General Meeting – September 19 2022


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting


September 19, 2022

On-line meeting

Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Jason Kania, Erwin Dreessen, David McNicoll, Iola Price, Kate McNeil, Roland Dorsay, Donna Dubreuil   

The meeting commenced at 7:00 pm.  

1. Adoption of the agenda

The proposed agenda was agreed upon, moved by Jason, seconded by Erwin.     

2. Administrative items

a. Minutes of the August 29, 2022 meetings (for approval)

Moved by Erwin, seconded by Jason. Carried.

b. Association reports

Paul reported that he attended a workshop put on by the Ottawa Climate Action Fund, facilitated by the Vivre en Ville group. Titled Common Ground, it was aimed at advancing low carbon land use in Ottawa. It was attended by 20 invited delegates, representing a broad cross section of government, business and civil society in Ottawa. It was a full day introductory session on the why, what, where and how of urban transformation to address climate change and resilience in Ottawa. A follow up workshop is planned in November. 

Action: Paul to distribute the list of participants.

Ecology Ottawa has appointed a new Executive Director, Alice-Irene Whittaker, and also a new Chair of the Board of Directors, Katie Gibbs. 

c) Treasurer’s report

Paul reported that the Community Foundations of Canada has released the final slice of funding for the Chief Pinesi Portage trail project so that all past and current project expenses will be covered by the grant money.   

3. Policy instruments

a. Municipal election candidate assessment

A second version of the ratings for all candidates for councilor regarding their positions on the greenspace and climate agenda was distributed. This one reflected the comments and feedback received from the full membership distribution. A few more candidate selections were finalized and additional questions raised, resulting in a version that will be distributed for consideration to the full list of GA subscribers. Target for announcing the GA selections is early October.   

b. POP Mayoral Eco-debates

The POP coalition has put on a series of mayoral candidate debates on the environment. The first three attracted most of the candidates for each: August 16 in Barrhaven, August 30 in Kanata and September 7 in Orleans. All were well attended, attracted media attention and provided a good forum for candidate views on environmental and climate issues. A statement by candidate Bob Chiarelli at the Kanata debate, that the provincial government was planning to disallow the Tewin urban expansion approved by City Council, drew particular attention. This gave rise to a discussion as to whether the GA should take a public position on this statement. It was agreed to write a letter to the Editor and/or submit an op ed in the Ottawa Citizen restating the GA position that there should be no urban expansion approved in Ottawa’s new Official Plan.

The final POP debate, this time featuring only the top candidates by invitation, will take place on September 28.

Action: Paul to arrange to have a letter to the editor and/or op ed drafted for review. 

b. Comprehensive Zoning By-law review

Paul provided an update on the fourth meeting, on September 16, of the stakeholder group on the review of the Comprehensive Zoning By-law. This one dealt with building height and parking issues for zoning in the Neighbourhood designation. 

4. Threats and opportunities 

a. Rural greenspace

Nothing to report.

b. Major urban greenspace

i. Pinesi portage trail project update:

Paul reported that the mural installation went well and that all activities are now completed for the Chief Pinesi Portage trail project. The project formally ends on September 30, which is when the grant funding expires. An unveiling ceremony for the mural will be held at New Edinburgh Park on September 28 at 1:00. 

c. Other greenspace

Nothing to report            

The Meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.