preservation. I also work with the Ottawa River Keeper. The Kipawa River was featured it her annual report.

    I have presented papers in Kracow Poland and in Guelph, Ontario. My paper on navigation of water control structures was recently presented to the Canadian Dam Association in Quebec City.

    I am the president of Whitewater Ontario, and Vice President of Les Amis del la riviere Kipawa I am a member in good standing of the Ottawa Riverrunners club which is a proponent of the Ottawa pumphouse tailrace project.

    For your review is an document located on It is a draft copy of the paper I am scheduled to present in Winnipeg Manitoba at the Canadian Heritage Rivers Conference. My presentation would be in the form of powerpoint.

    It summarizes our experience with the EA, and why we feel it is so important to all Canadians. My talk is a call to action and to boost awareness of natural resources to which we often attach little value.

    I look forward to addressing the members of the various clubs and organizations with an inspirational and important message.



    It’s not as if Peter is speaking directly to you Localpaddler, why do you respond as if he is.

    F%#k man do you think river protection and stewardship is like buying a prom dress, do it once and forget about it.

    It’s one thing to have an opinion, yet another to rip at things you know nothing about from the safety of anonymity.

    You said it yourself, your afraid to expose your true identity because you say things that are……..uh I dunno USELESS.

    Making a stand when your back is against a wall isn’t bold or smart, its desperate.

    Proactive efforts to protect rivers or making a stand long before your back is against the wall is forward thinking. Thinking about where complainers like you will paddle someday.


    I hope you are more on the ball when you are paddling Hipnazi, a month to come up with a response from my earlier post. Or was you spent too much time wading around at the bottom of the Gull?

    Besides re-stating my earlier post I will add that maybe you should look at all the responses that this request is getting. Do you think that I am just saying what everyone is thinking? Do you think that people are getting sick of getting asked for money? My thoughts are that Whitewater Ontario should be doing more in ONTARIO. Whatever happened to the Gull Festival? Maybe we can get a Saskatchewan based kayak club to come out here and put on a festival for us. I think I am just stating what some people are thinking, maybe not everyone but I am sure some people. Not everyone has the time that you and Pete (and me) have to post on here. You do not have to agree with me; maybe just see my point of view.

    PS. Enjoy the Humber Down River Race this weekend, I hope you get a large turn out. And I am being serious; I think the more people paddling is better for all paddlers. But why a Humber Down River Race when there is so much more going on this weekend!!!!!

    The Great Gonzo

    Well Localpaddler, I usually don’t respond to people who I think are trolls, but here we go:

    The BIG difference between Peter, Hipnazi, Kevin M, Bobbie (and many others) and guys like you is that while you only stand on the sideline complaining and telling them what they are (in your eyes) doing wrong, they actually DO things that benefit not only the paddling community, but our rivers in general. I have a LOT of respect for those guys, none however for guys like you who apparently are only able to take cheap shots out of the cover of anonymity at guys who do REAL work to protect our rrivers in whatever province they may be.

    You are complaining about the fact that Gull Fest does not happen any more, here is a suggestion, why don’t YOU get involved and start it up again? Then you would see that it’s much harder to do some actual organizing and work than to just snipe at the one’s who actually do something.



    Again I can’t stress this enough. Who says that I haven’t been involved with Gull Fest in the past? I know how hard it is to organize things like that, especially if you’re tiring to appeal to kayakers. I am not here to start or finish anything. I am just here to offer the other side of the story. I find it funny that more stuff is discussed on this board then any AGM that WO has had. But again what do I know, because I don’t use my real name I must not paddle or know what I am talking about. Maybe if I start putting my posts under Strano, or Brad Sutton, or Ej or anyone else you could put a name to the face would my thoughts be treated any different.


    Thanks Gonzo,

    I’m not generally given to bragging about what I’m up to but for a change here it is.

    I am a founding and current executive member of the Niagara Whitewater Park Association. Maybe it happens, maybe not but I’ve put in many hundreds of hours there.

    Recreational Chairperson Whitewater Ontario, that means volunteer style I make sure that several instructors get some work each summer and that dozens of begginnig paddlers get lessons.

    Meanwhile I fill in the Property Management reponsibilties at the Preserve. I didn’t ask for this but somebodies got to do it and right now no frigging body is. Hundreds of hours have gone into this.

    I am in the process of trying to set up a steering committee to oversee the Preserve, hopefully this removes a little pressure from me.

    A couple years ago with the help of Peter Thompson I arranged the biggest Gullfest in several years, maybe ever, it raised $5000.00 toward the Niagara Whitewater Park Association.

    The following summer I set up and hosted a summer instruction weekend for local kids. Meals, camping and instruction. They didn’t pay, it was a freebie from me and Whitewater Ontario.

    I regularily clean trees and shit out of the Gull. Last year with a bit of local help I spearheaded the hiring of a crane to remove a couple ton white pine from the upper Gull. I fronted the money for the crane in hopes I would be paid back. Truth be known I got some of my money back but not all.

    Aside from paddling I help my wife with volunteer efforts around the Minden area as well.

    I have been behind the scenes with Kevin Maggs and Peter Thompson doing fundraising stuff for the Kipawa.

    All the while I have been raising a kid who heads off to university this year.

    Also I have been building a carpentry business that has gone from zero to fulltime year round work in 4 years since I moved to Haliburton area.

    Oh ya and every weekend I somehow manage to get out paddling. Guess what I get to do almost every time I go paddling. I get to listen to some tit tell me how it is with / or complain about the way WO does things. Or they complain about the fact that there is no shit wipe in the friggin outhouse.

    Don’t even for a minute think your qualified to discuss the rights and wrongs of WO functions with me Localpaddler. Until your volunteer resume has more on it than anonymous virtual bitch fests your just blowing smoke.

    Although I post with a nickname it’s no mystery who I am to the folks that follow this forum, you certainly know who I am.

    See you Sunday.

    Kevin M

    Yeah, I guess I see where Local paddler is coming from.
    People are tired of being hit up for money to save their rivers.
    47 people gave 100 or more to save the river.
    Level 6 and Esprit gave thousands .
    100 t shirts were sold
    123 people bought tickets to the concert
    and just close to 60 tickets sold for the raffle.

    Yeah, I can see people are sick of hearing about the fundraising.
    However, the same people are buying the tickets and donating.
    Which means all the fundraising is coming from just over 100 people.
    They are getting tired of being asked for funds. Well, when over 200 people make it to the festival, the question is where are the rest of them?
    Are they just freeloading on the generosity of others?
    Are they hoping this thing will get settled so they don’t have to keep feeling guilty about not helping out?

    Personally I thought this would have been done a while ago. How hard could it be to sell 200 raffle tickets for a good cause?

    Peter asking for help for this concert may seem like he is going to the well one time too many to the people that are being asked to help.

    I guess the question is…. How many weekends are you willing to give up for Canadian Rivers?

    How many of you would trade places with Peter or any of the Les Amis Executive?

    How many of you would like to step for this summer and take over Gary’s duties at the Minden reserve? C’mon people why don’t you show Gary how it is supposed to be done?

    There are quite a lot of people who take a lot from paddling in Canada and very few who are giving back.

    There is a saying in volunteer circles. If you have time to complain, you have time to help out.

    I’m really glad that the Les Amis Executive doesn’t tire of the fight as quickly as the run of the mill kayakers get tired of reaching into their pockets. Wake up people this stuff is not going to solve itself.

    I’ve taken some flak on this board from some holier than thou tree huggers because I snowmobile. Sledders are an easy target because of the few who screw up and die etc. However, this winter snowmobilers have raised millions for Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Easter Seals and a bunch of other projects on top of raising money to protect their sport.
    We are working hard to raise less than $20,000.00 to protect our river access rights and have people like local paddler giving us a hard time.

    LocalPaddler: Even if you really did give to all of the efforts. $100.00 + $25.00 for a tshirt + $25.00 for a raffle ticket. The total is $150.00. Hey, I don’t want to knock it but a lot of boaters blow half that on a good bender in the bar.

    We are not asking for people to give for something that doesn’t interest them. It is their sport. They should want to protect it for themselves and their children.

    If Peter is willing to give up his time, perhaps instead of wishing he would leave your wallet alone, You should be glad he isn’t asking you to take over for him.

    You guys are lucky my glass is empty cause I had a lot more to say.

    Good night.


    Having such a hard on for WO or Les Amis is really kind of the same as saying "Riot Sucks". Your slagging an inanimate object, a concept.

    I think the worst complainers really want something more, those who say nothing are either satifisfied or indifferent. I mean why complain if your not interested, if your interested, why not do something that has a result.

    WO seems to be Localpaddlers favourite target, here is a WO bragging list.

    The Gull river as you know it today was created by volunteers who raised money, secured permits and did the hard work.

    The Training Center at the Preserve, was built by volunteers of WO, again who raised money and did the hard work.

    The campground was purchased and developed by volunteers who raised the money and did the work.

    Dozens of races held all over the province each year, administrated and manned by volunteers, they may not interest you but obviously someone is interested enough to keep these things going. The Credit Race is 30 years old.

    The World Cup of slalom brought to the Gull River, all possible because of volunteers.

    Every year instructional manuals and training seminars are developed and maintained so that paddlers can go out and earn a living in the sport, done by volunteers.

    Each year the sitting executive of WO has to seek grant money to keep this stuff happening, tons of time from volunteers.

    Somehow out of that limited funding WO found a way to donated $10,000 to Les Amis. It really bugs me to hear folks dispute that as insignificant or wrong headed. You might never see the Kipawa much less paddle it but it will likely remain possible because a few volunteers gave tons of time anmd money to protect it. In doing that other rivers are a little safer over time.

    There is a network of clubs in Ontario that are affiliate to WO, these clubs are made up of people like Kevin Maggs and Peter Thompson and David Gillespie. People who realize that if you want something from the sport the best way to get it is do something yourself.

    There are kids in slalom prgrams that travel the world to compete, all supported by volunteers.

    Then there is the stuff that comes from these people that relly doesn’t fall under WO like Les Amis support, Irvine River access issues, river clean ups, kids paddle programs, the list goes on for ever.

    There seems to be this culture among some members of the paddling community that slamming WO is OK even cool. Whats cool is knowing better than to discredit and diminish the hard work of volunteers whether you agree or not with what they have done. You cannot sit on the sidelines, obscured in anonymity and hurl insult and personal opinion at people who give time freely so that others might have a chance to enjoy a river or learn the sport and expect that anyone thinks your cool or OK. I would say your not OK.

    A comparison was made to "government". Comparing volunteers to paid, elected officials is ludicrous. Not even logical. The only analogous aspect would be that with either you get out of it whatever you put in.

    Localpaddler I know you haven’t been to a WO AGM, I have been there for several recent meetings and can tell you who was there, it’s documented in the meeting minutes along with the items discussed. Your name isn’t on any of those minutes.

    You have no idea what your talking about, your hurting the fortunes of WO, Les Amis and by extension all paddlers who think advocacy and participation means more than running drops and slamming everything that isn’t inside of your view.

    Do you use the Preserve?

    Paddle the Gull?

    Instruct in Ontario?

    I bet the answer to these questions is yes to at least 2 and likely all 3.

    Can you say "bite the hand that feeds you"!!


    So Peter, there are plenty of ww boaters in Winnipeg who would, at the VERY LEAST take you out for a beer, myself included. Go to the Manitoba Whitewater Club Lounge and see if maybe someone could give you a place to crash while you’re in town.

    And thanks for your efforts.


    Peter Karwacki

    Thanks Christine: I’ll contact that boater board and see if help is forthcoming.

    The registration for the conference is $495. The air fare, which I have paid is about $400. Accommodations and local transport are my next concern.

    As I’ve mentioned, the paper is done and is available for would be editors out there, plus I’m asking local clubs and organizations to offer me a venue to expand the propagation of its key messages.

    Keep in mind that the CHRS is largely a government run operation, staffed by government services workers. I’m there to communicate my message to them and to industry.

    If I had the money, I would go to law school, study, get my Law degree, specialize in Environmental Law and if I was independently wealthy, like Bill Gates, I would work to protect the earth and our environment against the ravages of the human race’s worst elements.

    But I don’t have the time or money to do this so I do what I can.

    Keep in mind that we cannot think too narrowly here. I’m not asking people, who are already tapped out or burned out. I"m asking people use their own leverage to gain the power of many. This is a movement of people I’m talking about, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers.

    I’m simply asking that you share your passion and multiply your efforts in your own personal network.

    The INTERNET makes this possible.

    I have been studying the work of the recent case published by the ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW TRIBUNAL just announced MARCH 1st, 2007. In this case, the MNR of ONtario’s decisions for a Water Management Plan, aided by the approval by the MOE for a PTTW (Permit to TAKE WATER) were challenged by private citizens. Unfortunately they were only given LEAVE to appeal but the similarities to what happened to LES AMIS are unbelieveable.

    Instead of Ontario’s MOE and MNR they faced the Federal MOT and PWGSC. The similarities are that the agencies were essentially coordinated. The impolite word is in "cohoots".

    Where does the public interest lie in cases like these. With obsesseed and WELL PAID project proponents what steps in to fulfil the avocacy role for the resource in its natural state (read NOT SMART DEVELOPMENT). How is the public interest in all its guises served (read NOT JUST WATER CONTROL and NOT JUST POWER GENERATION)

    Why, why, why do non profit groups have to resort to bake sales and silent auctions to work in the public interest?

    Let’s use this boaterboard to serve the interests of the paddling community, get our unique message out, expand our audience and make a difference, while will still breathe.


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