General Meeting – 17 May 2007

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of General Monthly Meeting of May 17, 2007
Champlain Field House

Members present: Carol Gudz (Chair), Theresa Jobateh (Minutes taker), Amy Kempster, Daphne McCree, Joseph Potvin, Janice Seline, Erwin Dreessen

Regrets: George Wilson, Ron Rancourt, Chris Szpak.

The meeting commenced at 7:15 p.m.

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Adoption of Agenda with a few new items
Moved: Amy. Seconded: Daphne.

3. Approval of minutes of April 19
There were a few changes to make.

Moved: Theresa. Seconded: Amy.

4. Business arising from minutes of April 19th meeting
Item #4 – Business arising from March 15 meeting: Amy has set up a new account for the Leitrim donations.

Item #7a) 2 – The Planning and Environment Committee meeting of April 24, 2007 approved the Urban Natural Features Strategy. Amy made a submission on behalf of the Alliance. A motion by Councillor Doucet read as follows:

” Whereas the City has indertaken a comprehensive study to identify the significant natural features that exist within the urban boundaries as required by council,

Whereas 2,600 hectares of significant natural features were identified by staff and funding was made available in the 2007 budget to begin purchasing these properties,

Whereas the City does not have sufficient funds to acquire 100% of the identified properties immediately, a priority list has been created in order to ensure that the most significant of the proerties will be retained in their natural state,

Whereas the residents of Ottawa have not been provided with sufficient opportyunity to discuss the importance of moving quickly on the acquisition of these properties ,

Whereas residents were not presented with the option of passing a levy on their property tax bill that would allow the City to generate the necessary funds needed to purchase all 2600 hectares of identified properties, as permitted in the Municipal Act for the Acquisition of Greenspaces,

Be it resolved that staff prepare information for residents that would outline several options for achieving the necessary money through a levy program, and that this information be available for residents before significant natutal features are clear-cut of drained,

Be it further resolved that this levy would not be made available for any other purpose.”

The motion carried. However, the Council Minutes of May 9, 2007 do not include this motion.

5. Membership Report
Updates from Amy and Janice:

a) Amy reported that we received a renewal from the FCA (Federation of Citizens’ Associations)

b) Motion to accept a new Associate member application from Les Whitney.
Moved: Amy. Seconded: Joseph

6. Treasurer’s Report
Amy will provide the report via email to all members present and the GA Executive.

7. Information / Discussion items
a) Mail Call

As discussed, Theresa will continue to send out mail call notices. She will consolidate any mail call items that are proposals to rezone agricultural, wooded, rural, etc and send to list@ as “POTENTIAL THREATS TO GREENSPACE”. She will aim to send on a weekly basis.

There was discussion of the plan to then post these to a section on the web site with mapping to physical locations using a tool such as Google Maps and to solicit feedback from other members.

There was also the proposal that GA send out a quarterly report to media on these types of rezoning proposals, linking back to the section on the web site.

The next step is to have people assigned to commenting on these proposals and following up. (see 7 e) Planning & Development issues)

b) Brewer’s Creek aka Parc Sport-Ecologique de Gatineau

Joseph provided an update on discussions about the Parc Sport-Ecologique de Gatineau, with the Residents Assoc, the Mayor & Councillor, and various city departments & committees. Seven areas are sports-related and 3 are ecological. There is potential for coverage in Le Droit and public communication via the residents association newsletter.

c) Leitrim Fundraiser and update

Carol and Erwin provided an update on the Leitrim issue. They are still lining up experts. For the fundraiser, they have solicited various artists and sponsors for a silent auction in June at Irene’s Pub. There was a discussion of contacts at various organizations and how to approach individuals for fundraising.

d) Plant Sale report

Janice reported that we did well at the Friends of the Experimental Farm plant sale on May 13. There was a good turnout. We raised $560. She provided a cheque to Amy for deposit. There are some remaining plants that she will sell at a neighbourhood event.

e) Planning & Development issues

There was discussion on the need for process and dedicated members to comment on behalf of GA to zoning bylaw amendment proposals and planning and development issues. These notices come through the mailing list as “heads up” messages from city staff and via Theresa’s regular mail call notices. The initial response to these notices should be a request for more information from the City.

We will bring forward for discussion at the next meeting.

f) Working group on Rural Development

Amy provided an update on this item. She is the GA representative to this group with the purpose to protect woodlands and protected areas. She is looking for another member to be on the group. Erwin suggested posting the update to the web site and looking for another member with a posting to the list.

g) Unitarian Sustainability Fair

Daphne provided information on this fair on June 2nd from 9 AM to 2 PM. It will be held at École élémentaire publique Séraphin-Marion, 2147 Loyola Avenue.

Motion: That GA attend and host a table at the Unitarian Sustainability Fair.
Moved: Amy. Seconded: Erwin
Action: Send a notice to the list for volunteers.

8. New Business
a) Zoning Bylaw

Amy will check on NCC properties along the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers to confirm if “H” (Holding) is still in the plan. She recommends that GA make a presentation.

b) NCC OP appeal

Amy provided an update on the April 23rd meeting on the NCC Official Plan appeal which has been postponed until September. The participants agreed to the postponement.

c) GA Pamphlet

There was discussion on content changes to the pamphlet with ideas on how to incorporate the application form. Changes will be made first to the English text then translated to French. Members will forward changes to Theresa.

9. Adjournment
Moved: Amy. Seconded: Daphne.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.

Next meeting: June 21st