GREENSPACE ALLIANCE OF CANADA’S CAPITAL
November 27, 2012
Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street West
Present: Sol Shuster (chair), Amy Kempster, Erwin Dreessen (note taker), Jason Kania, Martin Callsen and Lorne Peterson
Regrets: Elina Elnione and Juan Pedro Unger
The meeting commenced at 7:25 p.m.
- Administration items
Erwin moved, seconded by Sol, to accept the Minutes of October 30 as circulated. Agreed.
- Room reservations
Action: Amy will call Howard Friendly (HCC) tomorrow to make reservations for January-June on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
- Treasurer’s report
Erwin provided the status of our bank account and cash.
- Server upgrade
Jason moved, seconded by Erwin, to accept the proposal for converting our list service and web site to a “virtual server” at a cost of not more than $204/year plus HST. Agreed.
Action: Erwin will contact Ron Rancourt. Jason will make the final choice of service company and implement the proposal.
- Business arising from the Minutes
- Comment on the Provincial Policy Statement
Our 10-page, 86-comment submission was made on November 23 and copies were forwarded to all members of Council and three senior staff, with ten comments highlighted in the cover note. Further follow-up: to the web site and the list; to F.U.N. (Archie Campbell), Gravel Watch Ontario, the Planning for Sustainability group (incl. EcoJustice, CELA), and Ontario Nature.
- Lower Rideau Sub-watershed Report
- Cooperating with Ecology Ottawa
There has been further dialogue with Graham Saul. Areas identified for potential cooperation include: on Trees, esp. grass-roots Ash Borer action, through their Community Network; and issues arising in the Official Plan 2014 review.
Action: Amy will contact Graham Saul to discuss next steps. Martin will write to Councillor McRae, cc other Council members, asking when the Greenhouse Gas Round Table will be acted upon and confirming interest in participating; he will confer with Charles Hodgson (Ecology Ottawa) and Martin Canning.
- Registration with the National Capital Environmental Nonprofit Network (NCENN) and the Green Pages Directory
The Alliance is now registered.
- Community Design Plan for former Rockcliffe airbase
Canada Lands Corporation’s November 26 “Ideas Fair” was well organized and well attended. CLC does not envisage one formal Public Advisory Committee but instead a more fluid structure, with various constellations of interested parties.
Action: Erwin will contact Al Crosby to suggest expressing interest in the Technical Advisory Committee meetings for the project.
- Transition to the new Nonprofit Corporations Act
- Comment on the Provincial Policy Statement
- Tree, forest and biodiversity initiative
The outcome and follow-up to Heather Hamilton’s meeting of November 1 was discussed. It was agreed that the Alliance would not favour setting up a new organization at this time. Instead, a Coalition model was suggested that would bring together and offer value-added to various initiatives including the Champlain Bur Oaks project, Ecology Ottawa’s Tree Ottawa initiative, neighbourhood action against the Emerald Ash Borer, and KNL’s threat to proceed with Phases 7 and 8 in the South March Highlands. The Alliance’s specific contribution to the Coalition would be the EAB action.
Action: Erwin will convey these suggestions at Heather’s next meeting on November 29.Lorne pointed out that excessive infill can lead to a loss of many trees in neighbourhoods. He will write to the Mayor, providing an example and acute case on a large corner lot at Cole and Princeton Avenues in Westboro. He will copy the list and also publish it on the web site.
- FCA Environment Committee
The Federation of Citizens’ Associations’ tentative proposal to form an Environment Committee was discussed. While it was generally agreed that, if established, the Committee should focus on what other groups are not doing, there may be issues such as the EAB where a number of groups should be acting in concert with each other.
Action: Amy will indicate to James O’Grady and Agnes Varda that she will attend a first meeting to help hammer out proposed terms of reference.
- Ottawa Official Plan review
It was noted that environmental matters appear to be absent from staff’s agenda and that very few opportunities for public involvement are planned. FCA has five persons at the ready to participate in the “Community Panel” which has held its first meeting on November 15. The Alliance is supportive of FCA’s attempt to engage in a higher-level dialogue with senior City staff on current public consultation practices.The absence of any public process with regard to the Development Charges review (due early 2014) was noted, recognizing, however that it must follow the updates of the transportation and infrastructure master plans.
Amy will contact Judy Makin to discuss the outcome of the rural consultations that have taken place. Staff plans call this the “Rural Components Update.”
Erwin will contact Bob Brocklebank to discuss a joint letter demanding a seat at the table for the DC review.
On substance, apart from the DC review, three issues identified so far are:
Following acceptance of the City’s natural corridors study (committed to as part of the Alliance’s settlement in the OMB urban boundary hearings), amend the Annex that describes the methodology for identifying new urban areas; and designation of specific areas as part of the city’s natural heritage system.
Modify the definition of “significant woodlands” so as to not require a “surface or ground water feature.”
Continued watch on country lot estates policy and urban expansion plans if any.
Action: Martin and Erwin will, in separate ways, attempt to find out what the status is of the Environmental Resources Areas Acquisition Fund and if Budget 2013 included an allocation to it.
See above for certain options that could be pursued. Amy noted that some Wards have substantial funds earmarked from cash-in-lieu-of-park that could be used to help finance treatment of ash trees.
The Cumulative Transportation Impact Study was discussed at a Public Advisory Committee meeting on November 19. The Study’s methodology was generally well received. Thirty road projects have been identified and classified in three groups — the “red” category includes Hope Side Road extension. These will be the part of the upcoming public consultations to be held in January or February 2013.
The Study was an information item for the Board of Directors meeting that same week.
It was agreed that we should try to have a speaker or an event for the next Annual General Meeting. Some potential speakers were discussed.
Action: Lorne will contact landscape ecologist Gray Merriam.
It was agreed to cancel the meeting scheduled for December 18 and instead aim for Tuesday, January 8, 2013 as the next meeting date.
The meeting adjourned at 9:58 p.m.