General Meeting – January 16, 2023


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting


January 16, 2023

On-line meeting


Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Nicole DesRoches, J.P Unger, Iola Price, Daniel Buckles, David McNicoll, Arto Kiklilkian

The meeting commenced at 7:00 pm.

  1. Adoption of the agenda

The proposed agenda was agreed upon, with the addition of item 2(d), Treasurer’s report. Moved by Iola, seconded by Nicole.

  1. Administrative items

a. Minutes of the December 19, 2022 meeting (for approval)

Moved by David, seconded by Nicole. Carried.

b. Association reports

Paul invited members to attend the National Capital Environmental Non-Profit Network Roundtable on January 29. He also alerted members to a request from Heritage Ottawa to endorse a National Trust letter supporting improvements to legislation to protect National Historic Sites, including the Central Experimental Farm. It was agreed to circulate the letter for approval prior to the January 21 deadline.

 c. Discussion of 2023 Priorities

Using a compilation of suggested priorities collected from members before the meeting, the members present held a wide ranging discussion on a set of priorities for the GA in 2023. The following priorities were agreed upon.

i. Content creation

– creating more legacy web pages for the issues the GA gets involved in

– in addition to supporting members, recruiting active members with the specific goal of engaging in volunteer work for this purpose

– conceptualizing the content creation to encompass identification of gaps and topics, longitudinal analysis of meeting minutes and annual reports, web page creation,  web links and social media content creation.

– improving site search function through better tagging

– writing a grant application to the new federal Community Services Recovery Fund to support this activity

ii. Continuing to support the Peoples Official Plan process, participating in the Zoning Bylaw Review and masterplan developments and in particular providing leadership on the new Greenspace and Urban Forest Masterplan.

iii. Keep building our relationship with indigenous communities established through the Pinesi Portage Trail project

iv. Broadening and strengthening our relationship with the NCC, focusing on the Greenbelt Masterplan, the Capital Core Plan (which includes the Wellington Street redesign), the Sir George Etienne Cartier Park plan and other plans and policies. (

v. Working on legislation to protect the Central Experimental Farm, the Greenbelt as an Urban National Park and the National Capital as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

vi. From a process point of view, identifying a lead for each of these priorities and establishing regular reporting about progress towards achievement.

d. Treasurer’s report:

Paul requested a motion to be reimbursed for payment of the annual rental of the GA Post Office box, in the amount of $230.52. Moved by Nicole, seconded by Iola. Carried.

  1. Policy instruments

a. Ontario Bill 23, Building More Homes Faster

The GA submitted comments on the final two part of Bill 23 prior to the December 30 deadline,  dealing with the introduction of offsets in relation to destruction of Natural Heritage System features and with the merging of the PPS and the Place to Grow growth plan for southern Ontario. A brief discussion of further steps ensued. Daniel reported on a review of the Bill by the Auditor General of Ontario as a possible follow up. Other channels for ongoing involvement will be explored.

b. Ontario Law Commission review of the Environmental Bill of Rights

The GA submitted comments on the review of the Environmental Bill of Rights ahead of the January 13 deadline. Many thanks to Arto for taking the lead on this, to Erwin for the background information he provided and to the members who commented on the drafts.

  1. Threats and opportunities

a. Rural greenspace

Nothing to report.

b. Major urban greenspace

i. Paul invited members to attend an information session on January 26 concerning the rerouting of the south west extension of the LRT from Knoxdale to the Nepean Sportsplex, which touches on the Greenbelt.

c. Other greenspace

i. Development application, 2504 White Street, Orleans

Paul provided an update on this development application, after further communications with area residents.

ii. Information session on January 19 concerning the widening of Huntmar Road and extension of Stittsville Main street through some vacant greenspace in the far west end of the urban area.


The Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.