Photo by Linda HeronPhoto Credit

ORA-Part II Order Request – Wanatango Falls GS Environmental Report, Frederick House River

It is the position of ORA that this type of “modified peaking run-of-river” hydro-electric dam, in the form Xeneca is suggesting at Wanatango Falls, will have unacceptable environmental impacts, and does not contribute in any way to “the betterment of the people of the whole or any part of Ontario by providing for the protection, conservation and wise management in Ontario of the environment.”

Continue reading


This film was made for the “Stop the Mega Quarry” campaign, which is another extremely important cause that we all must help with in any way possible.

This film is also important for our Ontario rivers at risk because it speaks of the importance of our water.  The narrator reminded us that, “you can live for weeks and months without food, but you can only live a few days without water.”

We must treat water as a commons to be shared and cared for by everyone!  Without water there will be no life!

ORA Comments to Xeneca – Wanatango Falls, Frederick House River Generating Station – Environmental Report

3 November 2011:

Dear Ms. Enskaitis:
Re:   Class Environmental Assessment Report for the
Proposed Frederick House River – Wanatango Falls GS

The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is an organization with a focus on healthy river ecosystems throughout the Province, and represents some 30 organizations across Ontario. We are responding to Xeneca’s Class Environmental Report and its supporting documentation, for the proposed Wanatango Falls, on the Frederick House River.

It is the position of the ORA that hydro-electric generation, in the form Xeneca is suggesting at Wanatango Falls, will have unacceptable environmental impacts, and does not contribute in any way to “the betterment of the people of the whole or any part of Ontario by providing for the protection, conservation and wise management in Ontario of the environment.”1

Below you will find ORA’s comments on several key areas of concern:

Download (PDF, 587KB)

Behaviour and passage success of upriver-migrating lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens in a vertical slot fishway on the Richelieu River, Quebec, Canada

J. D. Thiem1,*, T. R. Binder1, J. W. Dawson2, P. Dumont3, D. Hatin3, C. Katopodis4,
D. Z. Zhu5, S. J. Cooke1,6
1Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, and 2Insect Flight Group, Department of Biology,
Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada
3Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, 201 Place Charles Le Moyne, 4e étage, bureau 4.05, Longueuil, Québec
J4K 2T5, Canada
4Katopodis Ecohydraulics Ltd., 122 Valence Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 3W7, Canada
5Water Resources Engineering, University of Alberta, 3-032 Markin/CNRL Natural Resources, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2W2, Canada
6Institute of Environmental Science, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada

ABSTRACT: Spawning migrations of sturgeon have been affected by the construction of dams, which create barriers to migration and have contributed to the imperilment of sturgeon. Although devices have been installed to facilitate the upstream passage of fish at barriers, they have been generally unsuccessful and not designed for sturgeon. We examined fine-scale movements of adult lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens during passage through a vertical slot fishway located on the Richelieu River in Quebec, Canada, to determine passage success, passage duration and inter-individual differences in fishway use. Migratory lake sturgeon (n = 107, range 939 to 1625 mm total length [TL]) were captured immediately downstream of the fishway, tagged with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags and released into the fishway entrance basin over a period of 2 wk (water temperature 11–20°C). An array of 16 PIT antennas acted as gates to enable quantification of movements within the fishway. Volitional entry into the fishway occurred for most individuals (82.2%), 32 individuals successfully ascended the entire fishway, and overall passage efficiency was 36.4%. Continue reading

Where McGuinty could find room for compromise – A Paler Shade of Green

The Globe and Mail, 19 October 2011

Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals have put up a strong front since winning a minority government in the Oct. 6 election, and will continue to do so when the legislature returns next month.

But on occasion, Mr. McGuinty will seek common ground with the opposition parties, if only to show that he listened to voters who handed him a weakened mandate. And there are at least a few potential compromises lurking.

A Paler Shade of Green

Mr. McGuinty is not about to back away from green energy, after doubling down heading into the election. Still, having lost most of their rural seats in Eastern and Southwestern Ontario, the Liberals could be looking to change the impression they’ve been indifferent to communities’ concerns.

During the campaign, Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives promised to restore municipalities’ authority over wind-energy projects within their boundaries. The Liberals have long argued that taking that power away was the only way to avoid developments getting endlessly bogged down by local politics.

Since the election, there has been a softening in some Liberals’ tones on that front. Without returning full control to municipal councils, the government may find a way to give them more say.

Adam Radwanski

Last updated Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011 6:52AM EDT

Misema Generating Station, Misema River

A 3 MW run-of-river hydroelectric dam was completed at Eighty Foot Falls, on the Misema River, in 2003 by Canadian Renewable Energy Corp.  This facility is now owned and operated by TransAlta Energy, and according to a recent hydrograph, appears to be running as a modified peaking run-of-river dam.  When did the operating strategy for this generating station change and how?  Was the public informed?  These are all questions for which Ontario Rivers Alliance is seeking answers.

Misema River - Before Hydro Facility

Misema River – Before Hydro Facility

Misema River - After Hydro Facility

Misema River – After Hydro Facility

Arial View of Misema

Arial View of Misema


Ontario’s Power Trip: The $4,000 electricity bill

  Oct 4, 2011 – 8:52 PM ET | Last Updated: Oct 4, 2011 9:02 PM ET

Electricity rates will double, making them among the highest in the developed world

By Glenn Fox and Parker Gallant

While attending an Energy Probe board of directors meeting almost a year ago (we are both directors), several of us around the table — as might be expected — discussed the Ontario government’s Green Energy Act and wondered aloud about the hidden costs associated with the act. Some speculated that the act might lead to a doubling of Ontario’s power rates. Could that possibly be true?

The discussions, which carried on after the meeting, led to a decision by the two of us to pursue a study to cost out the act’s embedded costs, focusing on the numerous “directives” the Minister of Energy, Brad Duguid, and his predecessor, George Smitherman had issued to the Ontario Power Authority. These directives drove the creation of a jaw-dropping panoply of initiatives — the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program, conservation, the Samsung contract, Ontario content mandates, community power programs, nuclear refurbishment, transmission expansion to accommodate the renewables, and job creation — just to mention a few.

When we commenced our study, the plan was to encompass as much as possible that the directives contained. But as we soon discovered, covering everything would require a lot more time and effort than we could reasonably offer, delaying the results. Our position was also crystallized when the Energy Minister, Brad Duguid released his Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP), shortly after we had started our study. Continue reading

New Energy Costs Will Be Much Higher Than Anticipated – New Study Says

Posted October 18, 2011

Guelph – The cost of providing wind and solar energy in Ontario will be about 40 per cent higher than government estimates, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Guelph agricultural economist.

The study, which will appear in a forthcoming issue of Bulletin of Science and Society and is available online now, looks at the impacts of wind and solar directives in the provincial Green Energy and Economy Act. Adopted in May 2009, the act formed the framework for Ontario’s 2010 Long-Term Energy Plan.

“We found that there were omitted costs and inflated benefits,” said Glenn Fox, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics. He conducted the study with Parker Gallant, a retired banker. Continue reading