General Meeting  – 18 January 2007

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of the General Meeting of 18 January 2007
Champlain Field House

Members: George Wilson (Chair), Chris Szpak (note taker), Erwin Dreessen, Carol Gudz, Amy Kempster, Theresa Jobateh, Ron Rancourt, Bill Royds, Mik Svilans, Juan Pedro Unger.

Regrets: Joseph Potvin

Meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Adoption of the Agenda:
The following changes were made to the agenda:

Under Items for brief discussion:
a) Poets Pathway Committee was amalgamated with the Motion regarding funding applications
b) Rural Issues Advisory Committee was joined with the Official Plan
c) New item, Greenspace Master Plan, added.

Under New Business the following items were added:
a) Blanding’s Turtles
b) Public Works Bulletin
c) Awareness raising for Council
d) Environment Canada Council Awards Project

Motion: E. Dreessen moved and C. Gudz seconded approval of the agenda as amended. Carried.

3. Approval of minutes of November 16 and December 14 meetings
Motion: B. Royds moved and E. Dreessen seconded approval of the minutes of the meeting held 16 November 2006. Carried.

Motion: C. Szpak moved and R. Rancourt seconded approval of the minutes with minor changes of the meeting held 14 December 2006. Carried.

4. Membership Report
No report was given.

There was discussion regarding membership fees and it was felt that these should be increased.

Motion: A. Kempster moved and B. Royds seconded the approval of raising the fee for a participating member from $10 to $15. Carried.

5. Treasurer’s Report
a)Appointment of signing officers:

Motion: A. Kempster moved and B. Royds seconded the appointment of G. Wilson, C. Gudz, A. Kempster, J. Seline and C. Szpak as signing officers for the Alliance. Carried.

b)Approximately $1,600 is still needed to pay the debt of the Kanata Appeal. An exact accounting of what is owning will be presented at the next monthly meeting. It was agreed that further fund raising would need to be done to cover the debt.

A. Kempster and M. Svilans will reconcile the Kanata account.

M. Svilans will investigate fund raising possibilities.

6. Strategic Planning Meeting
A number of priority action items were decided on based on the strategic planning session held 13 January. It was strongly felt that much more attention should be given to raising the profile of the Alliance in order to attract new members and increase the public awareness of greenspace matters. To meet these priority goals, it was agreed that a number of tasks should be carried out:

a)The Alliance should make some effort to co-host a speaker series with other, like-minded groups and individuals.

b)Re-design of the new website, particularly the opening page needs to be done in terms of its text and overall look (it should be welcoming and “user-friendly”. This includes the drafting of introductory material describing the Alliance, its work and its officers, and outlining the procedures for accepting new members.

c)The Alliance brochure needs to be updated.

d)A newsletter should be compiled on a regular basis. Press releases produced on specific issues when appropriate.

Investigating co-hosting possibilities: G. Wilson & C. Gudz (Sierra Club), B. Royds (Green Print), M. Svilans (Martha Webber).

Website design: JP Unger & R. Rancourt. E. Dreessen will compile and draft Directors’ bios.

Brochure: T. Jobateh.

Newsletter and Press Releases: JP Unger.

7. Continuing Business
a) Website Completion Deadline: R. Rancourt reported that the launch date for the new website would be 12 February. To help in the process of editing and reviewing the new website a Website Review Committee was established, comprising of R. Rancourt, JP Unger, T. Jobateh and E. Dreessen.

b) Applications for Funding: E. Dreessen recommended and it was agreed that the Alliance apply for grants for the Poets’ Pathway project to the Community Foundation of Ottawa and the City’s Green Partnership Pilot Program.

Motion: E. Dreessen moved and B. Royds seconded to allow G. Wilson to sign the grant applications as the Alliance Chair. Carried.

It was noted that G. Wilson recently became a co-chair with Jane Moore of the Poets’ Pathway committee.

c) City Budget: C. Szpak reported on the Alliance’s statement on the 2007 Budget Directions presented to Council January 10. The draft budget is to be presented on Feb. 7, with public consultations Feb. 19-23.

d)Official Plan Review: C. Szpak reported on a meeting with City planners where the proposed schedule and methodology of the review was discussed. The Alliance will monitor the process and give input where necessary. C. Szpak also reported on a meeting of the Rural Issues Advisory Committee (RIAC) which will be involved in the OP review process. It was noted that the Alliance might want to raise the awareness of RIAC as to the Alliance’s environmental concerns regarding rural development – perhaps, by making a presentation at one of the group’s monthly meetings.

e)Greenspace Master Plan: it was noted that an Official Plan amendment, concerning the greenspace designations in the urban area (based on the UNAEE study and the Greenspace Master Plan), has been initiated by the Department of Planning, Transit and the Environment. Related revisions to the draft Comprehensive Zoning By-law are also proposed to implement these amendments as required. It was agreed that the Alliance should monitor the progress of this, and similar amendments.

C. Szpak will monitor greenspace amendments.

8. Announcements
(a)Pesticide Campaign 2007: G. Wilson will be attending a meeting of groups opposed to the cosmetic use of pesticides.

9. New Business
a) Blanding’s Turtles: a brief is being prepared for the Federal Minister of the Environment by Cheryl Doran regarding the protection of the Blanding Turtles near Lester Road. She will be sending the draft to Alliance Directors for review and approval.

b) Public Works Bulletin: The Federal Public Works and Government Services Department is compiling a mailing list of interested organizations who want to receive the Department’s bulletin outlining upcoming work.

c) Awareness Raising for Councilors: Some members felt that it would be a good idea to give awareness raising sessions on greenspace matters for City Councilors. It was suggested that the Alliance work with other groups to organize such sessions.

d) Environment Canada Council Awards Project: the Alliance is eligible to apply for awards under this project.

B. Royds will contact other groups regarding possible sessions.

G. Wilson will follow-up with Environment Canada.

10. Adjournment
Meeting adjourned at 10:22