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Rideau Canal crumbling from poor repair

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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