GREENSPACE ALLIANCE OF CANADA’S CAPITAL
October 26, 2015
Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street West
Members present: Nicole DesRoches (chair), Erwin Dreessen (notetaker), Amy Steele, Paul Johanis, Jason Kania, Juan Pedro Unger, Sol Shuster, David McNicoll and Lorne Peterson
The meeting commenced at 7:20 p.m.
A modified agenda was agreed upon.
2. Administrative items
a. Minutes of September 28: Erwin moved, seconded by Amy, to approve the September 28 Minutes as circulated. Agreed.
b. Treasurer’s report: Erwin moved, seconded by Jason, to approve paying Nicole $13.40 for refreshments for the October 6 FCA meeting, and paying Erwin $172.89 for reprinting of 200 brochures and 50 business cards. Agreed.
3. Action updates
a. FCA meeting on October 6: The consensus was that the meeting went well, with five GA members attending, many hands making the work light. Erwin’s and Nick Stow’s presentations were well received, though little time remained for discussion. The presence of Councillor Jeff Leiper was noted.
b. Strategy for communication with Councillors: Sol spoke with Councillor Rick Chiarelli. We agreed to meet with him to discuss optimal strategy to get better results from our submissions. JP noted that, not unrelated, penetrating the media remains a challenge as well. Paul opined that the GA tends to be reactive and could tell a better story about what it does; he volunteered to put some “framework” thoughts together. Amy pleaded for protection of small areas. Nicole agreed we should review our priorities. Action: Sol to find a suitable date and place for a meeting with Chiarelli; all Board members expressed an interest in attending.
c. Volunteers: Erwin is meeting an Ottawa U student tomorrow who the following morning will interview Clarke Topp on the subject of soil science and why its research requires very long time periods. Videotaping of the interview almost happened but we do have now someone who will for a nominal sum produce a video for us. Erwin wondered whether we should spend $100 on finally getting the tape of the June 2013 Forum mounted. However, Paul is able to do this. Action: Erwin will send Paul the tapes. Finally: we are now a Community Partner in Ottawa U’s volunteering programs. Any Dirrector can register in their own name under the GA and offer projects (“placements”).
d. Sunset Lakes appeal: Erwin received positive feedback from his daily tweets. (JP reported we gain about two followers a day on Twitter.) In his perception, the evidence was much stronger on the City’s side than on the appellant’s. However, in Final Argument, the City did not ask that the country lot estate policy come into force. This leaves the door open for others to yet argue against the prohibition of future such subdivisions.
4. Provincial reviews
a. Wetlands policy: Various aspects of Nicole’s draft were discussed. Nicole will finalize. Post-meeting note: The following day substantive further input was received from Iola Price.
b. Municipal legislation: There was agreement with the submission circulated by Erwin.
5. Other business
a. Tree disasters: The recent damage to mature oaks in Champlain Park was noted. At Councillor Leiper’s request, staff will report on enforcement of the urban trees by-law. Ecology Ottawa is convening meetings to hammer out a strategy to get real results out of the City’s Urban Forest Management project, launched September 23; Erwin is attending. Our follow-up email to Martha Copestake was sent on October 13.
b. Federal elections: Expectations are high for a more enlightened environmental policy.
c. GA List postings: Sol expressed bafflement that a recent posting had been rejected by the moderator. Erwin explained that on the rare occasions that a posting is rejected, he writes to the originator to explain the reason. In this case, the posting was largely a repeat from one by JP which Sol had missed. He was invited to do a posting to inform subscribers of the raft of newsletters now being produced by City Hall. (JP posts the one from the Planning Department through.)
6. Brief reports
a. NCC Urban Lab – October 1: Larry Beasley and Jonathan Barnett presented their book, Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs (Island Press, 2015). Erwin noted that point one in their implementation suggestions is to foster better collaboration and public engagement, instead of city halls being war zones.
b. NCC Urban Lab – October 22: Three researchers presented their work: 1- Are there wolves in Gatineau Park? 2- Climate change work in Mer Bleue; 3- The Ottawa Valley as an Important Bird Area (IBA).
c. NCENN meeting – October 23: No-one from GA could attend.
d. The next FCA meeting will be on November 2, in Manotick. Its focus will be the City Budget.
The meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
The next monthly meeting will be on November 23, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. in the Hintonburg CC.