General Meeting – 16 October 2008

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of General Monthly Meeting of October 16, 2008

Champlain Field House, 149 Cowley Avenue

The meeting started at 7:25 PM
Members present: Cheryl Doran (Chair), Theresa Jobateh (Minutes Taker), Erwin Dreessen, Amy Kempster, Janice Seline, Sol Shuster, Eric Cousineau, Daphne McCree.
Regrets: Bill Royds, Chris Szpak, George Wilson and Carol Gudz.

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Adoption of Agenda

Motion: Theresa moved to adopt the agenda, with an addition to New Business. Daphne seconded.

3. Approval of Minutes from previous meetings

Motion: Erwin moved to approve the July 17th meeting minutes with one minor change. Theresa seconded.

Motion: Amy moved to approve the August 21st meeting minutes with changes as discussed. Sol seconded.

Motion: Erwin moved to approve the September 18th meeting minutes with changes as discussed. Amy seconded.

4. Business arising from previous meeting minutes

a) Rural organic farmers and Agro Residential development

Cheryl provided comments on and impressions of the subjects presented on September 18th. Juniper Turgeon and Alex Mackay-Smith spoke about their experiences as Organic Farmers in La Pêche. At present, on 3 acres they feed 76 families from June to October, plus attend 2 farmers’ markets. Sean McAdam, Developer of the Old Hendrick Farm in Chelsea, led an informal discussion about his preliminary concept for agro-residential development on the Hendrick Farm land, for 110 houses plus an organic farm.

b) Development Charges Advisory Committee

Amy provided an update on a recent meeting with this committee. She mentioned a flaw in the Development Charges Act with how the cost of transit is incorporated.

Action: Amy will draft a letter outlining the flaw in the Act and request that it be changed. She will circulate to Alliance board members for review and approval prior to sending.

c) Greenbelt Coalition

Sol provided an update on progress with the coalition, that they have developed a vision, objectives and goals, and the forming of committees and working groups. Things are going well. NCC should come out with a public consultation strategy soon. The chairs of the working groups may have seats on the Public Advisory Committee.

d) APMP, LRT and GB

Cheryl provided an update on the Airport Parkway Master Plan, the Light Rail Transit and the Greenbelt issues. She stated that there is no indication that anything has been approved for the APMP. Albert Dugal led an OF-NC-sponsored walk in the Leitrim Wetland. There was discussion about a dump site that is slated to become a park and ride. Cheryl is looking into this matter in greater detail. She also stated that she is waiting to hear back from Environment Canada and if they will protect the species on Transport Canada land. It was confirmed to her that the Lester Road Wetland is still Transport Canada land, contrary to an earlier assertion by an Environment Canada official.

5. Discussion Items

a) Leitrim

1. Judicial Review outcome – Erwin and Sol provided an update on the Judicial Review decision which was not in the Friends of Leitrim Wetland’s favour. Linda McCaffrey of the Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic advised not to take further action. We should know by early November if the Alliance will be charged for costs incurred by the developer and the City of Ottawa. In the event of a request for costs, we intend to issue a media release.

Motion: Sol moved that the Alliance agree in principle and subject to the Board’s approval, that, vetted by Linda McCaffrey of the Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, the Alliance issue a media release highlighting the fact that a public interest group is being sued for efforts to protect an environmentally sensitive wetland. Amy seconded.

2. 10 – year PTTW proposal – Erwin updated the group on the new 10-year Permit to take Water proposal that will pump up to 17 million litres per day, and an additional 13 million litres of surface water per day from the wetland. If the permit is issued, the Alliance will appeal.

3. Appeal of an earlier PTTW – Erwin informed the group that the permit for this PTTW expired on September 30th. The Ministry has indicated that it will likely not be extended. On the Law Clinic’s advice, it has been decided to agree that this application is now moot.

4. Erwin also noted that the Findlay Creek Village developers have filed a $3 million lawsuit against our lawyers at the Law Clinic, alleging defamation.

b) Urban Tree Conservation

Cheryl reminded the group of this effort by the City of Ottawa’s Planning, Transit and Environment Department. See the City’s web site for public events for input to this strategy.

c) Inter-provincial Bridge

Amy and Cheryl provided an update on various groups’ concerns about if and where a bridge were to be constructed in any of the three proposed areas. There were discussions about the flawed process, the destruction of species and that the reduction of truck traffic through the city is not fully guaranteed.

Motion: Erwin moved that Janice work with Juan Pedro Unger on drafting a Greenspace Alliance position that could be used for inquiries and media releases. Amy seconded.

d) Park Dedications

Cheryl led discussions on opportunities to protect greenspace by having land dedicated as a city park. She encouraged members to read the dedication requirements on the City of Ottawa’s web site and think creatively for ideas, e.g., an Ottawa Urban Turtle Sanctuary.

e) Greenspace Alliance AGM 2008

It was agreed that the Annual General Meeting would start at 7:00 PM on November 20th, in the Billings Room at City Hall.

Action: Cheryl and Amy will follow up on potential speakers.

Amy advised that the Treasurer’s report is in progress. Cheryl advised that the Chair’s report is coming along. Erwin reported on the status of nominations and of Directors intending to stay on.

6. Membership report

Janice advised that she can have an updated membership total ready for the Chair’s AGM report. There have been no recent renewals.

7. Treasurer’s Report

Amy will have the report ready for the AGM. She has contacted John Corey to perform the audit / review.

8. New Business

a) Western Parkway Transit Light Rail

Amy led the discussion on the proposed location of Light Rail going West and the proposed alternate location of Byron street.

Motion: Amy moved that the Greenspace Alliance submit a letter to the City of Ottawa, stating that the Alliance would like to see the proposed Western Parkway Transit avoid greenspace in general, including the Western Parkway, species at risk habitat and environmentally sensitive lands and finally ensuring that the transit line serve populated areas. Daphne seconded.

9. Adjournment

Erwin moved to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 PM.

Next meeting: Annual General Meeting on November 20th.