General Meeting – 10 July 2002

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Meeting of July 10, 2002

7:30 p.m., Richmond Room, City Hall


Attending: Erwin Dreessen, Barbara Barr, Arthur Mathewson, Mike Mack, Juan Pedro Unger

Regrets: Divya Raman, Amy Kempster, Albert Dugal

Documents available: Proposed Agenda; draft Minutes of June 12, 2002; Request for support for Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee (OFAC) – July 8, 2002











The agenda was approved by consent.  








Regrets of Albert Dugal were added.  Barbara Barr moved and Juan Pedro seconded approval of the Minutes as amended.  Carried.  








All action items were completed, except:

– Amy Kempster did not make an intervention on Freiman Woods (June 27) because the items was approved under the consent agenda.

– see below for items held over.









Two donations and one renewal were received.  




New Business  / Action Items  








Arthur summarized the background that led to the creation of the Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee and, despite its late start (Oct.), its accomplishments to date.  Staff’s proposal to merge it with the Environmental Advisory Committee will be discussed at the EAC meeting of July 11.

It was agreed to comment to Corp. Serv. Cee., making the following points: it is too early to start tinkering with the structure; OFAC appears to be very effective; Council opted for 2 models of advisory committees: broad-based and more narrowly focused – let’s see how they work.

It was agreed to issue the Greenspace Alliance’s first press release.

(Post-meeting note: David Jeanes found that the staff recommendation for structural changes was expressly counter to Council’s motion of March 28, 2001.  We added this to our letter.)









Erwin will draft a letter; Barbara will speak.

JP will draft the press release.

(Post-meeting note: on a motion by Clr. Munter, the staff recommendation was rejected out of hand.)

9h00 LEITRIM  




Further to Barbara’s posting about APOLOGIES in The Citizen to appease Tartan over coverage of the July 4 press conference by the Sierra Club’s toxologist, JP suggested such intimidation of the press could be of interest to international press freedom organizations.  (Post-meeting note: The News has felt compelled to issue a similar apology after its excellent coverage of the event.)

We agreed to hand deliver a letter, with attachments, to each member of Council for its meeting of July 24, urging delay on the zoning for Leitrim.  We should also ensure that there is a roll call vote.  The By-law is expected to come forward in August.  The option of appealing to the Ontario Municipal Board was discussed in general terms.

(Post-meeting note: The zoning was hastily approved under the consent agenda, with Councillors barely having a chance to voice dissent.  The By-law was passed in the late hours of July 24.  The deadline for an OMB appeal is August 20.)


Barbara will draft a letter to Council.

Erwin will write to the six supportive Councillors.


Barbara will convey both  JP’s suggestion and the OMB option to the Friends of L.W.





Further to the posting by Gary Sealy (July 2, 2002), more information needs to be gathered.  

JP will pursue this.



Brief Reports / Updates / Deferrals  






JP moved and  Barbara seconded approval for an order of return address labels @ $50 for 500.  Carried.

The photo contest will be worked on in the winter, to be ready by early spring and completed by early fall.

A working model of an electronic newsletter could be ready in 2 to 3 months; the newsletter would be aimed at both an internal and external audience.

Having a discussion forum on our web site was briefly discussed.  It was felt that ad-driven facilities (such as Yahoo’s) should be avoided.

The Survey on usefulness of Minutes and Mail/ Clippings Files (posted June 9) received virtually no response.  It will be reposted after the holidays.


JP will order.







Erwin will re-post.







The Poets’ Pathway Committee has attracted ten new participants.  A campaign strategy is being mapped out.  








2002 T-shirts remain available @ $20 or 2 for $35.  Next Committee meeting is in September. Call Amy at 722-6039 to purchase a T-shirt.






A celebratory picnic is planned for the end of the summer.  An access to information request is still ongoing, in the hope of obtaining a copy of DFO’s draft screening report.  








Fundraising continues.  Release of the OMB decision is imminent.  








An OMB hearing is to start August 26.  The Q.F. Preservation Committee will stress the need for independent studies of the safety issue.  


10h40 The meeting adjourned by consent.  



from June 12:

Longfields (“Bill to look into it further”).

Follow up regarding (see Mail File of June 12); not assigned.

re Membership: contact the Kanata Environmental Network; not assigned.

re Leitrim: “what to do about the Mayor;” not assigned.



– Copy of a thank-you note from the Chair to a friend in Hull for a donation, 3 July 2002.

– Reply by Min. of the Environment David Anderson, dated June 12, to our letter of April 6 regarding Leitrim, 2 pp.  The letter notes that his officials “have advised DFO that the proponent should provide additional information on specific aspects of the project, including details of monitoring, contingency plans and follow-up actions to ensure that core wetland functions are preserved.”

– Brian Salisbury, “Does Ottawa have too many golf courses? – The Marshes, Falcon Ridge open amid questions regarding oversupply of courses,” Ottawa Business Journal, June 10, 2002, p.3; also The List of the top 40 Ottawa Valley/Outaouais golf courses, p.10.  Scorecard: this region has more golf courses per capita than anywhere in North America except Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  In the last 10 years, more than 40 new golf courses have been built in our region.  There are an estimated 400,000 golfers locally.

– Steven Chase, “MPs pass endangered species bill – …must pass Senate, receive royal assent,”  Globe & Mail, June 12, 2002, A1.

– David Reevely, “NCC badly run: Senate panel – Committee says underfunding forces agency to sell off land it would otherwise keep,” The Citizen, June 14, 2002, F1,10.  The Senate Committee made the same recommendation as did the Shortliffe Report in October 2000, that Treasury Board’s 1991 Real Asset Management Funding Strategy be scrapped.  The policy requires the NCC to come up with $6 million a year on average from land sales (and gets to keep the money).

– David Sevitt, “NCC bans dogs from picnic areas, campgrounds + Bruce, Conroy pits designated to let pets play, if ‘under control,’” The Citizen, June 14, 2002, F10.

– Randal Denley, “Big developers show tiny vision,” The Citizen, June 17, 2002, B4.  Exposes Minto’s tactics on Trillium Woods in Kanata.  The 7 ha land had never been zoned for development, but Minto wants top dollar for it; Council will defend preservation of the woods before the OMB.  Another squeeze play of Minto’s was also on the agenda, for a parcel just north of the Woods; here Minto got what it wanted.  Ashcroft for its part wanted to demolish the former Ottawa Board of Education building on Gilmour Street, a heritage structure; it was sent packing.  Concludes Denley: “Is this really the best major Ottawa developers can do, using threats to cut down forests and requesting to demolish heritage buildings?  Minto and Ashcroft ought to be ashamed.”

– Citizen Staff, “Lac Leamy golf course dead – Loto-Québec kills project in face of public opposition,” The Citizen, June 20, 2002, C1.

– Citizen Staff, “NCC refuses to rule out Leamy Lake development – Opponents of golf course in park overjoyed by decision to shelve project,” The Citizen, June 21, 2002, F10.

– Laura Peters (NCC Communications director), “NCC has added 1,057 hectares to public lands,” letter to the Editor, The Citizen, June 21, 2002, F5.  Notes that Mr. Beaudry’s address to the Senators is on the NCC’s web site.

– Murray Minkus, “Opportunity lost,” letter to the Editor, The Citizen, June 21, 2002, F5. The Senators should have proposed abolishing the NCC.

– Citizen Staff, “A blueprint for Ottawa / Public has the first say…,” The Citizen, June 21, 2002, F1,3.  About the Preliminary Draft Official Plan.

– Alanna Mitchell, “Earth faces supply crisis, study finds,” Globe & Mail, June 25, 2002, A9.  Summary of paper by Mathis Wackernagel (Redefining Progress), Edward Wilson of Harvard and Norman Myers of Oxford and others, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The study calculates that, in 1961, humans used 70% of what the planet can replenish yearly.  By 1999 it was 120%.

– Tomasz Barczyk, “Ottawa’s official plan is useless,” letter to the Editor, The Citizen, July 1, 2002, A11.  These documents use strong words, but city hall’s actions are only to please the developers.

– Zev Singer, “Navigation of Ottawa River a step closer – Truck, trailer bypass of Chat Falls opens waterway from Lake Timiskaming to Ottawa,” The Citizen, July 2, 2002, B1.  The federal government, Ontario and Quebec are putting up $1.4 million for the project near Fitzroy Harbour.  Strongly promoted by Liberal MP David Pratt.

– Ken Gray, “Navan woman angry over lost wetland – Community group sparked action to make way for new ecossystem, trail in area,” The Citizen, July 3, 2002, B5.  A wetland was inadvertently drained.  Lise Dust is upset.  Clr. McNeely blamed conflicting objectives in the community.

– David Reevely, “Sierra Club demands moratorium on Leitrim development – Uncertainty over safety of toxic dump,” The Citizen, July 5, 2002, E6.  About David Green’s press conference.

– “APOLOGY,” The Citizen, July 6, 2002, A2.  Says allegations in the article of July 5 that Tartan homes in Leitrim are at risk from ground contamination are false. Also refers to its earlier APOLOGY, on June 3.

– Editorial, “Let the people decide if the land is really wet,” The Citizen, July 5, 2002, E2.  About the Navan controversy.  (Clearly, science has nothing to do with it. Ed.)

– David Reevely, “City planners ‘too busy’ to meet public – Planning manager asks councillors not to invite his staff to meetings,” The Citizen, July 7, 2002, A9.  Ned Lathrop sent this request around to Councillors.  Clr. McNeely thought the request was ridiculous.

– David Reevely, “City to hire 30 new planners to ease staff crunch – Public will have acess to planners at public meetings, head of department promises,” The Citizen, July 10, 2002, B3.  That would be the same Ned Lathrop.

The next meeting of the GACC is on August 14, at 7:30 p.m., in the Richmond Room.