General Meeting – 14 August 2002

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Meeting of August 14, 2002

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


Attending: Erwin Dreessen, Amy Kempster, Carole Tattersall, Juan Pedro Unger, Bill Royds

Guest: Chris Szpak

Regrets: Barbara Barr, Divya Raman, Arthur Mathewson

Documents available: revised Proposed Agenda; draft Minutes of July 10, 2002.







The revised agenda was approved by consent.

To be noted for the September agenda: schedule of meetings after October 16.


Erwin to inquire about room availability & put on Sept. agenda.






  Juan Pedro moved and Erwin seconded approval of the Minutes as distributed.  Carried. Erwin to complete Mail file & send final to Bill.





See Items held over at end of these Minutes.  








Juan Pedro moved and Carole seconded acceptance of membership of Steven Artelle, Amanda Janes and Chris Szpak.  Carried.  




New Business  / Action Items









There was general discussion of the merits and risks associated with launching an appeal to the OMB of the zoning by-law approved by City Council on July 24.  It was agreed that, without further evidence, arguments about risks to public health had to be avoided. Bill moved and Juan Pedro seconded a motion that Erwin’s appeal, if it takes place, be on behalf of the Greenspace Alliance.  Erwin invited discussion about the liability implications of doing so and about conflict with other objectives of the Greenspace Alliance requiring political support.  Following further discussion, the motion carried.  






An OMB hearing is to start August 26.  City Council has recently ordered more safety studies.  It will be suggested that the Member adjourn the hearing until these studies have been completed.  Albert Dugal is scheduled to be a witness re endangered species. JP to draft a letter of support from the GACC.  If Amy is unavailable, Bill will represent the GA on August 26.


Brief Reports / Updates / Deferrals










The Committee is preparing to meet with City officials before the end of August and with NCC staff on September 5.  









Discussions are ongoing to better integrate postings to the mailing list with what gets published on the web site.

Erwin will attend Greenprint’s presentation on the stewardship web site/portal at the EAC meeting of August 15.  (Post-meeting note: Patrice LeBlanc had to cancel his presentation at the last minute.)

Bill noted that a calendar tool has been written and that he is looking into making the membership application form interactive and using mailing list handling software offered by Michael Richardson.










Bryan Hawley has indicated he will seek to resign as prime contact for volunteer coordination and is looking for someone to succeed him.

Bill suggested there be gentler ways to introduce volunteers to the work of the Greenspace Alliance and its members, such as by having speakers.









Under the approved concept plan, one forested area would be preserved.  Another wooded area is part of a site designated as a future high school; its preservation will need to be watched, particularly if another use is proposed.  Bill’s suggestion to require that the city have a first option to acquire that area as parkland has not yet been taken up.  








There will be an Open House in the fall about a new proposal that is favoured by Clrs. McNeely and Kreling. (Post-meeting note: The Open House will be on September 18, 5 – 9 p.m., at the former Cumberland Town Hall, 255 Centrum Boulevard, Orléans.  For further information, contact , phone 580-2424 ext.27813.)  


10h10 Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned by consent.




from the June 12 Minutes:

  1. Lower Rideau River Watershed Management Plan (Bill)
  2. NCC and the Ottawa Greenway System (Amy & Janice)
  3. writing to mayor Chiarelli re his promotion of development at Leitrim (not assigned)

from the July 10 Minutes:

  1. Kanata Environmental Network (not assigned)



There are just six Run/Walk 2002 T-shirts left for sale, five large and one extra-large.     $20 each or 2 for $35 + all proceeds benefit the Greenspace Alliance.  Inquire with Erwin at 739-0727 to purchase.


– Note from Lorne Peterson, dated May 14, 2002, enclosing copy of a story of his published in the Audibon Naturalist News, May 2002.  Suggests to link it to the gacc web site.

– letter from Minister of Health Anne McLellan, dated July 23, 2002, replying to our letter of April 6 regarding our concerns with development at Leitrim, 1 p.  States that no health concerns are foreseen with the storm drainage system itself, but that “there are concerns about migration of contaminants from the landfill site to the proposed housing development area.”  The Department is therefore fully participating with Transport Canada in its Area-wide Risk Assessment, which is being “undertaken in the spirit of the provincial risk assessment process.”  The letter acknowledges that final decisions on the contamination risk will be made by Transport Canada.

– Summary Report of the “Meeting between the Local Interest Groups of the National Capital Region and the National Capital Commission’s Board of Directors, May 2, 2002,” 11 pp. & Appendices.  Factual information about the event at the Museum of Nature, including media coverage and summary of the 38 responses to the questionnaire distributed at the meeting.  Covering letter dated August 6, 2002 signed my Chairman Marcel Beaudry, acknowledging the commitment to a follow-up meeting about our Poets’ Pathway proposal.

– The Friends of the Jock River Newsletter, Vol. 2 Issue 1 (January 2002) and Issue 2 (Spring 2002), 5 and 6 pp. resp.  For more information, visit the Friends online at , or write to P.O. Box 764, Richmond, Ontario K0A 2Z0, or call the Membership Coordinator, Ronald Maybury, at (613) 836-2953.

– NCC pamphlet about “Your Champlain Bridge” with cover form letter dated 29 July, 2002.

– By-Law 2002 – 316 of the City of Ottawa, establishing new ward boundaries, enacted 24 July 2002, 1 p. & Schedules A-1 to A-21.  And Notice of same, 1 p.

– William E. Rees, “Globalization and Sustainability: Conflict or Convergence?”, 25 pp. (incl. bibl.) & 4 Figures, draft.  Final version to appear in Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 22 (4): 249-268 (August 2002).  Argues that sustainability requires a new phase in human evolution, one that has to overcome the forces of genetic determinism which now, aided by cultural myth-making, are causing human ecological dysfunction.  The Easter Island Syndrome (collapse of societies) is disturbingly common, the author notes.

– Canadian Policy Research Networks, “Canada’s Cities: Key To Healthy Economy, Society, Environment,” Network News, 18 (Summer 2002).  Highlights Neil Bradford’s new CPRN report, “Why Cities Matter: Policy Research Perspectives for Canada.”  See .

– Report to Corporate Service & Economic Development Committee, dated 8 July 2002, on the Committee’s agenda of July 10.  Proposed a land exchange between properties on Hawthorne (72 ha in Gloucester) and Springhill Roads (88 ha in Osgoode, managed by R.W. Tomlinson Ltd., which owns abutting lands from which it extracts minerals), for $95,000.  Local residents were alert to the negatives of this swap and showed up in force.  Committee rejected the staff proposal.

– Picture of Ottawa South Page Program participant Divya Raman with the Hon. John Manley, the MP’s householder of Summer 2002, page 12.


– Fabien Deglise, “Loto-Québec joue la carte de l’engagement – La société d’État veut montrer qu’elle fait autre chose que des grateux,” Le Devoir, 27 June 2002, A3.  Loto-Québec is preparing a $1 mln publicity campaign, not to induce more people to gamble and increase its revenues, but to address some of its image problems.  (This corporate re-direction may explain  in part why L-Q walked away from its plans for a golf course at Leamy Lake.  Ed.)

– Andrew Mills, “Logging error to cost developer similar land,” The Citizen, July 11, 2002, B1,4.  Consultant Bernie Muncaster has determined that 4 ha were destroyed in the Kanata Woods Massacre.  A community meeting in Kanata Lakes was presented with five options for compensation from Urbandale.  A rehabilitation plan was also outlined.

– Nevil Hunt, “Health Canada joins assessment of contamination from dump – Sierra Club calls for city to stop housing development,” The News, July 18, 2002, pp.5,6.  Extensive coverage of the Sierra Club’s press conference and expert opinions on development at the Leitrim Wetlands.  And:  “Apology,” The News, August 1, 2002, p.3, stating that the allegations in the July 18 edition about contamination on Tartan lands and risks to public health were not accurate.

– Letter to the editor, “Let Moffatt Farm go,” by Cynthia Greer, The Citizen, July 19, 2002, F2.  Says the site is ideally suited for housing and leaving 40% as parkland is very generous.

– David Reevely, “City staff wants road built across wetland – Recommendation would let builder finish subdivision,” The Citizen, July 24, 2002, B3.  Staff proposes that Planning Committee approve extending West Ridge Drive through Upper Pool Creek Wetland (the boundaries of which were redefined as result of intervention by the Goulbourn Wetlands Group).  The road would allow Regional Group to build more houses and also alleviate traffic through Stitsville.  (The Greenspace Alliance prepared an intervention for this Committee item; however, a compromise, including, in part, a deferral, was agreed upon prior to the meeting.  See postings to the GA list on 24 and 26 July.  Ed.)

– Jake Rupert, “Nervous residents flood wildlife centre with rabies questions – Raccoon rabies hasn’t been reported in Ottawa,” The Citizen, July 28, 2002, A8.

– Lloyd Axworthy, “Kyoto Protocol: Has political will run dry?” The Globe & Mail, July 31, 2002, A11.

– Letter to the editor, “NCC trail repairs aren’t working,” by Ian Stewart, The Citizen, August 1, 2002, C2.  Decries the NCC’s methods of repairing trails in Gatineau Park and says “the paternalistic NCC must stop being unco-operative.”

– Jennifer Lewington, “Ottawa readies for growth – The stakes, too, have grown…” The Globe & Mail, August 5, 2002, B8.  Featuring Ned Lathrop, his career and philosophy.

– Op-ed, “Gatineau Park: Let’s protect our national treasure,” by Stephen Hazell, The Citizen, August 6, 2002, D2.  Argues that, unlike national parks, Gatineau Park is not protected by law.  The NCC is now reviewing its Master Plan for the Park, seeking to issue a new version in 2003.  It appears open to the possibility of legislative reform.  Stephen Hazell is executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

– Op-ed, “Bureaucracy: Newborn wildlife suffers under new rules,” by Debbie Lawes, The Citizen, August 6, 2002, B2.  Decries the behaviour of OMNR officials in the rabies “crisis.”  Debbie Lawes is on the board of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.

– Ken Gray, “Councillor wants city to appoint ‘environmental czar’ – Official would review development plans,” The Citizen, August 9, 2002, F1,4.  Clr. Phil McNeely says the appointment of such a chief would put the environment back in the forefront of current policy.  Chief Medical Officer Cushman agrees, but says the official should be independent of all city departments.  Clr. Chiarelli says the idea is worth exploring.

– Editorial, “Dreaming in green,” The Citizen, August 12, 2002, B2.  There is no lack of committees and authorities dealing with the environment but there is not enough sensible leadership.  That is our collective failure; a bureaucrat with a 6-figure salary won’t help.

– Mark MacKinnon, “New battles loom over Russia’s great lake – Plan to pipe water to a thirsty world pits entrepreneurs against ecologists…” The Globe & Mail, August 13, 2002, A12.  The saga of Lake Baikal.  And glimpses of Russia’s green movement such as it is. A petition for a referendum on two issues, accepting foreign nuclear waste and President Putin’s plan to abolish Russia’s two main environmental protection agencies, collected 2½ million signatures, but massive  invalidations brought the total below the minimum required.  “In Russia, we’re allowed to take part in the debate,” said a former Yeltsin advisor, “but we’re not allowed to win.”

– Letter to the editor, “Efficient NCC trail work,” by Charles Drouin of the NCC, The Citizen, August 12, 2002, B2.  Defends the NCC’s methods of construction and maintenance of trails and invites public input.

– PEN, vol. 17, no. 6, July-August 2002.


The next meeting of the GACC is on September 18, 2002, at 7:30 p.m., in the Honeywell Room.