General Meeting – 17 April 2008

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of General Monthly Meeting of April 17, 2008
Champlain Field House, 149 Cowley Avenue

Members present: Cheryl Doran (Chair), Theresa Jobateh (Minutes Taker), Erwin Dreessen, Carol Gudz, Chris Szpak, Janice Seline, Sol Shuster, Barry George, Mik Svilans, Joseph Potvin.

Regrets: Amy Kempster

The meeting commenced at 7:19 p.m.

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Adoption of Agenda
Erwin moved to approve the agenda with a few changes and additions. Sol seconded.

3. Approval of Minutes of March 20, 2008
Motion: Chris moved adoption of the Minutes as amended. Sol seconded.

4. Business arising from the Minutes
a) Wildlife Festival – Barry provided an update on the event and plans for volunteers.

b) NCC Board meeting – Cheryl informed the group that a presentation was given and a copy was forwarded to Minister Canon’s office.

c) Display Board – There was discussion about the new display board and what options to consider.

Motion: Janice moved that the Board of Directors approve – subject to Joseph sourcing one from a trade show friend in the next week – the purchase of a portable display board at an estimated cost of $600, including a case and taxes and that Janice be reimbursed. Barry seconded.

c) Plant Sale – Janice provided an update on the May 11th plant sale, the “dig” at Albert Dugal’s prior and a request for volunteers.

5. Membership report
Janice reported that there were no new membership activities.

6. Treasurer’s Report
There was no treasurer’s report but there was a discussion about expenses for the Leitrim appeal.

Motion: Sol moved that the Greenspace Alliance be prepared to pay Dr. Clark Topp up to $600 for expenses to be incurred, related to Leitrim. Erwin seconded.

Motion: Chris moved that the Alliance pay the annual fee of $30 to Industry Canada. Barry seconded.

Motion: Barry moved that the Alliance spend up to $100 for display material. Sol seconded.

7. Leitrim Update
a) PTTW – Erwin informed the attendees that the Alliance has filed for a Leave to appeal the Permit. The developer filed a motion for dismissal. The Alliance replied. The hearing will be on May 14 before the Environmental Review Tribunal. If the motion for dismissal is rejected, it may be June or July before there will be a hearing on the appeal.

b) Judicial review – No news on this but it is still set for June.

8. Official Plan
a) NCC Appeal – Erwin provided an update on the mediation session, summarizing the parcels of greenspace under appeal. Amy and Erwin will attend the April 24 and 25th sessions.

b) Rural settlement policy working group meeting – Erwin provided an update about the meeting set for May 8. Amy cannot attend but will prepare comments. Erwin may be able to attend. Chris plans to attend as well and will follow up with Amy on rules and details.

9. Parc Ecologique – deferred

10. Discussion Items
a) Carman Road – Joseph provided an update to the attendees. The main issue is “What is the legal status of Gatineau Park?” There are many parties involved and some with difference of opinion of the position of the boundary line.

b) Gatineau Park Earth Day April 22nd – Joseph mentioned an upcoming news conference where Paul Dewar will be making a statement about putting pressure on funding to purchase the land.

Motion: Sol moved that the Greenspace Alliance endorses participation and to attend the news conference supporting Paul Dewar in his efforts of legally protecting Gatineau Park.

c) Coalition to Protect the Greenbelt – Sol led the discussion on this topic. He recently learned from an NCC contact that the City of Ottawa has a paper on “Developing the Greenbelt” and there are other threats to the Greenbelt as we know it. There are various groups interested in forming a coalition to participate in the NCC consultations regarding the review of the Greenbelt Master Plan beginning this fall.

Motion: Sol moved that the Greenspace Alliance join a coalition of organizations that are concerned about the future of the Greenbelt and make use of the GA web site to disseminate information in a forum for starters. Barry seconded. Barry agreed to be the GA representative in the Coalition.

d) Eco-fair – Barry provided an update on the upcoming fair and polled for volunteers.

e) Transportation position – A proposed position will be available by May 15th.

f) ARAC – Carol spoke at the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee and the issue of a request by Karson Kartage to fill in a section of the floodplain. Cheryl reported that the city staff will make corrections to reflect greenbelt boundaries.

g) Airport Master Plan – Cheryl and Sol provided an update.

h) Ministerial meetings – Cheryl provided an update on meetings with ministers and how she worked in the Leitrim wetland and species at risk. The presentation was received favourably and we are looking forward to a follow-up.

i) Toronto zoo conference / wetland creation – deferred.

j) Carp & Kanata West – Erwin reported that the Auditor General’s report will be tabled at Council on April 23rd. The Carp River Coalition will consider what to do next.

11. New Business
There was no new business.

12. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 10:17 PM.

Next meeting : May 15, 2008

Final version created May 31, 2008 by Theresa Jobateh. Posted on Web too.