General Meeting – January 20, 2020


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting


January 20, 2020

On-line meeting

Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Nicole DesRoches, Daniel Buckles, Adam Caldwell, Jason Kania, J.P. Unger, Janice Seline, Iola Price

The meeting commenced at 7:00 pm.

  1. Adoption of the agenda

JP requested that item 4a(i) be added regarding assistance to Chalk River nuclear waste storage campaign. With this addition, the proposed agenda was agreed upon, moved by Nicole, seconded by Janice.

  1. Administrative items

a. Minutes of the November 25 2019 meeting (for approval)

Moved by Jason, seconded by Nicole. Carried.

b. Treasurer’s report

Paul reported on changes in the bank signing authorities. Both Erwin and Amy were removed from the list of authorized signers and Daniel added. The signing authorities are now therefore Paul, Nicole, Jason and Daniel. The following expenses were approved: payment of the annual rental fee for the meeting room at the Hintonburg CC ($226.56), moved by Jason, seconded by Daniel; reimbursement to Paul for the rental of the Greenspace Alliance Post office box ($224.87), moved by Jason, seconded by Iola; reimbursement to Daniel for the development and implementation for the new website ($483.11), moved by Iola, seconded by Nicole.

  1. Policy instruments

a. Official Plan update

Paul and Daniel gave an update on a preparatory meeting of the People’s Official Plan on January 27 regarding a new workshop planned for March 7. (Note: the date of the workshop was subsequently changed to February 22). This workshop would continue the work of the November workshop on Climate Solutions and Ottawa’s New Official Plan, but focus more narrowly on intensification and urban expansion. The main outcome would be the organizations of a series actions in support of denser, just and healthy neighbourhoods, and against urban expansion ahead of the March 30 joint meeting of the Planning and ARA Committees where this issue will be considered and a recommendation made for Council approval.  Nicole mentioned an approach called Vivre en Ville which is being adopted in Gatineau and which focuses on demographic trends, in particular the aging population. JP suggested that the sale by City of vacant or surplus City land should factor in the possibility of using such land for affordable housing prior to going to market.

Action: Nicole to circulate reading material on Vivre en ville. J.P to investigate whether there is an inventory of city-owned vacant or surplus lands and the process by which these are brought to market.


a. Rural Greenspace

i. Chalk River nuclear waste dump

JP reported on a request from the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area and the Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association to help them pay for a full page ad in The Hill Times against the current plans for storing nuclear waste from the decommissioned Chalk River site in an above ground landfill near wetlands that drain into the nearby Ottawa River. The Greenspace Alliance had contributed $300 to a previous ad in 2019 which seemed to get noticed by Hill politicos and generated good coverage. JP moved, seconded by Jason to again contribute $300 for this new ad, carried.

Action: Paul to send a $300 contribution to our contact on this group.

b. Major urban greenspace

i. Position on Jock River cut and fill plans in Barrhaven

Paul reported on a recent approval by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to allow a very large site alteration within the Jock River flood plain in Barrhaven in support of nearby residential development plans. It is unusual by its size (a very large volume of soil to be displaced) and by the fact that it could only be approved by special exception by the RCVA board, more or less against RVCA policies and staff recommendations, and several Official Plan policies. Members agreed that the GA ought to intervene and discussed various ways how to do so such as finding partners with direct connection to the Jock River, contact others with experience with similar previous alterations in Richmond. It was agreed that the GA should write to the City to register its concern and to seek more information about this site alteration.

Action: Paul to write a letter of concern to the City.

c. Other greenspace

i. Kanata Save our Greenspace Gala, January 29

Paul reported on this fundraising event held by the Kanata Greenspace Coalition, the group formed to resist development plans for the Kanata Golf and Country Club, especially prized by the community for its greenspace value. It was agreed that Paul should attend to represent the GA and an expense of $75 was authorized to purchase a ticket.

The Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.