General Meeting – 19 June 2012


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting

June 19, 2012

RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive

Ottawa, ON K1H 7X7


Present: Amy Kempster (chair), Elina Elnione (note taker), Erwin Dreessen, , Sol Shuster, Martin Callsen, Jason Kania
Guest: Roufa Therrein
Regrets: Juan Pedro Unger, James O’Grady

The meeting commenced at 7:25 p.m.

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Agenda

    An amended agenda was approved.

  3. Minutes of 22 May 2012

    Erwin moved, seconded by Jason, to approve the Minutes of May 22 as circulated. Approved.

  4. Treasurer’s report

    The money that was received from the plant sale has been deposited in the bank account.

  5. OMB matters-update on Urban Boundary Phase 2B

    Erwin reported on the progress of preparing for the final hearing on appeals of OPA 76 — Phase 2B of the urban boundary hearings. Erwin is currently working to prepare for the hearing on July 3rd in order to ensure that parcel #2 is not included in the urban boundary. Greenspace Alliance is also favouring the inclusion of parcel #9B but seeks some woodlot set-aside in 9B and 1 B/C.

  6. Emerald Ash Borer update

    Sol reported that Greenspace Alliance (via its Working Group) wants to convince the City to change the strategy from cutting trees to treating trees. A letter was sent to Mayor Watson and a reply still has not been received. There is a meeting with Peter Hume on June 20. We were supposed to meet with City forester David Barkley but he has delayed the meeting in order to study our Position Paper before talking to us. Infestation is spreading much more quickly than anticipated. In the last Environment Committee meeting EAB was not even mentioned. If GA is not successful this year GA will also try to save ash trees next year but until that time many trees will be lost. However, it appears that the City may retreated from its defensive position.

    Amy reported that the Champlain Park residents have expressed an interest in willing to treat the ash trees on the private properties.

  7. Reporting on the EAB WordPress website

    Roufa clarified that Facebook and Twitter are not designed to drive a campaign therefore other media means may be preferable. Drupal is designed for people that are not experts in web-design. There is an idea to create a training session for Drupal. Greenspace Alliance website has very specialised information. There is a need for differences in the depths of information – for the general public and also people who want to know the details. The information is very complex and it is hard for the general public to understand the issues in depth. There needs to be a way to convey the key messages to the public.

    There was a suggestion that at some point we would need a call for volunteers at the front of the website. However, we would need to define what tasks they would be doing and assure that they would receive support. The issues of branding was brought up.

    EAB is being dealt only in residential areas, not in the forests. The focus has to be on the urban area for now. Amy is suggested to add a line “rural ash trees are not considered for treatment at this time, saving urban ash trees is the least we could do”.

    Erwin moved, seconded by Sol, to allocate 100 dollars towards web design. Agreed.

    Roufa was commended for his initiative of building a WordPress site, as per a draft recommendation from the May 30 Communication meeting.

    There was a discussion that we should strive to achieve a mixed bilingual approach.

  8. Update on Greenbelt Coalition

    Sol reported that there was a meeting with the NCC’s Public Advisory Committee. The NCC issued a draft land designation. There are a number of major issues. An improvement is that biodiversity is now given more prominence as we had suggested. Boundaries remain an issue. There is no move to include private lands. On transportation corridors the position of the Coalition is: no new transportation corridors. The joint NCC-City of Ottawa Cumulative Transportation Impact Study unfortunately is only looking at the impact of new roads on the Greenbelt but not at the need for such roads.

  9. Green pages directory subscription

    Sol moved, seconded by Martin, to include Greenspace Alliance in the Green Pages Directory. Agreed.

  10. Carp River restoration OPA and related matters

    Starting in 2004, the Greenspace Alliance, in coalition with other groups (the Carp River Coalition), spent a lot of energy to put the Carp River restoration and Kanata West development onto the right path. They succeeded in having the Minister impose a number of conditions. Planning Committee on June 26 will consider a Zoning and OP amendment. The last page of the staff report provides consultation details. “Four comments were received.” The comments nor staff response are not available. Appeals require planning grounds; technical reasons are not good grounds. It was decided not to take any action.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Next meeting of the Alliance will be on Tuesday, July 24, 20102, location t.b.d.