General Meeting – 6 December 2007

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
Minutes of General Monthly Meeting of December 6, 2007
Champlain Field House, 149 Cowley Avenue

Members present: Cheryl Doran (Chair), Theresa Jobateh (Minutes Taker), Erwin Dreessen, Carol Gudz, Barry George, Sol Shuster.

Guest: Eric Cousineau

Regrets: Bill Royds, Amy Kempster.

The meeting commenced at 7:12 p.m.

1. Welcome and Introductions
Eric introduced himself, describing his interest in environmental issues and his recent exposure to them through the Ottawa Chapter of the Sierra Club.

2. Adoption of Agenda
There were a few changes and additions to the agenda. Theresa moved the adoption of the agenda as amended. Carol seconded.

3. Approval of minutes from November 15th meeting
Motion: Theresa moved to approve the minutes with the discussed changes. Erwin seconded.

4. Business arising from the minutes of previous meetings

November 15 Action Items:

[3d] October 29 in camera meeting – Action: Publish to the web site only upon confirmation by Sol.

Status: Sol Shuster confirmed that the in camera meeting minutes can now be posted to the web site.

Action: Theresa will publish the October 29 in camera meeting minutes to the Alliance web site.

[4d] Business arising from Sept 20 meeting minutes. Zoning by-law. Action: Amy will send comments to Francis Lapointe.

Action: Bring forward to next meeting.

[7a i] Information & discussion items – Communications director – Action: Barry will consult with Juan Pedro Unger on tasks, templates, etc.

Status: Barry reports this is in progress.

[7b] Information & discussion items – Botanical Garden support – Action: Jane will contact OF-NC and draft a letter that the Alliance could support.

Status: Not known.

[8b] Keyworth Ave – Action: Amy will draft a letter to by signed by Cheryl as Chair.

Status: Cheryl reports that she had discussed the issue with Amy, the owner had made some modifications to the design, and that she had not heard any news regarding the letter.

[8d] New business – Meeting with Min. Baird – Action: Cheryl will draft an agenda for the meeting with Minister Baird and decide on the delegation.

Status: Cheryl is working on the Agenda with input from other coalition members. The meeting is planned for Thursday, December 13th with Minister Baird’s policy advisor.

November 15 Discussion items:

[7a ii] Proposed changes to the Greenspace Alliance “list”

Status: Erwin provided an update on the list monitoring activities. There was discussion on the definition of “soft monitoring”. A few more members are desired one or two days a week to monitor the list and release relevant messages. Carol volunteered to help out one day a week.

Sol moved that the Alliance continue monitoring as at present and reconsider the form of monitoring when Ron is present at a meeting. Carol seconded.

September 20 & November 15 action items:

[4b] Activist recruitment (Carol)

Status: Carol reported that an announcement was sent to the GA list and put in the Sierra Club newsletter. She had delivered a presentation using the Sierra Club tool kit.

5. Membership report
There was no report.

6. Treasurer’s Report
Although Amy was absent, there was some activity to report. The Alliance received a donation for the Leitrim Wetlands endeavour.

Action: Carol will send a thank you note. Theresa will deposit the cheque.

7. Information / Discussion Items

a) Comprehensive Zoning By-law Project

Cheryl provided an update on a November 22nd meeting of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee where she made a presentation regarding environmentally protected land and species at risk. Amy had requested that a Rural Natural Features overlay be included in the Zoning maps. Staff had rejected the idea but the Chair, Councillor Rob Jellet, requested that staff reconsider it.

b) OMB Pre-hearing on the NCC’s Appeal of the Official Plan (regarding various parcels of land)

Erwin provided an update on the pre-hearing that took place the morning of December 6. Both the city and NCC asked for a deferment. Their discussions are not at an impasse but they do not yet have a settlement. There will be a board-led mediation on April 24 and 25, 2008. If there is no settlement, there will be another pre-hearing on May 22. The Alliance has requested to be invited to this mediation table.

c) Leitrim Wetlands issue

Findlay Creek Village: Cheryl and Sol provided an update on this and the relationship to the Leitrim issue. Cheryl has not heard back yet on the crematorium report that she had sent to the Findlay Creek Community Association. Members of the Alliance will present information during an outreach forum planned for February, in the company of the South Nation, the City, the developer and other interested parties. The Friends of Leitrim will meet in early January to prepare for this.

PTTW: Erwin reported that there is a new proposal for a PTTW (Permit to Take Water) on the Environmental Registry web site. The deadline for comments is December 29. Copies of the supporting documents have been requested but have not yet been made available.

Media release: Erwin reported that on November 26th the Friends and Ecojustice issued a first media release announcing the Judicial Review request. CBC Radio broadcast a snippet of an interview with Linda of the Environmental Law Clinic. A second release will come out December 7 or 10.

There was discussion on methods to encourage more people to write in.

d) Meeting Time

Cheryl led the discussion on the preferred meeting start time.

Erwin moved that we start meetings at 7:15 PM and aim to end by 9:15. Barry seconded.

e) NCR Wildlife Festival 2008

Barry moved that the Alliance register / participate in the festival in March 28 to 30, 2008 at the Billings Bridge Shopping Centre and to be included on the insurance rider. Theresa seconded.

Action: Barry will contact the Festival and send in the registration fee.

8. New Business

a) French on the Greenspace Alliance Web site

Erwin led the discussion on the need for at least the static pages (About Us, etc.) to be translated into French. He has a contact who is helping with the translation. The group acknowledged that it will be a challenge to create a complete mirror of all pages in French.

9. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM.

Next meeting : January 17, 2008