General Meeting – January 18, 2021


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting


January 18, 2021

On-line meeting.



Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Robb Barnes, Daniel Buckles, David McNicoll, J.P Unger, Iola Price, Roland Dorsay, Erwin Dreessen

The meeting commenced at 7:00 pm.

  1. Adoption of the agenda

The proposed agenda was agreed upon, with the order of items 3a and 3b reversed. Moved by Daniel, seconded by David.

  1. Administrative items

a) Minutes of the November 23, 2020 meeting (for approval)

Moved by Iola, seconded by Daniel. Carried.

b) Renewal of Zoom contract

Paul reported that our 12 month subscription with Zoom was expiring in January and that he had renewed it ahead of the expiry date. All agreed it was essential to renew. Reimbursement to Paul of the $226 annual fee was moved by Erwin, seconded by Iola. Carried.

  1. Policy instruments

a) Urban Expansion Land selection, Joint Meeting of Planning and ARAC, January 25

A staff report and recommendations on which land should make up the 1281 ha urban expansion approved in May 2020 was released on January 15 2021. Paul gave a presentation with visuals on the report and the location of the expansion parcels and sought direction from members on the GA response. A very good discussion ensued, which formed the basis of our submission to the Joint Meeting.

b) Draft Official Plan review, February 17 deadline

Paul did a run through of the policies dealing with greenspace in the draft Official Plan and of the compendia he produced of policies in specific domains (for example, Parks, Trees, Access to Greenspace, Protection of Greenspace). These, which range in length from 5 to 8 pages, compile policies extracted from the full 263 page OP and allow reviewers to quickly focus on specific topics. He reported that a number of external reviewers had agreed to provide feedback on individual topic compendia and sought direction on how to enlist more reviewers. It was agreed that the full membership and GA list subscribers should be engaged. In addition, a number of past members or known authorities in the various domains were proposed, on which Paul will follow up.

In parallel, the GA is participating with other organizations as part of the Peoples Official Plan in a similar review covering a broader scope of policies that are relevant to the City’s climate change response.

Erwin reported that he had undertaken a page by page review of the entire document, the results of which he will gladly share, and David indicated that he intended to make a submission as well.

Members present also raised a number of points and observations from their own review of the draft OP to this point.

– a compilation of the What We Want to Achieve statements in the boxes at the start of each section of the OP could prove to be a useful summary of the plan

– There should be a list of the Urban Natural Features as an Annex

– Volume 2, Secondary Plans, should not be neglected

– Results and performance of the previous OPs should be referenced

– There should be a much better developed Monitoring section

– There should be an Annex listing the guidelines and other documents referenced in the OP

– Many unanswered questions on 15 minute neighbourhoods, hubs, transects

– The 21 feedback forms provided by the City on Engage Ottawa are random and shallow

  1. Threats

a) Rural Greenspace

b) Major urban greenspace

c) Other greenspace


The Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.