General Meeting – 17 July 2008

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

Members present: Carol Gudz (Chair), Chris Szpak (minute taker), Erwin Dreessen, Theresa Jobateh, Bill Royds.

Regrets: Hugh Carter, Cheryl Doran, Sol Shuster, Janice Seline.

The meeting commenced at 7:20 p.m.

1. Welcome and Introductions.

2. Adoption of the Agenda:
Erwin D. moved and seconded by Theresa J. to adopt the Agenda as amended. Carried.

3. Approval of the Minutes of the February General Meeting:
Theresa J. moved and seconded by Erwin D. to approve the minutes as amended of the 19 June 2008 General Meeting. Carried.

4. Poets’ Pathway:
Bill R. reported on the poetry reading/concert held 24 June to benefit the Poets’ Pathway project. It appears that the effort broke even – the final report will be produced later. It was felt that even if extra revenue was not generated, the occasion was worthwhile since it did provide publicity for the Poets’ Pathway.

5. Leitrim:
There was nothing new to report. The Alliance as part of the Friends of Leitrim Wetland is currently waiting to hear what the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal’s decides regarding a motion by Findlay Creek Properties to dismiss an application by the Friends to register an appeal concerning a permit to draw water from the Leitrim wetland.

6. Business Arising:
a) Kanata West: Erwin D. updated the meeting on City Council’s endorsement of the Terms of Reference for a Third Party Review of Carp River-related project as proposed by the Planning and Environment Committee. One key change from what staff proposed is that the Reviewer will consult with the Auditor General and those who have filed a Part II Order Request (including the Carp River Coalition, Ted Cooper and Ottawa Riverkeeper on its own).

b) Rural Affairs Committee: there was no update regarding the Committee; however, discussion revolved around the issue of protecting wetlands from needless destruction by owners and developers. It was recognized that there was a need for public education concerning the importance of wetlands.

Motion: Bill R. moved and Chris S. seconded that the Alliance investigate the possibility of raising public awareness regarding the importance of wetlands and the need to protect them. Carried.

Action: Bill R. will take the lead in implementing the motion.

c) Official Plan Review: Board Directors were reminded that their comments regarding the Alliance’s response to the City Staff’s OP preliminary proposals needed to be sent to Chris S. before the end of July.

Action: Chris S. will finalize the Alliance’s comments and distribute them to City Staff.

7. Discussion:
a) Greenbelt Coalition: the first meeting of the Greenbelt Coalition was to be held on July 24. The Coalition also plans to have discussions with the City’s Environment Advisory Committee. Bill R. proposed to prepare a discussion paper for the Coalition outlining the issues regarding the future of the Greenbelt and its possible development.

b) Auditor General’s Report:

Motion: Erwin D. moved and Chris. S. seconded that the Alliance should endorse Erwin’s comments on the City Auditor General’s recent report and have them sent to City councillors. Carried.

Action: Erwin D. will carry out the motion.

c) Canadian Golf & Country Club: it was reported that the Club has expanded and it is seeking to change the zoning of its new lands. In the meantime it has been taking excess water from the Jock River without permission from the Province. It was felt that the Alliance did not have the capacity to take on this new cause but it was agreed that it could provide support to other organizations/ individuals if they were prepared to take the initiative.

Action: Bill R. will prepare a letter for City Council outlining the Alliance’s concerns in this matter.

d) Ottawa Justice Network: the meeting was informed that the Network was highlighting issues of concern to the community on its website and was prepared to accept input from the Alliance. It was felt that this was a matter for Barry G. as Director for Communications/Media to consider.

8. Membership Report:
a couple of renewals were received including the Friends of the Carp River. In subsequent discussion, Chris S. reported that no notifications of new development proposals were being sent by the City to the Alliance’s mail box.

Action: Theresa J. will contact the City to insure that the Alliance continues to receive development notifications, either by post or e-mail.

9. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Next Meeting scheduled for : 21 August 2008.