General Meeting – 24 June 2010

Friends of the Greenspace Alliance
Meeting of June 24, 2010, 7:00 PM
Board Room, Conservation Co-op

Members present: Joseph Potvin, Janice Seline, Amy Kempster
Guests: Edelweiss D’Andrea, Jan Innes
The meeting commenced at 7:00 p.m.

1. Welcome and agenda

2. Adoption of agenda

3. Treasurer’s Report:
Janice Seline reported new revenue, reminding that $500 has been promised to the “South March Highlands – Carp River Conservation Inc.” activist group.

4. Update on Beaver Pond Forest / Terry Fox Drive Extension
Jan Innes attended the meeting on behalf of the South March Highlands – Carp River Conservation Inc. Jan reported that the Beaver Pond group has arranged to meet the city Planning Committee. There will be a public meeting via the Planning and Environment Committee.

Jan noted that Counselor Marianne Wilkinson withdrew her motion for a land swap. Jan said the area of what would be saved is shrinking dramatically, and that blasting will proceed. Jan also mentioned a Wednesday rally at Beaver Pond. There was public consultation in the 1980s (esp 1982), and also meeting 5 years ago with the Ottawa Forest and Greenspace Advisory Committee (OFGAC). The theme was: “How much can we save?”

Fundraising is underway right now. Several community associations are helping out. FGA should invite members to email Jan with their email address and phone to donate or to buy a promotional calendar.

5. Lessons Learned from Leitrim & OPA77
This was a discussion of future FGA strategy/tactics when using legal processes.

Janice and Joseph agreed that we should always require a motion to state why FGA would go to the next stage in a legal process. We should not proceed without voting.

While agreeing that sometimes litigation must be pursued, we discussed using the AGM event to host a panel to discuss the relative merits and weaknesses of litigation versus communications and other strategies.

6. Update on the Common Ground Project in Chelsea
Joseph reported that the Municipality of Chelsea is set to effectively ban greenspace from new development.

We discussed the possibility of a significant FGA reaction to this, such as an open letter of complaint to Quebec Minister of Municipal Affairs.

We should ask the Minister for a way to re-zone Agricultural land as Agricultural. The developer might also potentially donate greenspace to Chelsea or Nature Conservancy under a covenant.

7. Joseph will go to CAFES Group on June 26 2010, to outline the “Green my Capital” initiative.

8. Appeals to Ottawa Official Plan Amendment 76 (OP review)
Amy reported that our own appeal is in with Ken McRae and it is strong. But Amy, Janice and Joseph agreed we would want full agreement of this board before proceeding through to court.

There are currently 19 appeals of the Urban Boundary. Amy asked to be party to the Ottawa Homebuilders appeal. We would be on the same side as the City.

Amy suggests that we should be party to the Country Lot Estates appeal. The City put through a moratorium, and has to defend it, so we are on city’s side. We are on the same side as the lawyer for the Ministry of Housing, it appears. Being party means we can put forward evidence. We could call a witness that the City may not call.

It was agreed that FGA be a “Participant” in the Urban Boundary case, but to be party to Country Lot Estates proposals, due to time limitations.

9. Plan for Increasing Participation in FGA.
Edelweiss has some good ideas on this and we will discuss them in more detail ahead of the AGM.

10. Plans for FGA AGM, possibly October 2010.
The tentative theme is: “Debate: Defending Local Greenspace through Litigation or Through Media Tactics: Strategic and Tactical Lessons Learned for the Coming Decade”

11. Membership
Motion: Janice moved, seconded by Amy, that Edelweiss d’Andrea be accepted as a member. Agreed.

12. Status of Website Updates
The “new” website is up to date save for a minor update to the Drupal software. [Archivist’s note: This refers to our then-new Drupal web site.  The current site’s home page is]

Meeting adjourned at 8:30.