Category Archives: Third Falls

Terminated FIT Contracts

The Ontario Rivers Alliance filed a Freedom of Information Application with the IESO in February of 2016 to obtain the following list of terminated Feed-in-Tariff Contracts: Continue reading

10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects

Wabagishik Rapids – Vermilion River

MEDIA RELEASE:  For Immediate Release:  13 July 2016

10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects

SUDBURY:  The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is celebrating a major victory in the protection of 10 Ontario rivers that have been under threat from 19 proposed hydroelectric projects.   Actions taken by the ORA and its members have led to what was considered to be impossible – the termination of 19 Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Contracts.

In 2011, ORA came into being to address a rash of 87 proposed hydroelectric proposals initiated under the Green Energy Act.  The offer of generous incentives to produce power during peak demand hours had proponents rushing to claim access to falls and rapids on rivers all across the province.  The number of proposals to actually receive FIT Contracts was soon reduced to 41, and of those, Xeneca Power Development Inc. had secured 19 contracts for projects involving 23 Crown sites on 10 Ontario rivers. Continue reading

Ivanhoe River Environmental Report – The Chute and Third Falls – ORA Part II Order Request



Healthy rivers are vital to our survival on this planet. Damming rivers to provide income for this generation is short-sighted and ill-advised, and will diminish a life-giving resource that is essential to the survival of our future generations.

The decision-making and reporting process used by Xeneca in reaching its conclusions in this ER are neither transparent nor traceable. First Nation and public consultation were inadequate, many kilometers of riverine ecosystem have not been adequately assessed, and there are many other concerns and uncertainties detailed above. As a result, ORA submits that Xeneca has not met the requirements of the Class EA for Waterpower.

After having carefully reviewed the Ivanhoe River Generating Stations for The Chute and Third Falls ER, and its supporting documentation, ORA is requesting that the Minister of Environment issue a Part II Order to elevate this EA to an Individual Environmental Assessment.

Elevating this Project to a more rigorous and thorough Individual EA would improve the project by allowing time for further key studies to be completed, and for many of our recommendations noted above to be incorporated into the Project. Thus allowing for a more sustainable and responsible contribution to the Province of Ontario. As PGL said, “The geomorphic study would most certainly benefit from further field investigations in which additional data could be collected throughout the zone of influence to compile a more complete collection of river characteristics.”  So would many other aspects of the Project. Continue reading

Precious Wild Rivers – Calendar, by Aleta Karstad

ORA FUNDRAISER – 50% of the profit from the purchase of these calendars will go to help Ontario Rivers Alliance in our mandate to protect, conserve and restore riverine ecosytems.   This calendar would make a great Christmas present!

A BIG THANKS to Aleta and Fred for making this possible!

A calendar for 2013 of Aleta Karstad’s oil paintings en plein air of rivers, rapids, and waterfalls in Ontario. Aleta travels with her biologist husband Fred Schueler to precious wild rivers that still run free with rapids and waterfalls, to paint and explore for little-known native mussels and crayfish, documenting these vulnerable wild communities in art and science. The image of each painting is accompanied by Aleta and Fred’s writings about their adventures in discovering the special nature of the place, as well as the nature of the threats to its integrity, leading us to enquire whether new hydroelectric projects on our wild rivers are desirable or necessary.

Standard Edition – 11×17 – Open:

Premium Edition – 13.5 x 19:

Rivers at Risk – The Chute and Triple Falls, on the Ivanhoe River – Paintings by Aleta Karstad

Ivanhoe “The Chute” (oil on canvas 12 x 16) Sold – 23 September 2012

Aleta Karstad – The middle fall of Triple Falls on the east side of the Ivanhoe River, 40 km north of Foleyet, Ontario – another in our series of wild waterfalls threatened by hydro dams….. For full posting go to Aleta’s website.

Triple Falls (oil on canvas 11 x 14 in.) Sold – 25 September 2012

Aleta Karstad – The East shore of the Ivanhoe River below The Chutes, 16 km north of Foleyet, Ontario. Here the Ivanhoe spills, foaming, across a gneiss ledge above its clay riverbed. Behind me, runs around an island in Cedar/Poplar woods……  For full posting go to Aleta’s website.

Proposed Amendment to the Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects – by Hugh Currie, White Pine Lodge

September 16, 2012

Agatha Garcia-Wright
Director – Environmental Approvals Branch
Ministry of the Environment
12A Floor 2 St Clair Ave W
Toronto, ON
M4V 1L5
Email: [email protected]

Re: Proposed Amendment to the Class Environmental Assessment Water Power Projects

Dear Ms. Garcia-Wright:

I wish to comment on the Proposed Amendment to the Class Environmental Assessment for the Waterpower Projects as follows:

  • there are a large number of small tourists outfitter throughout Ontario that are dependent on our undisturbed Natural Resource’s and our healthy River Ecosystems.
  • First Nations communities are dependent on a healthy river system throughout all the Water Sheds. They are dependent on a healthy river system for drinking water, transportation, trapping, food, and recreation.
  • only a few kilometers of our rivers are not in use by people.

The Environmental Assessment must continue on waterpower facilities of 2 megawatts or under as cycling, peaking, and run of the river projects continue to alter and result in negative impact on river ecosystems.

The Environmental Assessment process should not be altered, for the past, present, and future power generating stations. There needs to be a constant process in place for any unforeseen projects in the future, which may fall under the Environmental Assessment process. An example of this would be a mine closure rehabilitation I’ll give you a reason why this process should be in place and not altered -The NORAD Bases. These bases were constructed throughout Canada in the 1950’s to protect us from Air attacks and it wasn’t until 1988 The Canadian International Development Agency got involved and set up guidelines to clean up the horrific environmental damages that were sustained when the bases were abandoned. This cost our government hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up. The guidelines that were developed by this should be copied and continued to ensure that any future projects that involve our environment will be protected. These guidelines will prevent occurrences such as Fort Albany, a NORAD base that had PCB, arsenic, fuel and oil leaking into the ground. This base has cost in excess of 9 million dollars to clean up the environmental damage.

I feel as a steward of the environment that I cannot allow the Environmental Assessment process to fail, which will create giant footprints as in the past. This is just one of many examples why the Environmental Assessment process must continue and those who create footprints must be held accountable for the clean up and rehabilitation of the environment and not the taxpayers of Ontario and Canada.

The Environmental Assessment for all water powered facilities has to be ever more diligent so not to create an unsustainable ecosystem that will compromise future generations.

I am requesting that the Amendment to the Class Environmental Assessment for waterpower projects fewer than 2 megawatts be rejected.

Yours truly,

Hugh Currie
White Pine Lodge
Box 114
Foleyet, ON
P0M 1T0

OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust) funds many Hydroelectric Proposals

Is this How You Want to See Your OPSEU Pension Fund Invested?

It has come to our attention that at least 18 modified run-of-river hydroelectric proposals are funded through the government employees’ pension trust fund – OPSEU – OPTrust.  These types of hydroelectric dams carry numerous negative impacts1 resulting in reduced water quality and water quantity, destruction of habitat and spawning areas, place extreme pressure on fish and endangered species survival, and the frequent and extreme swings in water flow velocity and water levels pose a serious threat to public health and safety.  MNR and MOE staff are assigned to facilitate these proposals through the Environmental Assessment, permits, and approvals process, and ultimately through to completion.  It is also MNR and MOE that make the final decisions on whether these proposals are approved.  With their own pension monies at risk, this would appear to be a clear conflict of interest.

Continue reading

Ivanhoe River, The Chute Proposed Generating Station – Garcia-Wright, Director MOE, to P. Gillette, Xeneca – 2 March 2012

Part II Order Request – The Chute, Ivanhoe River GS Proposal – MOE to ORA


ORA to MOE – Part II Order Request – 9 September 2011
MOE response to Xeneca – The Chute – 2 March 2012
Miscellaneous – Minutes & Correspondence
MOE to ORA – Four Slide Falls, Serpent River – 19 April 2012
MOE to Xeneca – Four Slide Falls, Serpent River – 19 April 2012


On September 9, 2011, you requested that the Minister of the Environment require Xeneca Power Development Inc. (Xeneca) to prepare an individual environmental assessment for its Ivanhoe River – The Chute Hydroelectric Generation Station (Project).  I am pleased to respond on behalf of the Minister.

It is my understanding that the project is being planned in accordance with the category of new projects on managed river systems provisions of the Ontario Waterpower Association’s Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects (OWA Class EA).  The OWA Class EA requires proposed of projects in this category to complete a series of steps from which the project moves from the concept to implementation.

Under Section 13 of the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA), a proponent of an undertaking subject to a class environmental assessment shall not proceed with the undertaking unless the proponent does so in accordance with the class environmental Assessment.  The Ministry of the Environment’s (MOE) review has determined that the Project was not planned in accordance with the OWA Class EA.  Therefore, the Minister of the Environment is unable to consider your Part II Order request at this time.

If Xeneca proceeds with the Project under the OWA Class EA, additional planning work will be required.  Should you continue to have outstanding concerns relating to the Project following the completion of additional work by Xeneca, you will have an revise and resubmit your Part II Order request to the Minister of the Environment during the 30 day public review period set out in a new Notice of Completion.

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