General Meeting – 21 June 2007

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Minutes of the General Meeting of 21 June 2007

Champlain Field House


Members:  George Wilson (Chair), Chris Szpak (note taker), Erwin Dreessen, Carol Gudz, Amy Kempster, Daphne McCree, Joseph Potvin, Ron Rancourt, Juan Pedro Unger.

Regrets: Theresa Jobateh, Janice Seline.

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

1.      Welcome and Introductions

2.      Adoption of the Agenda:

The following items were added:

Under Items for brief discussion:

      1. Planning Primer Courses
      2. Alliance table display
      3. Rural Working Group
      4. Suncrest Drive

Under New Business:

a) Empty lot at Sand Castle

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

3.       Approval of Minutes of May 17 Meeting:

Deferred to the July meeting.

4.      Business Arising:

a) Kempster reported on her presentation to PEC regarding the new Zoning Bylaw and where it touched upon NCC lands and flood plains. The Committee will finalize its deliberations on the new Bylaw in September.

Action: A. Kempster and E. Dreessen will work to post the GA intervention on the web site.

5.      Membership Report:

Nothing to report.

J. Potvin informed the meeting that he would be contacting university professors and students to see if they would be interested in participating in Alliance activities.

6.      Treasurer’s Report:

The Treasurer reported on donations to the Leitrim Fund.

Motion: A. Kempster moved and E. Dreessen seconded to pay Open Concept the annual fee of $31.80 for hosting the Alliance’s website.  Carried.

7.      Information/Discussion Items:

a) Leitrim: the meeting was informed that the OMB recently ruled to dismiss the Alliance/Sierra Club appeal to the further development of the Leitrim wetlands. Discussion revolved around what further steps the Alliance should take regarding the appeal since it was felt that the judgment was not properly rendered.  It was agreed that fundraising for the appeal would be put on hold.

Motion: E. Dreessen moved and A. Kempster seconded to instruct Sol Shuster (appeal lead) and the Legal Clinic to initiate a request to the OMB chairman to review the decision.  Carried with one abstention.

b) Alliance Brochure: a draft of the revised brochure was presented by E. Dreessen.

Action: J. Potvin will have the brochure translated into French.

c) Implication of new development proposals: This item was deemed to be covered by other agenda items.

d) Poets’ Pathway: The Poets’ Pathway Committee recently met with Councillor Clive Doucet and city planners to discuss the development of the pathway initiative.  It appears that there is some support for it. Amendments will need to be made to the City’s official plan, funding found, and work with the NCC to study cultural heritage monuments.

e) Improvements to the Website: R. Rancourt will investigate ways of integrating the Alliance mailing list with the website in order to reduce the amount of manual work needed to maintain it.  This would also help to reduce the amount of spam currently received.  As time allows, he will also run some stats on current usage and do a pilot on a system for notification of new material.

Action: J.P. Unger will moderate mail coming to

f) Parc Sport-Ecologique: J. Potvin gave an update on the Parc Sport-Ecologique initiative.  He will be meeting soon with the Gatineau mayor to advocate for the establishment of the park.  An interview with Le Droit is also possible.  He mentioned that the next Ottawa River Keeper ‘s report will focus on discharge of waste water into the river.

g) Beechwood Annual Historical Tour:   G. Wilson informed the meeting that the Annual Tour would take place 24 June at the Beechwood cemetery and will be on the theme of “The Poets of Parliament Hill”.

h) Planning Primer: G. Wilson and T. Jobateh attended a seminar presented last Saturday (16 June) by the city on the planning process. Further seminars are planned.

i) Table Display: it was pointed out that the current Alliance display needed to be updated. It was agreed that a committee be formed to take on this task.

Action: G. Wilson will contact Mik Svilans to lead the Committee.

j) Rural Working Group: Kempster is the Alliance representative to the working group looking at reconciling development with environmental concerns.

k) 6701 Suncrest Drive: it was agreed that, since the proposed development was inside Greely village, the Alliance should not contest it. E. Dreessen did note that this development can serve as a case study of how a Rural Natural Feature gets lost to development.

8.      New Business:

a) Sandcastle Drive: a local resident had asked the Alliance if there was anything that could be done about protecting an empty wooded lot on the drive from abuse by dogs. It was not clear where the lot was located, or what its current zoning or ownership were for the Alliance to suggest any action.

Action:  A. Kempster will advise the resident on how to obtain more information.

b) Communications Director: J.P. Unger informed the meeting that he could not continue being the Alliance’s director responsible for communications due to time pressures.

c) Inter-provincial Bridge Crossing: The Alliance will monitor the discussion of where the Inter-provincial bridge crossing should be placed taking into account potential environmental consequences.

Action: JP. Unger will monitor the crossing discussions.

9.    Meeting Adjourned at 9:52 pm.