General Meeting – 17 January 2001

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of General Meeting
January 17, 2001
Billings Room, New City Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Members Present
John Almstedt, Barbara Barr, Quentin Bristow, Erwin Dreessen, Albert Dugal, Mary Hegan, Bryan Hawley, Dean Jones, Amy Kempster, Judy Lascelles, Mike Lascelles, David McNicoll, Bill Royds, Donna Silver, Juan Pedro Unger

Kimberley Anderson (RVCA); Elaine Gibson, Dennis Jacobs and Richard Kilstrom (City of Ottawa); Arthur Mathewson (Centretown Community Association Tree Committee)

Al Crosby, Christine Hartig

Documents Circulated
Revised Proposed Agenda, Revised Minutes of December 13 general meeting, proposal for an Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee, e-mail exchange between Arthur Mathewson and Erwin Dreessen, letter to MPs proposed by Bryan Hawley, Quentin Bristow and Clair Merkley, phone and e-mail list of City Councillors and their Assistants, phone list of staff (as of December 2000) at the City’s Development Services Department, Appendices H1 and H2 on terms of reference and job description for an Environmental Advisory Committee as accepted by the Transition Board, recommendations of the Sussex Circle report on the NCC.

1. Approval of the Agenda
Barbara moved and Mike seconded a motion to approve the amended agenda. Carried.

2. Guest Speaker
Dennis Jacobs, Director of Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Policy at the new City of Ottawa, spoke about the responsibilities of his department. All growth-related developments and their environmental assessments, watershed planning, the Green Program (Elaine Gibson), and the Land Trust Working Group (David Miller) come under his jurisdiction. An Environmental Advisory Committee is to be reestablished in March or April; its Terms of Reference are still open for discussion. He welcomed the participation of groups such as GACC to ensure good decisions. Council’s Environmental Services Committee will deal with water/sewage and recycling.

3. New Members Report
Barbara moved and Mike seconded a motion to accept the membership application from Juan Pedro Unger. Carried.

4. Approval of the Minutes of December 13, 2000.
Quentin moved and Bryan seconded a motion to approve the minutes of December 13 as circulated. Carried.

5. Business Arising and Updates/Brief Reports

Items Carried Forward

Bryan still to draft a letter to J. Manley re imminent sale of Heron/Walkley. Erwin spoke with Frank Licari – Claridge Homes is tightlipped.
See item 7b.
Action: Bryan to draft and circulate letter from GACC to J. Manley asap.

Southern Corridor – West
NCC deal gave land to City of Nepean to build storm sewers. City of Nepean agreed to change land use from institutional to industrial. Awaiting further news from Ross McAlpine. Bill noted that another NCC greenspace, west of the Southern Corridor, north of Hunt Club Road along the railroad track, is also up for sale. Erwin: Follow up with Ross McAlpine.

Run for Greenspace
Requires two organizers.
Carl Britney is interested in being an organizer. Amy agreed to be the second organizer if no one else is interested.
Amy circulated an advertisement. No response yet.
Meeting planned for Jan. 22 – details to follow.

Action: Amy to Follow up.

Sierra Club 2nd Workshop on Urban Sprawl
Appears to be put on the backburner.

Web Site Redesign
Bryan’s committee is expected to meet again next week. Appreciation was expressed for Bill’s temporary fixes. Bryan: Prepare further recommendations.

Recruitment Brochure
Erwin still to put proposed changes to the committee.

Action: Erwin to work with Amy and Bryan to update the brochure.

New Members

Action: Erwin to invite Sierra Club, CPAWS, and PERC to join GACC as member organizations.

Speakers for General Meetings
Possible future speakers suggested earlier were
— Trish Trainer from South Nation
— Mark Denhez, trust lawyer and NCC Commissioner
— Heather Hamilton

Action: Erwin to contact Heather Hamilton of Eastern Ontario Biodiversity museum about speaking at March meeting.

Joining other networks

Action: Bill to post addresses of and other groups and ask members’ views on whether we should join.

Hawthorne Marsh
Action: Bill to contact Greg Montcalm a.s.a.p.

Leitrim Wetlands
Friends of Leitrim met January 16. Over 1000 names are now on the petition. A new article in the OFNC’s Trail and Landscape lists all living species. Indications are that DFO is taking an expansive view of the scope of the assessment.

Action: Bill (alternate Erwin) to continue representing GACC.

Leamy Lake Golf Course
Access to information request in process. DFO officials unable to divulge documents to date although a reasonable chance exists that they will become available. Mike noted that s. 55 of the CEAA is more liberal than the Access to Information Act.

Action: Erwin (with Joseph Potvin & Dave McNicoll) to pursue.

New Item

Ottawa River Project
John Almstedt reported that the water quality has deteriorated at Westboro Beach with only a few swimming days last summer. The NCC, City, and RVCA met, and the City no longer dumps sand. The Region donated $4,000, and there is other community support, including business support (Mountain Co-op and Trailhead).
A watershed study is required. The fact that the Ottawa River is interprovincial means that NCC may be the right body to spearhead it. Communities on both sides of the river need to coordinate their efforts.
Bryan moved and John seconded a motion to form an Ottawa River Committee chaired by John. Mary, who is aware of a committee on navigable waters with one paid staff member, will join the committee. Kimberley will help with fundraising if required.
Action: John to recruit other members to the committee, contact other stakeholders and develop an action plan.

6. New City Business

a) Advance release of documents: A letter supporting release 5 working days in advance went out Jan 15 (see Mail file). No report on what P&D Committee decided today. Information available on the City Web site remains woefully inadequate.

b) Environmental Advisory Committee: Former EAC/EHAG members met on Dec. 19 and will meet again on Jan. 23. There was extensive discussion on what perspective the GACC could bring to the issue.

Action: Mary & her committee: Explore common ground with EAC network and other parties, and propose a strategy

c) Urban Forest Advisory Committee and Network
Arthur e-mailed info. concerning both the Urban Forest Advisory Committee and Network and brought to the meeting a copy of a proposal for an Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee (see documents circulated list). He said the proposal was submitted to the City and the plan is to lobby Council. Arthur proposes a separate committee, not a subcommittee of an Environmental Advisory Committee.

7. NCC Business
a) Sussex Circle Report

b) Proposed Letter to MPs
Bryan e-mailed and brought to the meeting a draft letter to MPs prepared by Bryan, Quentin Bristow, and Clair Merkley (see the documents circulated list). Erwin commented that the draft letter would need revision (because the Sussex Circle report on the NCC recommended changing the Treasury Board’s mandate of the NCC regarding sale of NCC lands).

Postponed until next meeting.

8. Other Business

Sawmill Creek Shore Rehabilitation
Mike Lascelles and Kim Anderson explained the project, part of EcoAction 2000, sponsored by the Rideau River Round Table. Amy moved, seconded by Bill, that GACC write a letter of support for a $20K grant application with Environment Canada. Carried. Deadline is Feb. 9. Donna Silver agreed to draft.

Action: Donna to send a draft letter to Erwin for signature.

Session on Climate Change
Amy announced session on February 21 at 7 p.m. in the Council chambers, which conflicts with the original date of the February GACC general meeting.

9. Next Meeting and Adjournment
Mike moved and Mary seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:15 p.m. Carried.

Next General Meeting
February 14, 2001 at 7:30 p.m., Honeywell Room, New City Hall.

In the Mail File

— Gloucester South Urban Community OPA: our letter to the Transition Board (Dec 27) and the TB’s e-mailed reply (Dec 29)
— Sussex Circle report: Erwin’s e-mail to Sandra Pecek of the NCC, in response to her circular (Jan 6)
— Leamy Lake: e-mail response from Line Choiniere of DFO (Jan 8) and from Marcel Gauthier of DFO (ATI Office) (Jan 15)
— Letter to City of Ottawa Mayor and Councillors on release time of staff documents (Jan 15)
— Reply from Clr. Diane Deans to our letter of December 4 (Dec 12)
— Announcement of Public Consultation Sessions organized by the Ottawa-Carleton Council on Smoking and Health

On the Leitrim Wetland:
— Letter from South Nation Conservation to Elisabeth May of the Sierra Club (Nov 9)
— Reply by Min. Dhaliwal to our letter of November 27 (Jan 12)
— Letter from Andy Smith (DFO) to Albert Dugal (Dec. 18)
— E-mail exchange between Mike Lascelles and Andy Smith (Jan 4/16/17)