Rideau Canal crumbling from poor repair

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The Rideau Canal, Canada’s newest UNESCO World Heritage jewel, is deteriorating because of inadequate maintenance, say boaters who use the waterway.

The boaters’ concerns about the state of the 179-year-old canal system come as Parks Canada dismissed as “pure speculation” rampant rumors that the agency is thinking of shortening the boating season by as much as 1-1/2 months.

Brian Cowper, an Ottawa financial planner who plies the Rideau waterway on his 42-foot yacht, is among those disturbed by the state of the canal. In an e-mail to fellow boaters earlier this month, he bemoaned the “miserable state of disrepair of this World Heritage Site.

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