General Meeting – 31 January 2013


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting

January 31, 2013

Hintonburg Community Centre

1064 Wellington Street West

K1Y 2Y3


Present: Amy Kempster (chair), Juan Pedro Unger, Erwin Dreessen (note taker), Lorne Peterson and Jason Kania,

Regrets: Martin Callsen, Elina Elnione and Sol Shuster

The meeting commenced at 7:24 p.m.

    1. Administration items:
      1. Minutes of January 8, 2013
        Erwin moved, seconded by Amy, to approve the Minutes of January 8 as circulated. Approved.
      2. Meeting dates
        Meeting dates are now confirmed for Thursdays February 28, March 28, April 25, May 23 and June 27.
      3. Treasurer’s report
        Erwin moved, seconded by Amy, to renew our membership in the FCA ($30.00). Agreed.
      4. GA List moderator
        Our back-up moderator, Barry George, is moving out of town. A replacement is t.b.d.


    2. Business arising from minutes
      1. Lower Rideau Sub-watershed Report
        Amy will continue to look into this.
      2. Rockcliffe Airbase Community Design Plan
        Follow up with Al Crosby is ongoing.
      3. Ottawa Budget 2013
        The result of Erwin’s enquiries regarding the Environmental Resources Acquisition Fund and budget allocations related to the Emerald Ash Borer issue were posted to the GA List on 13 January 2013. In brief,

        1. in 2011, the Fund received $4.4 million out of surplus “sinking funds,” followed by $1.8 million in 2012; it is expected that $1.3 million will be transferred in 2013;
        2. in 2012 $1 million was transferred to assist in the EAB campaign and $4.9 million was used to acquire two Urban Natural Areas (UNAs) in Riverside South;
        3. the 2013 Budget papers offer just one piece of information about the EAB campaign in 2012 (1,512 trees treated) and for 2013 reference EAB in three different places without providing specifics; it is not possible to say how much money in total is being allocated nor how the additional $1 million allocated in July 2012 has been spent;
        4. over $1 million in the tree replacement program was neither spent nor committed in 2012;
        5. forestry Services’ budget increased by $1.5 million to $14.6 million and its FTEs increased by 5.58 to 87.18, with 2 of the additional FTEs allocated to Council’s Strategic Initiative to increase forest cover.
      4. Hintonburg Statement follow-up


    3. Ottawa Environmental CouncilJuan Pedro presented his proposal for an Ottawa Environmental Council, a “consultative forum for environmental organizations in Ottawa to network, discuss and coordinate activities.” It is a process rather than a body, modeled after a long functioning international conference on migration. There would be quarterly meetings with a rotating coordinator and a small technical secretariat; JP has two volunteers lined up for the latter. About eight groups could form the core of the network.

      The proposal was positively received. It was suggested that “Conference” might be a more appropriate name than “Council” as it emphasizes more the process aspect. Whether individuals could have a role was unresolved, as was the minimum number of groups to have on board to consider the Conference in existence.

    4. Official Plan review
      1. Staff’s proposals, presented on January 29, include prohibition of country lot subdivisions. In response to a question by Erwin, Councillor Hume also committed to implementing the results of the City’s mapping and identification of natural linkages.
      2. Further information was received from Nick Stow, indicating that the Official Plan’s current definition of “significant woodlands” is not supported by provincial guidelines.
      3. Erwin is continuing to look into the feasibility of a “connectivity forum” where the NCC, the Nature Conservancy and the City could present and discuss the findings of their recent or current studies.
      4. We could add to our “agenda” a direction that the Zoning By-law should take cognizance of Rural Natural Features.
      5. The web site will be updated shortly with a new section on the current Official Plan review.
      6. The Alliance should form a committee to prepare submissions on the OP review and organize the forum. Erwin is prepared to lead it; Amy will participate.


    5. Trees
      1. Champlain Park is researching the historical link with Samuel de Champlain as part of its Burr Oaks heritage project.
      2. Letters went out to all arborists licensed for TreeAzin in Bio-Forest’s Region 9 asking for examples of savings when several Ash trees are treated at the same time. This is intended to assist in any outreach campaign.
      3. No update about Heather Hamilton’s Ottawa Forests | Forêts d’Ottawa group.


    6. Greenbelt and other NCC developments
      1. The Urban Lands Master Plan project resurfaced at the NCC’s 23 January Board meeting. It is now planned to be completed by June 2014.
      2. Also approved at this Board meeting was a proposed amendment to the 1996 Greenbelt Master Plan to permit various developments at 401 and 411 Corkstown Road, including expansion of the equestrian centre and sportsfields; and a protocol with the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport Authority that would lead to (i) more linkage land south of the airport (including Leitrim Wetland); and (ii) removal of the airport proper from the Greenbelt.


    7. Other businessAmy MacPherson informed that a draft site alteration by-law is expected to be ready for consultation in late Spring.


The meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

Next meeting will be at the Hintonburg CC, 7:15 p.m. on 28 February 2013