General Meeting – 15 May 2002

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Meeting of May 15, 2002

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


Attending: Erwin Dreessen, Bill Royds, Arthur Mathewson, Amy Kempster, Juan Pedro Unger, Barbara Barr (from 8h35)

Guests: Shannan LeBlond, Amanda Janes

Regrets: Mary Hegan, Divya Raman

Documents available: revised Proposed Agenda and draft Minutes of April 17, 2002.

Introductions were held. The mail file was circulated.


A few items were added to the Agenda posted on May 14. Arthur moved and Bill seconded approval of the revised agenda. Carried.
The name of a guest, Mike McLennan, is to be added to the Minutes as posted on May 11. Arthur moved and Bill seconded approval of the Minutes as revised. Carried. Bill will publish the Minutes on the web site.
– Letter to the Clerk re NOSS evaluations still to be written (Bill).

– Bill made a presentation on the Poets’ Pathway to the Rideau River Roundtable on April 18. A Trillium Foundation application would seem possible for work on the Pathway around the Nepean and Hunt Club Creeks at the Rideau River railway crossing.

– Amy spoke for the Greenspace Alliance at the public evening of the Moffatt Farm OMB hearings (see below).

– Letters were written on Fernbank Wetland and Leitrim (comments on zoning, undelegation of plan of subdivision approval and public meeting) – Barbara.

Arthur moved and Amy seconded acceptance of new member William Grant. Carried. One renewal was also received. Bill to provide Barbara with this new member’s application form.
Next meeting date had been set as June 12. It was agreed to meet further on July 10, August 14, September 18 and October 16 (the AGM). Divya will be able to join us from August on. Erwin to secure rooms at City Hall.


8h00 CHARTING A COURSE – May 22 Council mtg
It was agreed to take the opportunity to address Council on May 22, when it will sit as Committee of the Whole and hear delegations on the “Next Step” report of the Charting a Course process (released today). Points to be made could include: the population projections, comment on the greenspace sections, paying for growth, the need for a detailed Natural Environment Master Plan, specific targets such as 30% tree cover, the Mayor’s green election platform, cash-in-lieu, land acquisition, linking in with the Budget process, and references to the Poets’ Pathway and an Ottawa Land Trust. Erwin, JP, Barbara and perhaps Bill will attend. Erwin will post draft points, which Juan Pedro will help condense for presentation.
Bill agreed to serve on the PAC for the Sawmill Creek Watershed update study, pending others who may come forward as a result of Erwin’s recent posting.

There was no information on the Rideau River Watershed Plan.

Erwin to notify Sarah Desjardins.

Erwin to inquire with David Biggs.

The organizing committee needs help with registration on June 1 and on the day; brochures will be available shortly. The next meeting is on May 21, Building 72. Shannon and Amanda offered to volunteer. Amy to post a call for more.
8h39 BACKGROUND PIECE ON NCC’S APPEALS OF GREENWAY SYSTEM – former City of Ottawa O.P. and Zoning By-law
Amy has written a summary of how the NCC has behaved with regard to the former City of Ottawa’s Official Plan and new Zoning By-law. Erwin suggested it could be edited and then more widely distributed. It could form part of the discussion on a new O.P. – what will the NCC do this time? Outside the Greenway System, land zoned “Urban Reserve” also needs watching. See also Nicole DesRoches’ presentation for CREDDO to the NCC on May 2.

Erwin to arrange editing of Amy’s text.

Bill to link to or publish Nicole’s text on the web site.

Bill kept the site alive for now. What to change about our listserv and web site, and how to make the archived postings available, remained unresolved.
JP offered some choices for design of a letterhead and generic business card, and also plans mailing labels. A preferred design was agreed upon. JP to complete design and propose printing order.


POETS’ PATHWAY – Follow-up to May 2 mtg
The presentation to the NCC was well received. A French poet-friend provided the translated version! Our proposal overlapped in part with one made by the Bytown Railway Society (David Jeanes). The NCC’s “National Programming” group will follow up on our proposal. Erwin has welcomed this but pointed out to the NCC (Sandra Pecek) that there are short-term implications re land sales. Erwin to call a next meeting of the Poets’ Path committee.
An event on May 12 in the park received good media coverage. Reaction lines are being prepared for when the draft screening report becomes available, which will be followed by a 30-day consultation period. See mail file for a collection of newspaper reports on Leamy Lake, compiled by Bill.
The May 13 meeting of the Sierra Club received CBC Radio and NewRO coverage. The issue will be presented May 16 to the City’s Environmental Advisory Committee. The zoning by-law proposal is still scheduled for P&DC mid-June; no response from Clr. Deans on our request to undelegate the plan of subdivision and for a public meeting. Mayor Chiarelli is, disturbingly, featured in a New Homes cover story on the Findlay Creek subdivision – 800 lots are said to be pre-sold (see mail file, also for clippings, new and old). Barbara to press with the Friends of Leitrim for stepping up the public awareness campaign.
OMB proceedings are well covered on the listserv. Fundraising for the citizens’ defence is under way (see mail file). Amy’s presentation on May 13 included reference to the alleged “conceptual” nature of the Greenway System, which provoked a comment by the OMB member that this issue was “close to the heart of the matter.” Amy to provide Bill with the text of her presentation for publication on the web site.
Patrice LeBlanc is the new Chair; vice-chair is Ted Cook. Greenprint will continue its educational role and may become involved in the fed-prov portal for stewardship web sites. Amy to forward Greenprint documents for publication on the web site.
Bill, Amy and Mary Hegan attended this event organized by the Ottawa Forest Advisory Committee. Contact with the development community did not pan out. Arthur indicated that the next event may focus on neighbourhood involvement in safeguarding trees. Bill is providing Arthur and Clr. Alex Munter with examples of tree-cutting by-laws, in the wake of the Kanata Woods massacre.
10h02 LONGFIELDS – Open House, April 22
Bill attended the Open House on April 22 and provided comments. There seemed opportunity to save two woodlots on this City-owned land.
At the well-attended public meeting of May 1, Amy learned that the developer had taken the NOSS findings fully into account and would save a large stretch of the woodlot; 117 housing units would go in; stormwater would flow to an existing marsh. BF: When this comes forward, applaud the developer for his sensitivity.
Two members of OFAC are attending today’s meeting of the Kanata Lakes C.A.
Quentin Bristow remains the Greenspace Alliance representative on the PAC.
An OMB pre-hearing will take place on May 27; the City will ask for deferral. JP is working with the QFC Committee. Barbara and Amy will attend.
WOODLAND – 3436 Prince of Wales Drive
A promised package did not arrive. Barbara to follow up with the City.
10h26 The meeting adjourned by consent.


“Save Moffatt Farm / Protect Ottawa’s Greenspace” – flyer to raise funds for the M.F. Citizens’ Coalition. Goal is $30,000. By mail: MFCC Treasurer, P.O. Box 38012, 1430 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa Ont. K2C 1N6. Call 228-7773 for more information. “Any funds remaining after the OMB hearing will be donated to the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation for the acquisition and protection of waterfront green space.”

Letter of support for the Poets’ Pathway proposal, “with great pleasure, conviction and enthusiasm,” from Prof. David Bentley (Western), April 8, 2002. Prof. Bentley is the author of several studies on Lampman, Scott, Campbell and Sangster as well as of a 2-volume study of the relationship between “Memory, Community, and Environment in Canada” (1999). In his letter, he writes that there is a “rich literary heritage … embedded in the landscapes in and around Ottawa” and confirms “the intimate connection between poetry and the natural world in Canada in general and Ottawa in particular.”

Card from poet Susan McMaster, stating: “I strongly support the establishment of a Poets’ Path in Ottawa, and hope it will happen soon. What a great idea!” (April 11, 2002)

“We Can Save Alfred Bog” – flyer from the Ottawa Field-Naturalists, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, to raise another $820,000 for buying 7,700 acres of this bog. By mail: OFNC, Box 35069 Westgate P.O., Ottawa, Ont. K1Z 1A2, or to the NCC (the other one), 110 Eglington Avenue West, Suite 400, Toronto Ont. M4R 1A3. Mark your cheque “Alfred Bog Fund OFNC.” Call 722-3050 for more information or go to .

Letter from Sandra Pecek (NCC) to “Mister Bill Royds” about the May 2 evening of presentations to the Board of Directors (April 23, 2002). Explains that they have grouped them under four themes: Tourism & Leisure, Heritage, Planning and Transportation, and Environment. The Poets’ Pathway was grouped under Tourism and Leisure and first up because first-registered in this category. An accompanying memo confirms that a summary report of the briefs and presentations will be produced and that this summary report will be “presented for consideration by the NCC’s Executive Management Committee at its strategic retreat.”

Re Signing By-law Minor Variance – 2900 Woodroffe Avenue (April 26, 2002).

Re Zoning By-law Amendment Proposal for Kingsway Christian Church, 6631 Bank Street, former Osgoode (May 8, 2002).

Revised Charting a Course Principles to be delivered to City Council sitting as Committee of the Whole, May 22. Document available on web site as of May 15. (See Minutes.)

Urban Forests: Challenges and Opportunities – agenda of a Symposium organized by the Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee and the Ottawa Valley Section of the Canadian Institute of Forestry “in search of a balanced approach to ‘Smart growth,'” May 9, 2002. (See Minutes.)

Invitation to a “Natural Capital” Seminar/presentation by Dick Stanley (Parks Canada), on the approach adopted by the Federal Provincial Parks Council for the estimation of economic values of protected areas. Benefits considered include: benefits that accrue to users and to citizens from the knowledge of the protected areas, and the benefits of the various ecological services that the protected area provides. (April 17, or. sent April 2.) Paper attached, 29 pp. Write to .

Invitation to contribute to the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, so they may buy the new Census data and continue their analysis. Campaign co-chairs: Marion Dewar and Alex Munter. Call 236-9300 for more information or e-mail .

Local government finance: Assets and liabilities – Statistics Canada’s The Daily, March 22, 2002. Net debt of local government (liabilities less assets) was down to $12.5 billion in 1999, from $23.5 billion in 1993. Largest per capita net indebtedness was in Quebec and Newfoundland. Ontario’s municipalities averaged to a slight positive. .

Various materials collected at the Environmental Advisory Committee’s Workshop of March 23, 2002.

Excerpts from The National Environmental Treasure’s website, . This organization is located at 99 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, in Ottawa. There is no voice phone number. Executive Director is Jamie Laidlaw (Laidlaw Foundation). Members of the Board of Directors include Clifford Lincoln (MP), Elisabeth May (Sierra Club of C.), Dave Smith, John Polak (TerraChoice) and 10 others. There is also an Advisory Committee, which includes Patrice Leblanc, Heather Hamilton and 10 others. The group’s goal is to establish a long-term trust fund for environmental action that is ultimately self-sustaining, to increase awareness, provide event venues, and educate, particularly young people, particularly through small actions. The web site promises to build environmental non-government organizations’ capacity through its NET strategy, targeting core funding. (The concept remained somewhat vague to this visitor.) E-mail .

Correction of Mail File of April 17

The Notice about Site Plan Approval of 2016-2056 Bank Street referred to the Home Depot at Bank project, not Findlay Creek Village. It was dated April 5, 2002.


PEN – May – June 2002.

Over a 2-month, March to May period a large number of clippings gathered, too many to itemize. In part, the collection was experimental, to see what “news streams” could be electronically gathered. Only a summary follows.

On Leamy Lake

A search for clippings resulted in 3 articles in 2001 and 12 so far in 2002. But the search missed Bob Phillips’ column in The Citizen of March 21, because it is not electronically available. Bob P. says he must take over from Michel Lapalme, now that the latter has left the area. The headline is “Casino golf course tramples the cradle of the capital.”

On Leitrim

Nine current items, including 3 in The News – of which two were:

– Letter from Barbara Barr, April 25, 2002, pp. 4, 23;

– Letter from Sara Gagné, May 9, 2002, p. 7.

Also Letter to The Citizen from Bill Royds, May 6, 2002, D5.

Two oldies:

– Bev Wake, “Region to vote on future of ‘crown jewel’: Development plan will destroy Leitrim wetlands: environmental group,” The Citizen, June 14, 2000, C3. The Sierra Club’s Albert Dugal against Clr. Dan Beamish and Tartan’s Pierre Dufresne.

– Letter to The Citizen from the Friends of the Leitrim Wetlands, July 19, 2000, protesting a pro-development editorial by The Citizen on June 28 of that year and urging recognition of facts.

On the Poets’ Pathway

Steven Artelle, “Poets’ Pathway will commemorate Ottawa’s literary history,” The Citizen, April 29, 2002, B4.


This came in late: Letter from Clr. Deans, after the NCC’s public meeting on proposals to build on Greenbelt land near Uplands (Jan. 25, 2002; posted by Wallace McLean on freenet’s VCA discussion group). The Clr. comes out strongly in support of maintaining the Greenbelt.

Over 50 clippings, including many letters to the editor, on a wide range of subjects, over the period March 18 to May 13, almost all from The Citizen. Topics include: municipal election financing, the NCC’s land sales policy and Moffat Farm, the Official Plan and urban sprawl, the Kanata Woods massacre and the Alfred Bog. Also:

Alanna Mitchell, “Bad evolution, – Ecology – For the first time, a major study has catalogued the beginning of the slippery slope to the collapse of Earth’s ecosystems. Because of global warming, animals and plants are changing in unpredictable ways.” The Globe and Mail, May 4, 2002, F7. Based on a paper in Nature of March 28, 2002.

The next meeting of the GACC is on June 12, 2002, at 7:30 p.m., in the Billings Room.