General Meeting – 16 March 2006

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of the General Meeting of 16 March 2006

Champlain Park Field House

Members: Chris Szpak (Chair & Secretary), Erwin Dreessen, Carol Gudz, Amy Kempster, Daphne McCree, Janice Seline, Juan Pedro Unger.

Regrets: Sol Shuster

Meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m.

1. Adoption of the Agenda:

The following amendments were made:

– The following item was added to New Business:

c) Wetlands Protection

– The following item was deleted from Continuing Business:

b) Poets’ Pathway

The agenda was adopted as amended.

2. Approval of February Meeting Minutes:

Motion: E. Dreessen moved and C. Gudz seconded approval of the February meeting minutes as amended. Carried.

3. Business Arising:

(a) NCC Governance:
A number of community groups have been contacted to formulate a common strategy on how best to affect changes to the NCC and/or ensure protection of the Greenbelt, the Gatineau Park and other greenspaces. A meeting is planned for the first or second week of April.

3. Future Directions:
The Alliance Board held an informal dinner meeting to discuss the objectives and future activities of the Alliance. A discussion paper outlining proposed objectives and activities will be produced.

(c) Leitrim:
Phase 2 of the Leitrim development was pulled off the agenda of the PEC February 28th meeting. No new date had been set for the discussion of this phase.

(d) Provincial Bill 51:
The Bill which includes the operation of the OMB is being reviewed.

– The NCC Committee, led by S. Shuster will convene a meeting.

– C. Szpak will produce a discussion paper.

4. Membership Report:

Motion: A. Kempster moved and J. Seline seconded the approval of the application membership of Ron Rancourt. Carried.

Reminders for membership renewals will need to be sent out.

J. Seline will send out reminders.
5. Treasurer’s Report: Nothing new to report.
6. Continuing Business:

(a) 5309 Bank Street:

The Alliance’s appeal to the OMB has been officially withdrawn due to lack of resources to pursue it.
A press release was being prepared to raise public awareness as to what had happened with the property due to the failure of the City to protect it.
It was suggested that the experience of this aborted appeal due to lack of funds be used as an example in advocating for the provision of intervenor funds at OMB hearings.

(b) Country Lot Estates and Environment Appeals:

The Alliance is in the process of subpoenaing a planning witness in preparation for an OMB hearing scheduled for May 9-26 to cover a number of environmental issues in the OP.
Motion: A. Kempster moved and D. McCree seconded to approve funds to cover the costs associated with subpoenaing the planning witness. Carried.
It was suggested that Ned Lathrop be contacted to determine his availability as an expert witness for the OMB hearings on the country lot subdivision appeal, scheduled for July.

(c) Carp River Flood Plain:

The Carp River Coalition discussed with the applicant the Conditions of Subdivision for the Mattamy development.
Documents have been received regarding the conditions for the Loblaw development.
A public meeting regarding the Environmental Assessments for the Kanata West projects was held March 7. It was an opportunity for the public to ask questions. The Environmental Assessments are now being considered by the Provincial Ministries of the Environment, Natural Resources and Transportation.

(d) Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee:

The ARAC has been given more planning authority. There was concern that the Committee was not adequately representative or accountable to have increased authority over planning decisions.

(d) Municipal Elections:

A Committee was established to plan the Alliance’s approach to promoting environmental issues in the November municipal elections. JP Unger agreed to lead the Committee which will also include C. Szpak and E. Dreessen. It was agreed that the GACC should join forces with other groups (e.g., Mike Lascelles) to pool resources and present a common front.

(e) Funding Activities:

The GACC Funding Committee, headed by J. Seline, has arranged the Alliance’s participation in the Rare and Unusual Plan Sale scheduled for May 14 at the Central Experimentation Farm. As the event draws nearer, the Committee will be asking for donations of plants and collecting them.
Motion: D. McCree moved and A. Kempster seconded to approve payment of the $40 registration fee for the plant sale. Carried.

– JP Unger to finalize the press release.

– A. Kempster will contact Ned.

– An Alliance Committee will review and comment.

– A. Kempster will draft a letter of concern. JP Unger will draft a press release.

– E. Dreessen will contact Mike Lascelles to coordinate a common approach.

7. New Business:

(a) City Setback Policies:
The OP Appeals Committee held discussions with staff on the City’s proposed amendments to the OP regarding setbacks in the rural area. The Alliance was concerned with protecting the land within setbacks along streams as much as possible from development or site alteration.

(b) Alliance Website:
There was general agreement that the website needed to be updated and a process put into place for its easier maintenance.

(c) Wetlands:
Recent developments in the rural area regarding provincially significant wetlands were discussed. It was felt that more needed to be done to make the public aware of the environmental importance of these lands. A journalism student had expressed interest in researching an environmental issue and it was suggested that the student be contacted to cover the wetlands.

– C. Szpak will coordinate with B. Royds and R. Rancourt to improve maintenance of the website.

– JP Unger will contact the student.

8. Adjournment:
Meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.