General Meeting – 24 April 2012


Greenspace Watch

Meeting of April 24, 2012

Colonnade Restaurant

280 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa


Members present: Amy Kempster (chair), Erwin Dreessen (note taker), Elina Elnione, Sol Shuster, James O’Grady
Guests: Martin Callsen, Donna DuBreuil, Greg Helferty, Roufa Therrien, Louisa Coates
Regrets: Jason Kania, Juan Pedro Unger, Paul Tulloch, Iola Price, Meg Sears, Heather Hamilton

The meeting commenced at 7:15 p.m.

  1. Agenda
    The agenda was accepted as circulated, with the addition of three items.
  2. Minutes of March 27, 2012
    Erwin moved, seconded by Amy, to accept the Minutes as circulated. Agreed.
  3. Treasurer’s Report
    Erwin moved, seconded by Sol, to (a) pay $30.00 for the annual corporate filing to Industry Canada; (b) pay Erwin $5.57 for administrative expense.
  4. Memberships
    Sol moved, seconded by Erwin to (a) approve Associate Membership of the Cumberland Community Association (represented by Rebecca Dufton); and (b) approve the membership of Martin Callsen. Agreed.
  5. New Directors
    Sol moved, seconded by Erwin to appoint James O’Grady, Martin Callsen and Juan Pedro Unger as Directors, understanding that they are appointed until the upcoming AGM, at which time they will serve for the year following. Agreed.
  6. Annual General Meeting
    The date of the next AGM was confirmed for Tuesday, May 29, 2012. It will be held in the Champlain Park Fieldhouse, 149 Cowley Avenue, Ottawa.
  7. Emerald Ash Borer Strategy
    Sol had circulated a draft for discussion. The objectives were generally agreed upon:

    1. To lobby the City to declare an immediate moratorium on all Ash tree cutting on City property, except when public safety is a factor;
    2. To get the City to change its strategy and save as many Ash trees as possible by bringing to bear the most current pest management research on the problem.

    It was noted that the treatment season ends in August/September, so the timeframe to achieve change is tight.

    Louisa handed Sol a number of documents collected since her involvement in the issue.

    Donna emphasized that the economics of the argument for change are very strong and will resonate with Councillors.

    The following tasks were agreed upon:

    1. A 2- to 5-page synthesis of all information available from the City to date, identifying missing information: Roufa and Louisa.
    2. The economics of the issue: Paul Tulloch and Donna.
    3. The state of the science: Donna.
    4. Group contacts, informing them and asking how they want to get involved:
      • FCA: James. Especially active CAs: Rothwell Heights, Rockliffe Park.
      • Ecology Ottawa, OFNC, OFGAC, RIAC and EAC: Sol.
      • OCWC: Donna.
      • CAFES: Erwin.
      • SMH-CRC: Martin.
    5. Media contacts: Erwin and James will share the most up to date list.
    6. Facebook page: Roufa will start one.
    7. Web site: For now, a Topic in the General Discussion forum on the Greenspace Alliance web site ([…]) will be used for updates. Erwin.
    8. Ward Councils, individual Community Associations and the use of Petitions: To be considered later.
    9. Political strategy: A parallel path with both elected officials and staff will be followed. Our top priority is to meet with the mayor as soon as our strategy has been completed.

    James noted that the slow response of the City to the problem (1% of City-owned ash trees treated so far), and the need for a treatment option for residents, offers a potential business opportunity. This could be our Plan B, if the City is insufficiently responsive.

  8. Planning Summit of 26 April, 2012
    Erwin had circulated a compilation of potential speaking points that could be useful at the Summit — issues contributed by SMH and GA List subscribers over the last few weeks. He noted that over half of the points made fall under the rubric “Governance and City-wide issues.” Key are consultation issues (the main point FCA will make), guidelines for the Committees of Adjustment and more transparency, and the working of democracy at City Hall. Among topics that may come up in the morning Roundtables, the call for no spot zoning and respect for Community Design Plans are key. In the afternoon Roundtables as well, CDPs will be discussed. Erwin suggested that in all cases, they should become a Secondary Plan in Volume 2 of the Official Plan, so that they have legal status.In the last few days, further contributions were made on the List regarding corporate memory loss, economic development and intensification.
  9. Ottawa Stewardship Council
    Board members were circulated on a request from Mark Rowsell, Chair of the the Ottawa Stewardship Council, to express disagreement with new directions from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Elina will look into this further.

Other agenda items were deferred as the restaurant was closing.

Adjournment at 9:04 p.m.

Next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 29, at the Champlain Park Fieldhouse, 140 Cowley Street, at 7:15 p.m. for Greenspace Watch’s first Annual General Meeting, followed by a regular monthly meeting.