General Meeting – 17 January 2008

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

Members present: Cheryl Doran (Chair), Theresa Jobateh (Minutes Taker), Erwin Dreessen, Carol Gudz, Janice Seline, Amy Kempster, Barry George.

Guests: Eric Cousineau, Hugh Carter (Orleans), Prue Thomson and Linda McCormick (Carp Residents Association).

Regrets: Bill Royds, Sol Shuster, George Wilson.

The meeting commenced at 7:24 p.m.

1. Welcome and Introductions
The members and guests present introduced themselves to the table.

2. Adoption of Agenda
There were a few changes and additions to the agenda. Theresa moved for the adoption of the agenda as amended. Barry seconded.

3. Approval of minutes from December 6, 2007 meeting
Motion: Theresa moved to approve the minutes with the one small change noted. Erwin seconded.

4. Business arising from the minutes of the December 6, 2007 meeting
a) Wildlife Festival (March 28): Barry reported that he sent a cheque for registration but is waiting for more information on insurance before knowing the final amount.

b) Amy’s Action on NCC: Amy reported that this is in progress with a letter to François Lapointe of the NCC in regards to the GA’s comments on the new Zoning By- law.

c) Meeting between members of the Coalition to Protect Ottawa’s Biodiversity and Minister Baird’s office on December 13, 2007:

Cheryl reported that this meeting went well, with Mr. J. Morris, Policy Advisor for Minister John Baird. Environment Canada recognizes the Species at Risk Blanding’s Turtles and the environmental opportunity they bring to the nation’s capital. The Species At Risk Act protects these reptiles and their habitat. The destruction of habitat, the loss of wetlands are issues that Canada’s New Government is fighting to preserve.

We will continue to work with Environment Canada to promote an Ecopassage and a safe alternative route to ensure our Government’s transit interests, laws and policies are upheld.

d) Student volunteer help: There was discussion about a recent offer from Carleton University Environmental Studies and practical work for students.

Action: Cheryl will follow up.

5. Membership report
Janice reported that we have received membership renewals and that she followed up on a family gift membership application from December.

Motion: Janice moved to approve the application of Dwight and Diana Stewart. Amy seconded.

6. Treasurer’s Report
Theresa brought to the table various cheques received in the mail the past weeks and requested bank deposit direction for those regarding membership renewals, applications and the Leitrim fund.

Motion: Erwin moved to confirm the Board’s decision by e-mail that the Alliance donate $100 to Ecology Ottawa for their recent fund raising campaign. Amy seconded.

Motion: Janice moved that the Alliance register and provide a cheque for $40.00 to the Friends of the Farm for the Plant Sale on May 11. Theresa seconded.

Action: Janice will follow up with the registration.

7. Carp Residents Association
Prue Thomson and Linda McCormick presented information and a City document used at a public meeting on the expanded use of the aquifer and emergency overflow of the waste water system in Carp. They expressed concerns due to possible development at the Carp airport fly-in subdivision location and further developments in Carp Village.

There were discussions on the issues and options for the CRA to consider. Erwin provided Prue and Linda with a 3-page analysis of the draft Environmental Assessment which suggested questions they could pursue, such as why historical usage rates are not a better guide than City-wide averages and the impact on the water rates Villagers will have to pay. Alliance members recommended that the CRA emphasize the need for an assessment of the aquifer and they request recent reports or records from the City of Ottawa. It was also recommended that they follow up with a water resources engineer and bring to the City’s attention any inconsistencies in numbers and costs listed in the reports.

8. Leitrim Wetland
Erwin provided an update on the Judicial Review and the water issue:

– April 7th is the new court date for the Judicial Review;
– In order to get the records of water taking from the Ministry of the Environment, Carol is making a Freedom of Information request.

Cheryl provided an update on the community outreach efforts:

– The group is still planning to participate in an event on February 12.
– More news will follow in the week of January 21.

9. Official Plan review
a) Country Lot Subdivisions

Erwin noted that the Alliance web site now has a Forum on the OP review, under a series of topics. On Country Lot Subdivisions, he reported that he received a map and the report on the 2006 Rural Residential Land Survey but that the report does not mention Rural Natural Features. Additional information was received from the City; he will confirm which percentage of vacant lots are in Rural Natural Features.

b) Southern Corridor and NCC appeal

Erwin reported that OMB-led mediation will take place on April 24 and 25. The Alliance is a Party to the appeal and has a right to attend.

10. Parc Écologique
Deferred to next meeting.

11. Discussion items
a) GA Website – French version: Deferred to next meeting.

b) Fundraising gift options: Deferred to next meeting.

c) Ecofair April 19

There was discussion about this opportunity.

Motion: Amy moved that the Alliance register and purchase a space for the amount of $35.00. Carol seconded.

Action: Barry will follow up.

d) Electronic Signature: Deferred to next meeting.

12. New Business
a) Facebook

Amy opened discussion on the possibility of the Alliance registering for a Facebook account as other activist groups have done, with potential for a successful reach to a broader audience.

Action: Barry will research the Alliance’s options for setting up an account.

b) Keyworth Avenue

Amy reported on the outcome of the Keyworth Avenue residential expansion and loss of trees. Three of five trees will be saved.

13. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 10:13 PM.

Next meeting : February 21, 2008