General Meeting – 15 November 2007

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of General Monthly Meeting of November 15, 2007
Champlain Field House, 149 Cowley Avenue

Members present: Cheryl Doran (Chair), Theresa Jobateh (Minutes Taker), Jane Panet, Amy Kempster, Erwin Dreessen, Ron Rancourt, Barry George, Sol Shuster, Joseph Potvin.

Regrets: Bill Royds, Daphne McCree, George Wilson, Carol Gudz

The meeting commenced at 7:12 p.m.

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Adoption of Agenda
There were additions and rearrangements of the agenda. Erwin moved the adoption of the agenda as amended. Amy seconded.

3. Approval of minutes from previous meetings:
a) September 20 with one small change.

Moved by Theresa. Seconded by Amy.

b) October 18 AGM

Theresa moved to approve as draft and post on the Alliance web site. Seconded by Erwin.

c) October 18 general meeting with corrections.

Motion: Theresa moved to approve with corrections discussed. Erwin seconded.

d) October 29 in camera meeting

Motion: Theresa moved to approve. Amy seconded.

Action: Publish to the web site only upon confirmation by Sol.

4. Business arising from the minutes of September 20:
a) OPL Room (Cheryl on behalf of Bill)

The OPL room is waiting for material from the Alliance.

Action: Each member is encouraged to review and determine what types of documents, reports he or she possesses and can contribute.

b) Activist recruitment (Carol)
BF’ed to next meeting.

c) Greening the capital symposium idea, proposal write-up (Bill)
Erwin, who had originally suggested this as a 10th anniversary project, recommended that no further action be taken.

d) Zoning by-law
Amy provided an update on comments made regarding the NCC.

Amy moved that the submission be sent to the NCC. Erwin seconded. All agreed.

Action: Amy will send to François Lapointe.

5. Membership report
a) New and renewals

The mail had brought one renewal and one new membership application.

Theresa moved to approve the membership application of Linda Fitzgibbon. Amy seconded. All agreed.

b) How to solicit unpaid membership funds

Action: Bring forward to next meeting.

6. Treasurer’s Report
– Amy provided an update on bank statements and GIC’s.
– New signers are required. Joseph agreed to become a signer. and Carol will be asked as well
– Domain name registration: Ron will provide the invoice to Amy.

7. Information / Discussion Items
a) Communications

i) Communications Director needed

The members present discussed the need for raising awareness and creating media releases. Barry agreed to try the position for the next few months.

Action: Barry will consult with Juan Pedro Unger on tasks, templates, etc.

ii) Proposed changes to the Greenspace Alliance “list”

There were discussions on the options for the mailing list functions: Either use it for one-way communication only, or also allow subscribers to communicate to the list.

Ron moved to replace the info@ and list@ addresses with new ones and allow any subscriber to post to the list. Hopefully freed from spam, the list will use “soft moderation.” The Board will review in six months. Theresa seconded. All agreed.

iii) Electronic Newsletter

There were discussions on the effort involved in compiling a newsletter compared to some face to face outreach with students and the general public.

Action: Bring forward in February to discuss for issues of interest.

iv) Efforts to build alliances

There were discussions on current and potential new options for alliances and liaisons in other organizations.

b) Botanical Garden support
[This item was discussed at the beginning of the meeting]

GA and Ottawa Botanical Garden Society member Jane Panet provided a history of the OBGS and efforts of various parties to have Agriculture Canada support the concept of a National Botanical Garden on land at the Central Experimental Farm. Directors of the Alliance indicated they will support the concept of a National Botanical Garden provided that groups such as the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club, Fletcher Wildlife Garden and the Friends of the Central Experimental Farm voice their support as well.

Action: Jane will contact OF-NC and draft a letter that the Alliance could support.

c) Leitrim Update (Sol, Erwin, Cheryl)

The Judicial Review has been filed and Tartan and the City have been served. The team is working on a media release on behalf of the Friends of Leitrim Wetland.

On the issue of the Permit To Take Water (PTTW), Erwin urged members to send in an e-mail, as per the Action Alert distributed on November 2. Cheryl and Sol reported that the meeting with the Findlay Creek Village Community Association on November 13 went well.

d) Parc Sport Écologique

Joseph informed that the Councillor on the Gatineau side is pro-active, open to attending a presentation on the sports activities. He will refashion communications material to reflect the idea of a PSE to exist on both sides of the Ottawa River. He will follow up with Min. John Baird on the raw sewage issue.

8. New Business

a) Rural and Greenbelt Zoning

The last hearing will be on November 22nd at City Hall. Amy and Cheryl will aim to go.

b) Keyworth Ave.

Amy moved that the Greenspace Alliance oppose the severance of a lot at 268 Keyworth because of the loss of 5 mature oak trees. Barry seconded. Agreed.

Action: Amy will draft a letter to by signed by Cheryl as Chair.

c) Ottawa Talks

Erwin provided an update on the on-line forum “Ottawa Talks” — [no longer online]. The final date for input from the public is December 9th. On Saturday November 24th there will be a City Café with guest speakers and informal discussions on white papers on land use. Erwin suggested that GA members visit and participate in Ottawa Talks or the City Café.… [no longer online]

d) Meeting with Min. Baird

Cheryl updated members on developments arising from a letter to Minister John Baird / Environment Canada by the Coalition to Protect Biodiversity. As part of the coalition, we have received an invitation to meet to discuss the Protection of Biodiversity within the Greenbelt. Many suggested various environmental topics for discussion however Species at Risk Turtle habitat/LRT/Greenbelt/airport TC lands/Leitrim wetlands were discussed.

Action: Cheryl will draft an agenda for the meeting with Minister Baird and decide on the delegation.

e) Ottawa City Budget

Amy will see if she can get a CD copy of the budget. She recommends the Alliance focus on the Capital budget when reviewing, especially to see whether the budget for purchase of land is maintained.

f) NCC Appeal of Official Plan

Erwin informed that there will be an OMB pre-hearing on the last outstanding appeal, the designation of 3 parcels of land in the southern corridor plus one parcel at Richmond Road. The Greenspace Alliance is a formal party with “standing rights”.

Action: Erwin will work on the position and may require the Board support it prior to the meeting on December 6th.

9. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 10:25 PM.

Next meeting : December 6, 2007