jeudi 31 juillet 2008

Halte: Municipal Negligence, Again?

The proposed parking lot and the damaged stream.

The damaged stream with increased sediment.

The so very obvious culvert.

The mountain water makes it's way to the lake.

Ministère du Développement durable de l'Environnement et des Parcs
Direction régionale de l'Outaouais
98, rue Lois
Gatineau (Québec) J8Y 3R7

RE: Halte Kayak

NO to bulldozer cleared municipal lot.
NO new unmonitored lake access point.
NO to damaged water source.
NO to municipal incompetence.

The Municipality of Lac Simon has allowed a bulldozed to clear a municipal owned lot that lies along chemin Tour-du-Lac, between Point a Mousseau and Cap Manitou. The work was done in May, prior to the BMR Velo tour de lac. As the lot was cleared, a water source that empties into Lac Simon was needlessly damaged.

A short but proper visual survey of the land before handing out the work permit would have revealed the stream. There is even a culvert for the water under chemin Tour-du-Lac. The municipal authorities should then have directed the bulldozer to leave a natural buffer that would have respected the water source.

Perhaps. But with a proper survey, and the resultant buffer, the lot would NOT have been cleared as it would have been TOO SMALL!

The Municipality of Lac Simon should have surveyed the land. The Municipality should not have allowed the workers to damage the water source. (same pattern of negligence as destruction of Ile Canard Blanc)

Why was the municipal lot cleared? …To make way for parking and toilets for the proposed Le Petite Nation kayaking route. The municipality is damaging a water source into the very body of water that environmentally conscious kayakers will paddle. Too funny!

Even more hilarious (and sadly ironic) is the fact authorities are so trying to increase tourism to Lac Simon; increased tourism means greater revenues for Cheneville businesses; but the pollution of Lac Simon will not only deflate the evaluations of the lake front owners but also ruin the very tourism the authorities are trying to promote.

Got to love the irony. Got to love the incompetence!

There must be a Responsibility to Protect: Water.

…Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The chemin Tour-du-lac sector, adjacent to proposed Halte Kayak, has been fighting the new unmonitored lake access point since May. They have sent a registered letter against the project with over 60 signatures.


Paul Malouf

CC: Norm MacMillan, Député de Papineau
Ghislain Ménard, Directeur Général MRC Papineau
Richard Charlebois, Directeur Général Centre Local de Dévelopment
Association des Propriétaires du Lac Simon

mardi 29 juillet 2008

Rock Walls: How Big is Too Big?

Merci pour les photos/Thanks for the pictures.
Keep them coming!

Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs
Centre de contrôle environnemental de l'Outaouais
98, rue Lois, Gatineau (Québec) J8Y 3R7

These photos were supplied to me by a concerned citizen.

How big do rock walls need to be?


lundi 28 juillet 2008

Transport Canada: 70 km/h Speed Limits on Lac Simon

Merci a / Thanks to
Bureau de la sécurité nautique / Office of boating safety
Transports Canada - Sécurité maritime / Transport Canada - Marine Safety

Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations
Canada Shipping Act, 2001

Transport Canada "speed limits" & "permits"
...include Lake Simon


(a) within 70 m of the high water mark; and 25 km/h
(b) at more than 70 m from the high water mark 70 km/h


As written in Section 12(1)an 12(2) of the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (VORR), Transport Canada gives out the permit:

"12(1) The Minister may issue a permit that authorizes a person to hold a sporting, recreational or public event or activity in the waters described in Schedule 8 and that sets out conditions

(a) to minimize risk to the safety of persons and interference with the safe and efficient navigation of vessels; and

(b) to protect the public interest

"12(2) The Minister may issue a permit authorizing a person to hold, in the waters described in subsection 2(7) or in Schedule 5 or 6, a sporting, recreational or public event or activity during which vessels will be operated at a speed that exceeds the maximum speed prescribed by these Regulations in respect of those waters, and that sets out conditions

(a) to minimize risk to the safety of persons and interference with the safe navigation of vessels; and

(b) to protect the public interest.

See previous letter/photo gallery:
"Poker Run": A Fun Time with Obvious Safety Concerns?

Is the Municipality of Lac Simon, Maire Serge Thivierge and its councillors Michel David, Don Saliba, Jean Guy Maillé, Jocelyn Boisvert, Nelson Barnes, Reina Laniel supporting an inherently illegal activity by passing an exemption for the "poker run " that contravenes previous bylaw(s) enacted by the municipality and recognized by Transport Canada in the Canada Shipping Act, 2001?

Why does the Sûreté du Québec not enforce Transport Canada's recognized 70 km/h speed limit?

Do event organizers and/or municipality need event insurance?

And from the Municipality de Lac Simon web site
Règlement concernant les limites de vitesse sur les lacs

dimanche 20 juillet 2008

"Poker Run": A Fun Time with Obvious Safety Concerns?

Update, (August 5): It appears that citizens and event organizers have come to an 'agreement' on the future of the "poker run" following a heated discussion during the municipal council meeting on August 1; not withstanding the absence of the Maire and lack of municipal leadership. The longest serving municipal councilor, Michel David, pleaded ignorance of Transport Canada's permit requirement(s) even though both he & Maire were on municipal council when town adopted the speed limit laws for the lake. Too funny!

M. Jacques P. Dupuis
Ministère de la Sécurité publique
2525, boulevard Laurier, 5e étage
Tour des Laurentides
Québec (Québec) G1V 2L2

RE: “poker run”

The annual “poker run” was held on Saturday July 19, 2008. It looks like a fun event.

Although I am not against the concept of a “poker run”, I do have several concerns:

Planning: Having between 40 and 50 boats, with about twenty 30 to 40-foot “cigarette” boats, from outside the municipality of Lac-Simon visit the lake for a July construction holiday weekend is not good planning on the part of neither the event organizers, nor the municipality. I would argue that there is a limit for any lake in terms of quantity, size, and speed of boats. Moreover, this should not be held in July.
Friday night marina arrival.

Saturday morning pre-race.

Safety: The municipal council and the Maire of Lac-Simon, Serge Thivierge, must have as their priority - safety. Most of the 1550 homeowners refrain from venturing onto the lake during the event. Boats at speeds of upwards 100km/hr is a clear and present danger. These 30 to 40-foot “cigarette” boats are made for the "ocean", not inland lakes.
Boat returning to finish line.

Boat returning to finish line.

Boats returning to finish line.

Boat, with large wake, driving past marina, at faster than necessary speeds?

Children Safety
: Children were forced out of the water at the start when 40 to 50 boats left the bridge going north towards Duhamel. The 2 to 3-foot wakes were a clear and present danger to small children playing in the water.

Blocking Bridge traffic: The start area was at the bridge. Boats that were lined up for the start were blocking access to the bridge. Boats coming from Lac-Barriere were forced to weave their way through the maze of stationary “poker run” boats. (see bridge photo) Boat traffic under the bridge must never be blocked.

Boats gathering at start. Why block the bridge?

: A helicopter was filming the event. (see video - coming soon) Helicopters hovering 10 feet over the water and boaters, mere meters away from beaches with children, the tree line and homes is a clear and present danger. Was the municipal aware of the helicopter beforehand? Was a municipal permit issued? What are the Transport Canada laws of flying a helicopter at that altitude for such a superfluous event?

Helicopter appearing from Baie Blais, then filming the 50 boats the length of the 10 km long section of the lake, at about 20 feet above water along the shoreline.

Police: There should be a police presence that follows the event in its present state. The regular QPP boat that was on the lake the day after, on Sunday July 20, 2008 must be on the lake during the event. The 2 “seadoos” that were on the lake Saturday July 19 are no match for the over twenty 30 to 40-foot boats that speed up to 100km/hr. Did the municipality request a regular QPP boat during the “poker run”?

Municipal exemptions: I would argue that a majority of citizens of Lac-Simon (80-90%) are against the exemptions the municipality of Lac-Simon gave for this specific event:
  • 30-foot maximum is waived
  • $100.00 entry fee for boats between 22 & the maximum allowed 30 is reduced to $15.00.
  • Boats longer than 30-feet are allowed for the weekend, some entering Friday night; others not leaving till to Monday evening.

Citizen happiness: I would argue that at least 80-90% of the lakefront homeowners are against the “poker run”.

Economic benefits: I would argue that there is little economic benefit for the businesses of the municipalities of Cheneville or Lac-Simon.

Boat with "rooster tail" near shoreline on Saturday night.

Boat with rooster tail on Sunday night. What's the point?

Municipal vision: I would argue that the MRC Papineau and Municipality vision of creating a “kayaking” route along the Petite Nation and Lac-Simon is inconsistent with the “poker run”. 40-foot boats at 100km/hr with 2 to 3-foot wakes are a clear and present danger to kayakers, and other small craft. They are inconsistent.
Saturday evening beach rendez-vous; Looks like a good time!

Environment: The shoreline is being damaged with increased erosion by the huge waves, especially at the start when 50 boats leave the bridge/marina going north all at the same time.

Water pollution: Homeowners have complained that the water line of their boats are filthy the day after the "poker run"; probably because of the excessive high octane gasoline of some of the larger boats.

Noise Pollution: Because some boats do not have mufflers or switch them off, just one boat interrupts a conversation on a deck and leads to window closure. The noise is revolting.

Thus, I request that the municipality of Lac-Simon:
  • legislate a 70 km/hr maximum speed limit for Lac-Simon; Advise Transport Canada of the new law; Have the police enforce such a speed limit;
  • stop giving fee access exemptions. All boats entering the waters of Lac-Simon must have there boat cleaned ($15.00) and pay the entrance fee (under 22 feet = $25.00; between 22 & 30 feet = $100.00) as the municipal bylaws require;
  • enforce a complete 100% ban on boats greater than 30 feet from entering of Lac-Simon.
  • legislate that exhaust mufflers be mandatory on all boats.

A poker run could continue, just respect the aforementioned parameters.

Thanking you in advance.


Paul Malouf

CC: Sûreté du Québec
Norm MacMillan, Député de Papineau
Ghislain Ménard, Directeur Général de MRC Papineau
Association des Propriétaires du Lac Simon

samedi 19 juillet 2008

Lac-Simon Veut Fermer Centre Toxicomanes

Update (July 20): As of July 20, the petition continues and is approaching 800 signatures.

Take Action => GO TO & SIGN PETITION

Lac-Simon veut fermer le centre de ressourcement pour toxicomanes et alcooliques
Jessy Laflamme
le 19 juillet 2008
Le Petite Nation

La municipalité de Lac-Simon entame des démarches judiciaires afin que l’Auberge Évasion, devenue un centre de ressourcement pour les toxicomanes et alcooliques depuis janvier dernier, ferme ses portes.

L’organisme Alliance/Cap Espoir opère plusieurs bâtiments du même genre au Québec. Il a établi, dans l’Auberge Évasion, un centre de ressourcement pour les personnes qui font face à des problèmes d’alcoolisme ou de toxicomanie. «Seulement les personnes qui ont subi une thérapie peuvent venir ici, a indiqué la coordonnatrice du centre, Sophie Cusson. De plus, aucune substance qui alterne le cerveau n’est tolérée sauf les médicaments prescrits par les médecins.»

Selon Mme Cusson, l’Auberge Évasion n’est pas un centre de désintoxication, mais bien un centre de ressourcement. «Les 22 personnes qui sont ici le sont pour renouer les liens avec leur famille et pour faire un retour dans la société», a-t-elle affirmé. PLUS >>>