General Meeting – 16 April 2009

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of the General Monthly Meeting of 16 April 2009
Champlain Field House, 149 Cowley Avenue

Started: 7:15 pm.
Members present: Cheryl Doran (Chair), Chris Szpak (minute taker), Hugh Carter, Barry George, Amy Kempster, Joseph Potvin, Sol Shuster.
Regrets: Erwin Dreessen.

1. Welcome and Introductions.

2. Adoption of the Agenda:

Motion: Chris S. moved and seconded by Amy K. to adopt the Agenda as amended. Carried.

3. Approval of the minutes of previous meetings:

Motion: Chris S. moved and seconded by Sol S. to approve the minutes as amended for the 19 March 2009 general meeting. Carried.

4. Membership Report:

Nothing new to report.

5. Treasurer’s Report:

Nothing new to report.

6. Business Arising:

a) Official Plan Review: the Alliance’s OP Review Subcommittee submitted comments on the proposed OP amendment to a combined special meeting of the City’s ARAC and PEC held April 3 – 6. A follow-up submission is being prepared for the special joint meeting in May 11. The Alliance is specifically addressing the possibility of prohibiting country lot subdivisions in the rural area, holding the urban boundary as it is, and advocating for more specific language to protect species at risk and their habitat.

b) Leitrim: nothing new to report – the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is considering a request by the developer to draw more water until the appeal process is resolved. The Alliance’s next steps will depend on the MOE’s decision.

c) Poets’ Pathway: it was reported that Christal Woodword attended an open house meeting regarding the Ottawa Hospital Transit Corridor.

d) Upcoming Fairs: the Alliance will have an exhibit at the EcoFair (March 18).

e) Water Advisory Meeting: a meeting was held in early March attended by City staff and interested groups to discuss the City’s plans for improving water quality in the City’s rivers. A report is forthcoming.

f) Website: nothing new to report.

g) Memorials: a memorial is planned for Kathy Nihei (Wild Bird Care Centre) in early June and there will be a concert on June 19, as well as, a memorial ceremony for Bill Royds at the Beechwood cemetery on April 24.

Action: Cheryl D. will follow-up with the Poets’ Pathway group about an Alliance donation in the name of Bill.

7. Discussion Items:

a) Next Steps for sub-committees: Joseph P. reported (a) on the situation with the sport-ecology park initiative – the concept is being developed; and (b) the Alliance’s support for the agricultural-residential development in Chelsea.

The OP review sub-committee is investigating the idea of enlisting a councillor to promote the motion for prohibiting country lot subdivisions.

Action: Sol S. would attempt to set up a meeting with some councillors to discuss the OP amendment.

b) Plant Sale: Janet Seline has sent out a call for volunteers to man the Alliance booth at the annual Plant sale.

c) Inter-provincial Bridge: it was re-iterated that it was too early to have a discussion on the proposed bridge. It was suggested that the Alliance host special presentations by proponents and/or by those in opposition.

8. New Business:

a) Development charges: Amy K. will continue to be the Alliance point person on development charges. Given that the issue of development charges is complex and decisions are usually about technical details, it was decided that the Alliance’s position on the details would be guided by a fundamental agreed-upon policy.

Motion: Sol S. moved and Chris S. seconded that the Alliance’s guiding position is that “growth should pay for growth” and that charges reflect the true cost of development with the qualification that the Alliance would be open to alternative approaches or modifications if these would better advance the objectives of the Alliance. Carried.

b) Meeting Place: the current meeting place of the Champlain Field House will not be available in the future and new sites need to be considered.

c) Conflict of Interest: there was concern that an Alliance policy on conflict of interest should be considered for board members.

Action: Chris S. will investigate to see what other organizations do.

d) Bridge: though the Alliance as yet does not have a position on the proposed bridge crossings over the Ottawa river, it was decided that the Alliance should have some input into the evaluation process of the different bridge locations, specifically regarding assessment criteria touching on environmental matters.

Motion: Joseph P. moved and Chris S. seconded that the Alliance participate in the public consultation process so that environmental concerns are properly addressed in the bridge review and decision- making process. Carried.

Action: a sub-committee was formed with Joseph P. (lead) and Janice Seline (possible member) to implement the motion.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:10 pm.

Next Meeting scheduled for: 21 May 2009