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Rapids Clubtail dragonfly logo winner announced

Posted by on February 22, 2016 in News | 0 comments

A team of approximately thirty Mississippi Mills residents have organized to encourage the preservation of Gomphus Quadricolor – also known as the Rapids Clubtail Dragonfly – an endangered species still found very sparsely in a couple of patches along the Mississippi River. To raise awareness of the dragonfly, this “Clubtails club” of concerned citizens launched a design contest late last year with hopes that a “dragonfly logo” – or an exceptional promotional graphic – would be created. Today a winner and winning design is announced.rapids_clubtail_isolated

This beautiful and adaptable design was created by Sam Hamilton, an illustrator and graphic designer living and working in Almonte, Ontario. See more of Sam’s artworks at Sam is awarded a $200 prize for his design. (Funds for this first prize and for the runners-up were donated by residents of Mississippi Mills.) Beth McCubbin (Gatineau), Chris Hume (Almonte) and Linda Manzer (Almonte & Toronto) were runners-up and were awarded gift certificates to local Almonte art shop, JB Arts. (JB Arts, generously, also contributed to these prizes.)

The Rapids Clubtail (Gomphus quadricolor) was the first dragonfly placed on the Endangered Species list in Canada. It is currently known only from two rivers in Ontario, the Mississippi River and the Humber River. The endangered populations on the Mississippi River inhabit the Almonte falls area, Blakeney Rapids, Pakenham rapids and areas downstream of these. The dragonfly and its habitat face threats from pollution and degradation of river and shoreline habitat.

Plans to use the new stylized image of “Gomphy” are in the works. Posters, t-shirts, perhaps stickers and flags sporting the new image are all possible fund-raising ideas for the near future. The Clubtails club of dragonfly advocates came together from a variety of other local groups, including The Mississippi RiverWatchers, The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, The Stop Enerdu group and others. Members includes residents of the three wards of Mississippi Mills (the town of Almonte being one ward), scientists, teachers, engineers, politicians, naturalists, reporters and other concerned individuals. For more information on this group and any upcoming, awareness-building activities, please join the Rapids Clubtails of Mississippi Mills Facebook page or visit, where news will be posted as available.

Town of MM report on the endangered Rapids Clubtail dragonfly

Posted by on August 24, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Excerpt pages from the 2015-08-25 Committee of the Whole agenda on this very rare dragonfly found in the falls are in Almonte, Blakeney, and Pakenham:


From the executive summary:

“Only a few hundred individuals of the Rapids Clubtail dragonfly exist in Canada, all in Ontario. Of the four locations in the province where this dragonfly has been spotted in the last 15 years, three are in Mississippi Mills. This insect is one of the most threatened in Ontario and is classified as endangered in provincial and federal legislation.  Of the three confirmed sites in Mississippi Mills—the falls at Pakenham, Blakeney and Almonte—the latter has activities pending that could harm the remnant population.”

Read more in the PDF file above!

Other info:

COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report – Rapids Clubtail (Gomphus quadricolor): sr_rapids_clubtail_0808_e

Rapids Clubtail Ontario Recovery Strategy Series: stdprod_066829

Habitat Protection Summary for Rapids Clubtail: stdprod_096835

Enerdu Flashboards Reduce the Overall Power Output From the River

Posted by on April 6, 2015 in News | 0 comments

The MVFN has released a 2nd edition of the MVFM Appleton Wetlands report for MNR. The 2nd edition includes the Power Production analysis, showing that when Enerdu adds flashboards in Almonte (at the upper falls) the result is a net power loss to the province 75 MWHr avg.

The report additions and changes are available on our Resources Page here. The covering letter for this addendum from the MVFN is also there.


The Experience of Towns When Implementing an HCD is Overwhelmingly Positive…

Posted by on February 2, 2015 in News | 0 comments

…in terms of property values, making renovations, and general quality of life.

Read the whole story here!

Why the RiverWatchers Support the HCD Moratorium – (AKA Get your Red on!)

Posted by on February 2, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Councillor John Edwards has put for a motion to be debated this Tuesday night (Feb 3 at 6:30pish) to yet again try and rescind the Heritage Conservation District (HCD) moratorium bylaw.

The following is our understanding of the “standing “of the HCD moratorium with regard to Enerdu:

The HCD moratorium bylaw is the only “legal” thing holding back the issuing of a building permit to Enerdu to start construction.

Without the moratorium – as long as Cavanagh satisfies all of the conditions set out in August by the town, the town would have to issue the permit. Else they would be sued. This summer, Cavanagh applied to a building permit to start construction, and town staff did an excellent job of setting out the steps to be resolved before issuing a permit (see The Millstone, Sept 7 2014: Town rejects Enerdu building permit application).

HOWEVER – Nobody but Cavanagh & his team knows exactly where the satisfying of those conditions stands. It was quite a lengthy list, but for all anybody knows they may have worked through all of the conditions by now. There is no evidence in the public domain either way – We simply don’t know! However, if they have sorted all the conditions, then Cavanagh would undoubtedly apply for the permit the minute the moratorium is lifted (remember – they already tried just before the moratorium was put in place) and the town would have to issue them the building permit. Game over.

If the moratorium stays in place, then it will be lifted only when the HCD rules are passed into law (via town bylaw), or the HCD is defeated. This is slated to happen in 2-3 months, after the study is completed.

If no HCD is established in 2-3 months, then we are in the same place as before and Cavanagh can then get a building permit any time subject to the conditions set out by the town.

If the HCD is established, then Cavanagh will have to get a Heritage permit as well. Presumably the heritage rules in place will be such that the town will have a reasonable measure of control over the project to make it at least palatable to the majority of the population. The communities job is to make sure those rules are decent enough to do that.

So most importantly – if you agree – come out on Tuesday night wearing red!

(6:30 PM, Tuesday Feb 3, and the MM Town Hall on Old Perth Rd.)

See the Council Committee of the Whole  (CoW) agenda item F2 at:

Almonte Heritage Conservation District Study Completed

Posted by on November 15, 2014 in News | 0 comments

The Downtown Almonte Heritage Conservation District Study is now available. It defines the recommended Heritage District area (smaller than the study area as generally expected). The consultants report is on the town web site here

A public meeting on the HCD is being held on Monday Nov 24th, 6 PM, at the Almonte Old Town Hall – The notice is here.

As a side note – Check out the cool page on the Town web site – a Calender of Events. Most useful!


Council set to re-open Heritage District Study major development moratorium

Posted by on October 22, 2014 in News | 0 comments

NOTE: This meeting was postponed to Oct 28th (Tuesday) at 6pm

At the MM Town Hall on Old Perth Rd – 6pm Thurs, Oct 23rd

This fall, Council passed a major building/demolition moratorium over the study area of the proposed Heritage Conservation District (HCD). The Mississippi RiverWatchers is actively promoting this moratorium as it is the only available means for the Town to have any meaningful influence over the proposed Enerdu project. This moratorium is expected to be in place until the spring, when the ongoing HCD study is completed. At that time, Council will vote on establishing the actual HCD. Of note, the revised HCD area, which is expected to be smaller than the area currently outlined in the bylaw, will be presented by the heritage consultants to Council in November 2014 – so that matter will be resolved in the month immediately following the municipal election.

Tuesday this week (Oct. 21), during the voting period that started Monday, the Mayor has decided to call a special meeting of Council to reconsider the Heritage Conservation District (HCD) building moratorium. The meeting is set for this Thursday, Oct. 23, at 6pm at the Town Hall Council Chamber on Old Perth Road.

Our concern is that if the HCD moratorium is lifted, Enerdu could meet all of the requirements for a building permit, and the Enerdu project would then be grandfathered in before the HCD could be established. 

What Can You Do?

1. It is now the time to call (preferably) or email the councillors that you feel comfortable talking with and let them know your thoughts on the Mayor’s attempt to rescind the moratorium. The Mississippi RiverWatchers feel that it would be very unwise to lift the moratorium before the HCD is established, likely next Spring.

Hopefully you feel strongly enough to contact councillors as soon as possible to voice your concerns, and ask them not to support rescinding the moratorium. The Mississippi RiverWatchers request you to do this as soon as possible. We are concerned that the Council vote is too close to “call” at this point, so pressure from the public is essential.

For your information, the Councillor contact information their previous votes are given below. We will post any new info on our Facebook page as we hear anything.

2. Show up at the meeting on Thursday night (Oct 23), 6 PM. Wear red! See the politics art work in our community.

Previously voted FOR the HCD moratorium (good!):

Councillor – Almonte Ward
Bernard Cameron
Home: (613) 256-1684
Cell: (613) 220-3466
Councillor – Almonte Ward
Garry Dalgity
Home: (613) 256-3229
Councillor – Almonte Ward
Alex Gillis
Home: (613) 256-4961
Councillor – Ramsay Ward
Shaun McLaughlin
Home: (613) 256-9834
Councillor – Ramsay Ward
Val Wilkinson
Home: (613) 256-4324
Councillor – Pakenham Ward
Duncan Abbott
Home: (613) 256-4000

 Previously voted AGAINST the HCD moratorium (not good!):

John Levi
Bus: (613) 256-2064 ext. 300
Home: (613) 256-7794  Cell: (613) 223-4878
Councillor – Almonte Ward
Rick Minnille
Home: (613) 256-1735
Councillor – Ramsay Ward
John Edwards
Home: (613) 257-1933
Councillor – Ramsay Ward
Paul Watters
Home: (613) 223-6020
Councillor – Pakenham Ward
Denzil Ferguson
Home: (613) 624-5435


Council endorses the Heritage Committee comments on the final Enerdu Heritage Impact Study

Posted by on August 13, 2014 in News | 0 comments

The Council passed a motion (8 to 2) endorsing the Heritage Committee’s  comments on Enerdu’s final Heritage Impact Study that Enerdu submitted to the province. Based on our reading of the comments, there were numerous and significant inconsistencies, errors and unclear aspects in Enerdu’s final report. You can read the whole set of Heritage Committee comments here.

The motion also calls for the comments be forwarded to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Heritage unit) on behalf of the Town, which will be done immediately by town staff.

Way to go Heritage Committee members and Councillors!

Mayor John Levi and Councillor Rick Minnille voted against this motion. Councillor John Edwards was absent.

MM Council Formally Withdraws Support for Enerdu

Posted by on August 13, 2014 in News | 0 comments

At the Committee of the Whole meeting last night (Aug 12) , Council members voted 7 to 3 to support a motion drafted by Councillor Shaun McLaughlin (in consultations with like-minded Councillors). The motion formally withdraws any implied support by Council for the Enerdu generating station expansion. It also directs staff to inform Enerdu, the Premier of Ontario, and four provincial ministers of their decision.

The motion that was passed reads:

Councillor McLaughlin (July 29, 2014):
WHEREAS the Council of the Town of Mississippi Mills regrets that the Province gave the Town no formal approval authority in the matter of the Enerdu GS Expansion and Redevelopment Project in Almonte;
AND WHEREAS Council does have a responsibility to represent the interests and well being of its residents;
AND WHEREAS the residents of Mississippi Mills value the historic and natural landscape of the river as it passes through Almonte;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Council cannot support the Enerdu Generating Station Expansion and Redevelopment Project in its current form and that the Premier of Ontario, the ministers of Energy, Environment, Culture, and Resources, and the Enerdu proponent be advised.


Mayor John Levi and Councillors Rick Minnille and Denzil Ferguson voted against this motion. Councillor John Edwards was absent.

Appleton Wetland at tipping point – MVFN releases a joint scientific report with the MRW

Posted by on August 12, 2014 in News | 0 comments

After thriving for thousands of years, the Appleton Wetland is now endangered due to man-made effects of summer flooding caused by manipulation of water levels for hydro power generation.

The Appleton Wetland is under immediate threat says a detailed scientific report published by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists. The report states that excessive water levels resulting from Enerdu Power Systems Inc.’s current hydro operations are drowning towering silver maple trees upstream, and that the proposed Enerdu expansion in Almonte’s heritage district will kill the very species that anchors a wetland older than the Great Pyramids or Stonehenge.

The 76-page report (plus 254 pages of appendices!) calls for an immediate amendment to the Mississippi River Water Management Plan (MRWMP) overseen by the Ministry of Natural Resources that will allow for a “valid operational summer water level” and allow the silver maples to survive, and that “approval of the current upgrade plan for Enerdu must be delayed until the recommended amendment has been resolved.”

See the full MVFN press release here!

The full report is available in three rather large files for download:

For those that want one large (48 MB!) file to search through, here it is:

Does Cavanagh or Enerdu own the riverbed?

Posted by on July 18, 2014 in News | 0 comments

It is clear from emails obtained using the Freedom of Information (FOI) act that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) questions the Enerdu ownership of the property they plan to build on (see Pages_from_2012-09_2013-07_Enerdu_MNR_FOI_combined_A-2013-00056_re_Ownership and FOI_A0201174_hilighted ). MNR indicates that Enerdu must deal with the issue through both a Quit Claims process and the Disposition of Crown Land, in order to obtain ownership of the riverbed that Enerdu needs for this project to proceed.

In other words – according to the MNR email – Enerdu does not own the riverbed.

Note that throughout the FOI email thread, the acronym LRIA stands for Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act.

Enerdu-Cavanagh explosives blasting permit application

Posted by on July 15, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Three months before the very first public meeting by Enerdu (Sept 26, 2011), they applied to the MNR for a blasting permit at the proposed project site, with Thomas Cavanagh Construction slated to do the blasting. The explosives permit application (commented extract here) was originally in Appendix_A:_Project_Description of Enerdu’s Final Environmental Report OE8982-00 .

MRW status report – June 2014

Posted by on July 10, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Hi all – Here is a status report of the state of things as seen by the MRW for the first part of 2014.

Concerned group of citzens and business owners planning a River Celebration

Posted by on June 28, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Beside the Almonte Old Town Hall at 12 noon Saturday June 28. Come out for some river fun and make a splash! More info here on FaceBook.

Give our river a hug!

Posted by on June 12, 2014 in News | 0 comments

2014 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Join your fellow paddlers at the Almonte Old Town Hall, Saturday, June 21,  2014 at 8:30 AM to be part of our community’s 2014 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. The paddle flotilla will leave at 9:00 AM from the Almonte Old Town Hall and paddle up river (but downwind!) to the boat launch in Appleton. Our goal is to fill a dumpster with shoreline debris, so we need your help. Bring wading shoes or boots, gloves, a rake or boat hook, your canoe or kayak, and your required safety equipment.

Garbage bags will be provided. Boats will be traveling with us on the river to collect garbage bags and offer relief to any weary paddlers. The trip covers 10km and can be paddled in two to three hours. The Mills Community Support Corporation and volunteers will provide complimentary transportation for you and your boat back to the starting point at the Almonte Old Town Hall by 1:00 PM.

This is a family friendly event and a great opportunity to meet other river lovers. For more information, contact Mike O’Malley 613-859-5300 or

The Enerdu – Jeff Cavanagh link

Posted by on June 9, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Some have asked, so here is one of the documents that clearly shows Jeff Cavanagh as the principle in Enerdu: Enerdu – Jeff Cavanagh NUANS  link

Snippets from the provincial candidates take on electricity generation and Cavanagh’s Enerdu project..

Posted by on June 9, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Snippets taken from the provincial  candidates responses to The Millstone questionnaire…

  • #AndrewWest (GRN) – I oppose the Enerdu expansion. I want to stop the Enerdu project and protect the Appleton Wetland along Reach 18.
  • #RosalynStevens (LIB) – I will take this file right to the Environment Minister to discuss and be your voice at Queen’s Park.
  • #JohnHansen (NDP) – …against the Enerdu project since it creates only a small amount of electricity at a high cost to the environment and the local community.
  • #JackMacLaren (PC) – We will end the Green Energy Act…   I support Enerdu.

The full questions and responses are summarized here.