GREENSPACE ALLIANCE OF CANADA’S CAPITAL
April 25, 2016
Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street West
Members present: Nicole DesRoches (chair), Amy Steele, Erwin Dreessen (notetaker), John Almstedt, Bruce Lindsay, Judy Makin, Jason Kania, Sol Shuster and Lorne Peterson
Regrets: Paul Johanis, David McNicoll, Iola Price, Juan Pedro Unger, Elise Saint-Martin
Note: Paul provided written input.
The meeting commenced at 7:23 p.m.
A modified agenda was agreed upon.
2. Administrative items
a. Minutes of March 21, 2016: Erwin moved, seconded by Bruce, to approve the Minutes as amended. Agreed.
b. Membership report: Bruce briefly reviewed the status of our paid-up membership.
c. Treasurer’s report: Erwin moved, seconded by John, to pay Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict $56.50 for a table on Sparks on June 9; Jason $170.40 for web service invoices; Bruce $158.34 for printing; and Ontario Environmental network $40.00 for membership renewal. Agreed.
d. AGM – May 30: All current members of the Board have agreed to serve again. It was agreed to have a simple business meeting. Action: Erwin to send out a call for nominations and the AGM Notice, and start drafting the Annual Report based on meeting minutes compiled by Elise.
e. Meeting dates: Next meeting dates will be Mondays 27 June, 25 July and 22 August. Meeting dates through May 2017 will continue to be on Mondays, usually the 4th of the month.
f. Promotion material: Bruce displayed the board and desk top materials he proposed to have for the event in Aberdeen Pavilion on April 27. Action: JP and Paul to make suggestions about materials displaying our own work. Jason to see whether we can obtain a high-resolution version of our logo and name. Jason will add greenspace@… to our email addresses so that the stock of bookmarks can continue to be used.
3. Action updates
a. Status of projects with student volunteers: Amy and Erwin met with two students on April 21; they will work on an analysis of OMB decisions, modeled on two 2003 studies. A law student will take on the issue of municipal obligation to buy environmentally sensitive land. On April 14 Erwin met with a graduate student experienced in survey design; we can expect a first draft by the end of the month. Another student will become available in June who is interested in comparing public engagement practices. Finally, three volunteers were delivered to Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict for the event on June 9.
b. Urban Forest Management Strategy: Paul attended another meeting of the Task Force led by Ecology Ottawa. There will be a mid-course stakeholder consultation. The Task Force’s policy proposals are being used as a checklist by City staff.
c. Protecting the Central Experimental Farm: There was a very productive meeting of stakeholders convened by the Agricultural Institute of Canada on April 11; we are now awaiting AIC’s report before planning our next move. There was also another meeting with Min. Yasir Naqvi and several more letters of support for protection of the Farm were received.
d. Road tolls study: Despite a significant weakening of the recommendation at Transportation Committee on April 6, even a study of “the causes of congestion” was voted down at Council on April 13, with just eight Councillors voting in favour.
e. Area 1 final Open House – March 30: Both Paul and Judy attended. Judy would like to see an overlay of natural features with the Community Design Plan as it is not clear what and how much is being retained. Rural woodlot S23 would be gifted to the City in exchange for having the stormwater pond in the adjacent area rather than within the urban boundary. This is headed for Planning Committee on June 28. Three of the four objections noted last month stand. Action: Erwin to draft a comment to staff before the May 11 deadline for Board approval.
f. Site alteration by-law: Iola and Erwin met with staff on April 7. Four FCA members have agreed to join them, working with the City on the development of this by-law. Faith Blacquière, Ken McRae and Paul Renaud will also advise.
4. Options for celebrating 2017
We had seven options before us as proposals for the Ottawa Community 2017 Fund Program. This was narrowed down to two for further investigation: Elements of an Ottawa River Pathway, and an Urban Wetland Park along the Carp River. John will join Nicole and Iola in the committee. The Aviva Fund competition was noted as another potential source of funding. Action: A more detailed proposal to be tabled for next meeting.
5. Brief reports
a. Carleton U Practicum presentations and reception – April 6: Paul attended; he and Erwin received a nice certificate for having sponsored a Practicum.
b. FCA Governance Committee – meeting with staff, April 12: City Hall finally appears to get serious about improving public engagement practices in planning matters. On a related matter, note was taken of Ontario’s launch of a Public Engagement Framework and Public Consultations Directory. Finally, we noted that as part of Ottawa’s Open Data initiative, one can now play Minecraft to build a desired city (ref.: data.ottawa.ca/dataset/geo-ottawa-minecraft; on-line community: email@example.com).
c. FCA monthly meeting – April 22: Invited speaker was Dr. Louise Plouffe, for Age Friendly Ottawa.
d. NCENN meeting – April 22: Jonathan Wade made a presentation on Social Enterprise. The meeting was again sparsely attended. The next meeting will be on May 22 at Wintergreen Studios in South Frontenac; topic: getting to 100% Renewable Energy. The final meeting of the season will be a roundtable on June 24, at the West End Well.
e. FCA Workshop – April 23: About 40 people attended a morning workshop, discussing Community Development Plans (led by Christine Leadman), the Development Charges Scandal (Erwin), Transportation Planning (Alex Cullen), and Health and Environment (Heather Pearl).
The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.
The next meeting will be our AGM and will be held on Monday, May 30, 2016 at 7:15 p.m. in the Hintonburg CC. A regular General Meeting will follow the AGM.