GREENSPACE ALLIANCE OF CANADA’S CAPITAL
October 24, 2016
Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street West
Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Nicole DesRoches, Erwin Dreessen (notetaker), Amy Steele, Bruce Lindsay, David McNicoll, Jason Kania, Juan Pedro Unger
Guest: Greg Elliott
Regrets: Sol Shuster
On display: Our new banner!
The meeting commenced at 7:20 p.m.
1. Adoption of the Agenda
A modified agenda was agreed upon.
2. Administrative items
a. Minutes of September 26, 2016: Erwin moved, seconded by Nicole, to adopt the Minutes as circulated. Agreed.
b. Membership report: Bruce moved, seconded by Erwin, to accept the membership the Crestview Meadowlands Community Association (represented by Greg Elliott). Agreed.
c. Treasurer’s report: Amy moved, seconded by Erwin, to pay Bruce $197.75 for the cost of the banner and for business cards. Agreed.
Erwin distributed an Interim Financial Statement for the period April 1 – October 3 and reported that he had transferred the Treasurer’s papers to Amy earlier that day.
3. New action items
a. Urban Forest Management Plan: The draft report is now available on the City’s web site. Paul reported that, upon preliminary review, it seemed coherent, with clearly defined scope and five 4-year planning periods. He will attend the Tree Ottawa task force meeting on October 27 and the external stakeholder meetings of November 8 and 22. Public meetings were announced earlier today and posted to the GA List; they will take place on November 21 (afternoon and evening) and 22 (evening).
b. OMB reform: Erwin went through highlights of his answers to the Ministry’s 24 questions posted to the GA and FCA Lists on October 15. Some additional points made included that more response time to motions is needed and that there should be more time between a pre-hearing conference and the start of a hearing. As well, the responses should distinguish between two scenarios: with, or short of a reform that would see the end of de novo hearings. The theme of the next FCA General Meeting on November 7 will be OMB reform; Erwin will be part of the panel. As well, Yasir Naqvi is holding a town hall meeting on November 9.
c. Green Plan for Eastern Ontario: Paul presented a framework that was shown at the October 17 meeting of the informal group that is discussing the development of a conservation plan for Eastern Ontario. His scalable framework proposes compiling an inventory, monitoring, an education and communication step, followed by collaboration, advocacy, campaigning and litigating. He suggested that, if nothing else, this framework could serve to help set the Alliance’s agenda.
Erwin distributed a 1-pager prepared by John Karau that could serve as a guide for a workshop or conference in 2017. The group will next meet on November 10.
d. Volunteer management: Two students are currently working on public engagement best practices. Another is preparing a brief about a city’s alleged requirement to buy land if wants to protect it. Over the summer three students worked on the review of OMB decisions and another assisted Phil Mount on the LEAR review file. Several new volunteers have recently come forward, including law students of the Club de la terre at Ottawa U. Action: JP will routinely give initial responses to prospective volunteers. Everyone should think of ways to involve volunteers — to be coordinated by Paul.
e. Redefinition of Significant Woodlands: We discussed some aspects of the proposals presented by Nick Stow at a stakeholders meeting on September 12 (available on our web site). Final proposals will come to Planning Committee on November 22. Action: Paul will present our position on the proposals.
4. Reports on previous action items
a. Ontario Trillium Foundation: Erwin reported on the presentation by Trillium Foundation staff at the September 23 NCENN meeting. A redesign of their granting practices has been in the works since 2015, with strong emphasis on measurable outcomes in 2 to 3 year time frames, tied to the University of Waterloo’s Canadian Index of Wellbeing. Specific goals for the “Green People” component are protection and restoration of ecosystems; and reducing impact on the environment. Specific expected grant results under each are spelled out. Policy advocacy would continue to be ineligible, at least directly. The Foundation is about to launch a Knowledge Centre.
b. Employment lands study and new projections for population, housing and employment: Several members attend an information session on September 29. Information was posted to the FCA and GA Lists and our web site the following day. The projection methodology has been much improved, in part inspired by proposals made by Paul during his appeal of OPA 76.
c. KNL lands and Kizell Drain: On October 6 Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee deferred the item to its November 24 meeting. Extensive critique by Faith Blacquière may result in a revised report. It was agreed that abandoning Kizell Drain would be the best solution to the multiple challenges posed in this watercourse. Action: Erwin will monitor the new report when it becomes available and propose a submission.
d. Parks People: Paul met with a representative on October 6. The Poets’ Pathway and the Shoreline Neighbours projects met with great interest.
e. C.E.F and the new hospital: Paul was part of the panel that discussed the location for a new hospital at the FCA meeting of October 11.
f. Airport Parkway widening: Given that we saw no grounds for requesting a Part II Order under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act, there was no reason to make a submission on the Environmental Study Report by the October 11 deadline. The ESR turned out at first not to be available at the Carleton U library; City staff now knows it must insist on immediate cataloging given the 30-day window for public inspection.
g. EBR review: We continue to expect input from Ian Whyte and Ken Buchan for a November 8 deadline. Action: Paul to contact Ian.
h. Wetland Conservation Strategy: Action: Nicole will propose a submission (deadline November 16), further to our October 2015 letter.
i. OPA 173 appeal: Paul and Erwin have met to plan for the hearing on December 8 and 9. We made an offer to enter into mediation.
j. GA 20/Canada 150 event: a Champlain Park volunteer has been identified. We should learn this Thursday if we were successful in our grant application.
5. Upcoming events
a. NCENN meeting, October 28: Action: Paul will attend.
b. Healthy Transportation Coalition meeting, November 8: Action: Nicole will attend.
c. Federal EA review, November 8 workshop: Action: David will attend.
6. Information items
a. Water, Wastewater and Stormwater rate restructuring: Erwin’s op-ed will be published in tomorrow’s Ottawa Citizen and is also available on StittsvilleCentral.ca and UnpublishedOttawa.com.
b. Baseline transit corridor: A proposal to create a bus lane in the median of Baseline is now at the EA stage. It would shave 10 m off the C.E.F. Action: Paul will bring this issue to the Coalition to Protect the Farm.
c. Hosting an FCA General Meeting: We have agreed to host the March 2017 meeting.
d. Poets’ Pathway: Paul, Erwin and Greg met with Councillor Chiarelli on October 13, at his invitation. They discussed the short and medium term strategy to protect the Woodroffe-Merrivale Corridor. Action: In response to the Transit Project Assessment report, Paul will send in a letter supportive of the Poets’ Pathway before the October 30 deadline.
The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
The next meeting will be on November 28, 2016 at 7:15 p.m. at the Hintonburg CC.