General Meeting – 15 February 2007

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of General Monthly Meeting of February 15, 2007
Champlain Field House

Present: George Wilson (Chair), Theresa Jobateh (Minutes taker), Erwin Dreessen, Cheryl Doran, Mikelis Svilans

Regrets: Amy Kempster, Janice Seline, Carol Gudz, Juan Pedro Unger, Joseph Potvin

The meeting commenced at 7:00 p.m.

1. Welcome

2. Review Agenda
CAVEAT: Due to lack of quorum no Board decisions could be taken. The agenda was adopted as proposed.

3. Minutes of January 18 meeting
Defer to next meeting.

Action: Get final version from Chris Szpak.

4. Business Arising
a) City Budget: Decisions due week of Feb 19. Should be followed-up.

Action: Theresa to send reminder to Amy, Bill, Joseph and Chris for one of them to follow-up with George ASAP.

b) Pesticide issue: George advised that he will be involved as a concerned citizen, not as part of GA

5. Membership Report
No report. Janice was not present. No discussion.

6. Treasurer’s Report
– No report ready. Amy was not present.

– Mik presented a KNL appeal schedule / spreadsheet with calculations showing a shortfall of approx $1,100. He has to compare the numbers with Amy. He will look into fundraising options to help with paying off the shortfall (see also 7c).

7. Continuing business
a) Leitrim Appeal, outcome of PEC meeting, fundraising

Erwin presented an update. The OMB appeal of Phase 2 by the Sierra Club and the GA has been accepted by the University of Ottawa’s Environmental Law Clinic. Linda McCaffrey will need to have a retainer signed and SC/GA would be responsible for incidental expenses. There will be some disbursement expenses i.e. expert witnesses. Estimated cost will most likely be less than $5,000 or at the very worst up to $10,000.

b) Planning & Environment Committee – Feb 13 meeting re another rezoning proposal for Leitrim

The Sierra Club and the Alliance submitted comments and so have appeal rights. PEC approved the staff recommendation. This will go to Council on February 28.

c) Fundraising ideas for Leitrim appeal. Erwin suggested that GA get involved with fundraising. Ideas were discussed:

i) Approach Sierra Youth (Carol)
ii) Ron Rancourt / band concert
iii) Get Ottawa Field-Naturalists involved (Phillip Martin)
iv) Posters, donation box at tables
v) Mik will see if he can arrange fundraising efforts in conjunction with the Kanata group (KNL and Leitrim)

8. Announcements
a) Glebe Environmental Fair – March 24.
Action: George will follow up for more information and if there is any cost. He and Theresa will coordinate volunteer efforts.

b) Friends of the Farm Plant Sale – May 13.
Action: Theresa will submit the GA registration and a cheque for $40. GA will reimburse at the next meeting.

Cheryl suggested to plan a “potting party” at Albert Dugal’s in preparation for the sale.

c) Letter to Minister Baird and the federal environment critics (co-signed by GA and other Environmental groups)

Cheryl reported that the letter (re: Blanding’s Turtle and the impact of the proposed LRT / transit expansion line) was now finalized. She will also send a copy to the Green Party. It will be delivered to Min. Baird’s constituency office and to federal party leaders and environment critics.

She is also drafting a letter to Premier McGuinty and will send a draft around to the GA board for approval.

We discussed the prospects of using maps, GPS technology, soil types analysis and overlays of turtle sightings.

d) Poet’s Pathway

George gave an update on the recent activities – grant applications for the McCarthy woods site. Since the GA could not provide a letter of support from the City of Ottawa, the funding application to the Community Foundation of Ottawa could not proceed. Without these matching funds (up to $4,000 required), the planned grant application to the City (the Green Partnership Program) also is not feasible.

e) Proposed Newsletter

There were discussions about the first draft of the newsletter. It was recognized as a great start. Suggestions to make it shorter, with summaries containing links to detailed articles on the GA web site.

f) Web site update

George presented information that Ron provided via email.
– Current projects section needs to be updated before launch. Need content for City Budget and Rockcliffe Air Base.
– Refining directors bios and need more photos
– New email list is set up but not yet active
– Some technical issues can be fixed prior to rollout

9. New Business

10. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 PM

Next meeting : March 15, 2007

Final by Theresa Jobateh. E-mailed March 11, 2007.