General Meeting – 25 February 2004

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

DRAFT Minutes of the General Meeting of February 25, 2004

Billings Room, City Hall


Members: Bill Royds (meeting chair), Chris Szpak (minute taker), Barbara Barr, Bill Grant, Amy Kempster, J.P. Unger

1. Meeting was called to order at 7:37 p.m.

2. Adoption of the Agenda

The following amendments were made to the Agenda: Item 3-Westboro Beach presentation replaced by Approval of Nominated officers and Approval Procedure for Board Decisions.

The following items were added:

  • General announcements and reports added as item 8 and items following that renumbered
  • Hawthorne Marsh added as item 9.(f)

Motion: B. Barr moved and C. Szpak seconded acceptance of the Agenda as amended. Carried.

3. Approval of the meeting minutes of January 28, 2004:

Motion: B. Barr moved and A. Kempster seconded to approve the minutes of the January 28, 2004 general meeting as amended to read: “A brief meeting of the Directors was held immediately after the General Meeting. By consensus, C. Szpak was nominated to be both Vice-Chair and Secretary, B. Barr to continue as Treasurer, and J.P. Unger to continue as Director of Communications.” Carried.

4. Treasurer’s Report:

The Treasurer proposed that the Alliance place $2,000 from its current balance into a 3-month, renewable GIC.

Motion: C. Szpak moved and A. Kempster seconded to approve the proposal. Carried.

5. Membership Report:

No new membership applications have been received since the last general meeting. However, out of 23 reminders for renewal that have been sent out, 11 have sent in their renewals.

B. Barr will continue to send out reminders.

6. Approval of Officers/Procedures for Board Decisions:

Motion: C. Szpak moved and A. Kempster seconded the approval of the appointment of C. Szpak as Vice-Chair and B. Barr as Treasurer, and J.P. Unger to continue as Director of Communications. Carried.

Regarding the process of reaching decisions by the Board outside of meetings, it was the consensus through the Chair (no objections):

– To recognize B. Barr as the Director responsible for liaison with the City and A. Kempster as the Director responsible for liaison with the NCC. They will act as the principal contacts/spoke persons for the Alliance when dealing respectively with the City and the NCC.

– Whereas questions of policy or strategic direction can only be decided at meetings, operations questions can be decided by email. An email for a consensus on how to proceed on a certain issue can be initiated by any one of the Directors. A time limit will be given for all Directors to respond. A Director who has not responded will be telephoned rather than assuming no response indicates approval. If there is no consensus, the action will not be taken.

– W. Grant will be the liaison with OFGAC.

7. Business Arising from the Minutes:

(a) Leitrim Design Study:

B. Barr reported on the second Community Design workshop which was held February 23, 2004 at the Leitrim Community Hall. The consulting team presented three concept plans for review, and began development of a final concept plan. The Alliance was the only environmental organization to have a representative present and continued to object to the building of the Tartan and the future Remer stormwater facilities.

The Alliance is participating with other groups to petition the federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, asking for a review of the DFO’s evaluation of the Leitrim development’s environmental impact. Questions have been submitted to various Ministers who have 120 days to respond.

B. Barr will make a presentation to the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee on March 25 to object to the abandonment of Findlay Creek Municipal Drain and its replacement with an External Stormwater Management System on the Tartan property. The City is not complying with its responsibility to implement a one-year pre-construction groundwater monitoring program before the stormwater facility is built.

B. Barr to prepare submission and make presentation.

(b) Official Plan Appeal:

It was agreed that a letter be sent to the City requesting that the Alliance be involved in any appeals touching on any section dealing with greenspace and the environment. A. Kempster will draft letter.

A strategy meeting regarding the OP appeal will be held at C. Szpak’s home, 1:00 p.m., Sunday (March 7).

(c) Planning Act Revisions (Bill 26):

Motion: A. Kempster moved and B. Barr seconded that Erwin Dreessen take the lead in drafting the Alliance’s response on the proposed program changes to the Planning Act and circulate the draft for comment. Carried. E. Dreessen to draft response.

(d) Wildlife Festival:

The Alliance has registered for cost-free exhibit space at the Wildlife Festival to be held  at Carlingwood Mall April 2-4. The Poets’ Pathway Committee will work with the Alliance. Volunteers will be needed to sit at the table during the Festival. A. Kempster volunteered.

(e) Newsletter:

A draft of the newsletter will be sent out for review after the current meeting. Members are asked to send in their comments to J.P. Unger who will have a final draft done before the beginning of April. J.P. Unger to prepare draft.

(f) Urban Design Study (NCC):

The NCC will be holding a workshop in 2004 as part of creating an Urban Area Master Plan for the urban lands outside the core area. The NCC announced at Planning Committee that they are beginning the study and stated that the Alliance will be one of the groups to be consulted.

(g) City Draft Budget:

A meeting to finalize the Alliance’s presentation before PEC will be held at C. Szpak’s home, 1:00 p.m., Sunday (February 29). C. Szpak to draft presentation to PEC.

(h) Constance Creek:

A proposal for a country lot subdivision in an area near Constance Creek with a classification as a Rural Natural Feature was approved by PEC with a revision to zone a small wetland area for protection. Part of the wetland will be in the back yards of country lots, however. The Alliance had objected to the country lot subdivision. B. Barr to monitor this development.

(i) 1179 Dozois Road:

The Alliance submitted a comment to PEC on an application to develop country lots in a Rural Natural Feature at 1179 Dozois Road, asking that an Environmental Assessment be done before the application be considered. The Alliance sill continue to monitor the application. B. Barr to monitor this application.

8. Announcements:

(a) NCC and Greenspace:

A. Kempster reported that Councillor Shawn Little has had some discussions with the NCC about greenspace and other lands in his ward while denying to the local community association that he had done so.

(b) Kanata Compensation Lands:

A. Kempster reported that there was general agreement among those present at a meeting in Kanata to preserve more forested lands north of the pond. The matter will be before PEC on March 23. A. Kempster will attend PEC meeting.

9. New Business:

(a) City Budget (see 7.(g)).

(b) Trillium Grant for Poets’ Pathway Development:

The Poets’ Pathway Committee proposes to apply for a Trillium grant to develop the pathway section in the Southern Corridor.

Motion: A. Kempster moved and B. Barr seconded that the Chair sign on behalf of the Alliance, a grant proposal by the Poets’ Pathway Committee to develop the Pathway section in the Southern Corridor. Carried.

(c) Rogers TV Report:

B. Royds reported that he and A. Kempster appeared on a local morning show televised by Rogers. They gave an overview of the Greenspace Alliance and its work, and highlighted the ongoing threats to the environment in Ottawa.

(d) Volunteer Status:

J.P. Unger has been meeting and briefing potential volunteers about the Alliance and its work. Most have been interested in working on the website which, at the moment, is not needed, so they have been recommended to other environmental groups.

It was also reported under this item, that the Alliance has received the rights to maintain the Greenmap from Friends of the Earth. It is now necessary to negotiate the rights for the data.

(e) Report of OFGAC Publicity Event:

Some members from the Alliance took part in the publicity event, organized by OFGAC to criticize the proposed budget cuts to environmental programs. The event was on TV news but was not picked up by the print  media.

(f) Hawthorne Marsh:

The City approved the sale of land at 3020 Hawthorne Road where the marsh is located. B. Barr, working on behalf of the Alliance, advocated first for the protection of the marsh and second, if the land was to be sold, that the money go to the Environmental Resources Acquisition Fund. Subsequently, Councillor Diane Deans made a motion at Council that an amount of money equivalent to the size of the marsh be directed to the Fund. The motion was carried.

10. Adjournment:

Motion: B. Barr moved and A. Kempster seconded to adjourn the meeting. Carried. Meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.


DFO     Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Federal)

FCA     Federation of Citizens’ Associations

MOE    Ministry of the Environment

NCC     National Capital Commission

NTREE National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy

OFGAC Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee

OMB     Ontario Municipal Board

PEC       City Planning and Environment Committee