Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Meeting held Nov. 21, 1997 at Greenboro Community Centre
DRAFT Minutes [Note: phone numbers and street and email addresses deleted from the attendee list. ED 12Sep2020]
|Association Hunt Club||Address|
Meeting commenced at 7:25 PM
Minutes of Previous meeting deferred.
Membership Report Shelley Parlow
Shelley Parlow presented a summary of a meeting of membership committee.
Key points of report.
Activities for meetings
Shelley suggested several potential speakers for meetings of the Greenspace Alliance.
Donna Dubreuil of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Donna often ends up with the wild animals that are displaced by development of former greenspace. Many urban residents are unaware of the fauna within our boundaries. She would talk on the need for preserving this habitat.
Chris Bradshaw. Chris is the founder and President of Ottawalk, an organization devoted to promoting a walkable city. Walking within our neighbourhood greenspace is one of the most popular activities in Ottawa. The value of a walkable city is well established as adding to its attraction.
Dale Lynch. Dale is the engineer in charge of the Sawmill Creek Watershed Plan. This is the plan to build a constructed wetland between the Airport Parkway and the Transitway near South Keys to alleviate flooding, provide stormwater runoff treatment, reduce downstream erosion and enhance natural features. The benefrt: to both nature and the neighbourhood of enhanced wetlands is an important issue of greenspace.
The membership committee proposed several projects to help member associations.
A greenspaces map of the Canada’s Capital. The Region had prepared a greenspace map for the Official Plan Review, but it was not included in the Official Plan. The Alliance could maintain it and expand it to emphasize the continuity and prevalence of Greenspace.
Pursue the idea proposed by Bob Chiarelli in his election campaign to create a “greenspace trust” as a separate regional fund to buy greenspace when it becomes available on the market. This would be a charitable foundation that could take donations and preserve greenspace without the pressures of government budget cutting.
Provide information on the planning process so that communities would know the rules of game with respect to councils, developers and the Ontario Municipal Board.
Lobby the federal government and MPs for a change to NCC policy OFI list of projects. Bill Royds mentioned that the N.C.C. reports to parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage so Sheila Copps should also be lobbied for more openness by the N.C.C.
Bryan Hawley proposed writing a regular column for the Peace and Environment Resource Centre news (and providing it to other community newspapers if requested)
Bill Royds suggested working with the Federation of Citizens’ Association, to help each other attract community associations as members. The FCA has mainly a downtown membership, while the Greenspace Alliance has mainly interest from the southern part of Ottawa. The FCA acts to inform its members on planning and development issues which is a different mandate from the Greenspace Alliance. By sharing resources we can both improve our services to members.
It was also suggested that personal contact with other organizations is the best way to attract interest in belonging to the Alliance. Each member is asked to contact as many other organizations as they know to inform them of our existence. The revised Vision Statement provides an entry point in explaining the Greenspace Alliance. The summary on page 2 of the Vision Statement could provide an “Action Plan”.
Background on and Status of Heron-Walkley OMB appeal
The N.C.C owns a corridor of land between Smyth Road and the Southern Corridor along the CPR railway tracks. After sustained lobbying by the Alta Vista Environmental Resource Team (AVERT), the NCC made a secret deal with city planning staff to preserve the part of this corridor in the Alta Vista area by changing the Official Plan to allow high density housing in the southern part of the corridor between Heron Road, Walkley Road and the CPR tracks. This destruction of greenspace used by a large number of low income residents to preserve greenspace for high income residents is being appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board by the Heron-Walkley Greenspace Coalition.
Unfortunately, the rules of the OMB are stacked heavily against citizens. Only citizens and corporations can appear before the OMB so any ad-hoc organization either must incorporate at great expense or rely on individuals to carry the appeal. Since there are no expenses granted, the whole cost of an appeal is placed on individual citizens. As well, the hearings are held during the day and leave for evening sittings is seldom given requiring appearances during the day. Transcripts are paid for by appellants so one must attend all days of sitting to avoid losing rights of appearance.
Developers get to deduct these costs as business expenses but citizens bear them all themselves. Brian Hawley also found that the OMB would not change its practice even when he explained that he had a disability that prevents him from attending more than a few hours a day of procedure.
Meeting ended at 9:10 p.m.
December 5 at Greenboro Community Centre, Lorry Greenberg Drive at 7:00 Focus will be on projects, priorities and recruitment pamphlet.
(Note time because room is only available to 9:00)
Chair Erica Burns
Secretary Bill Royds (minutes and membership records)
Communications Tom Gabor (liaison with press) with help of Shelley Parlow, Amy Kempster,
Erwin Dreessen and Brian Hawley
Recruitment Shelley Parlow, Erica Burns and Erwin Dreessen