General Meeting – June 27 2022


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting


June 27, 2022

On-line meeting

Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Nicole DesRoches, Jason Kania, Erwin Dreessen, Janice Seline, Kate MacNeil and Judy Makin.

The meeting commenced at 8:30 pm, after the adjournment of the Annual General Meeting.   

  1. Adoption of the agenda

A shortened agenda was agreed upon.

  1. Administrative items

a. Minutes of the April 88, 2022 meeting (for approval)

As the minutes were not circulated in advance, this item was deferred to the next monthly general meeting. Paul to post the minutes as draft until then.

b. Website report: Erwin wished to raise a few points about the maintenance of the content of the GA website. Beyond the minutes of meetings and updates that Erwin has made on a few selected topics, there is not much new material added to the website even though the GA is active on many topics that would be of interest to readers. Our website also provides a valuable historical record of greenspace issues and developments. The value of this service to the community is degraded if content is not added on a current basis. It is acknowledged that much of this content is available in meeting minutes but it would be better and show up more readily in searches if it appeared as direct web content. All agreed with this observation and with the proposal that a web content editor who could handle this task be must be sought.

A second point regarded the issue of whether the website is at risk by not moving to the https: prefix in its URL rather than simply http. This gave rise to a good discussion on the pros and cons of remaining with http: Jason was able to answer many questions and provide examples of what would need to be done to convert to this standard and what are the likely consequences of remaining with the status quo. All were reassured as a result that we are not running any great risk by remaining with http: at this time. 

  1. Policy instruments

Nothing to report.

  1. Threats

b. Major urban greenspace

i. Pinesi portage project:

Paul gave an extensive update on the Pinesi Portage Trail project, providing a history of how the project emerged, what role the GA has played in the conduct of the project, details regarding the grant, the budget and the current financials and the most up to date information on the progress and achievements towards establishing a walking trail commemorating an ancient indigenous portage connecting the Ottawa and Rideau rivers around Rideau Falls. Presentation slides can be found here: Pinesi Portage Trail – GA presentation.

ii. Brian Coburn extension:

Paul reported that had met Rachelle Lecours and another resident of the Greater Avalon community on May 11 regarding their views and perspectives on the Brian Coburn extension project. The residents support an option that would require a new transportation corridor through the Greenbelt, while we favour the option that makes use of the existing Blackburn Hamlet bypass corridor. What came from the meeting is the recognition that residents of this fast growing area face three critical transportation problems: 1) transit service is ineffective and underused; 2) cut through traffic causes major bottlenecks and safety issues in residential areas; and 3) there is no safe and efficient way to get from the area to a major employment hub in the Hunt Club/Hawthorne industrial parks. Their view is that the option they support is the only one that addresses all three issues. It creates therefore a realization for us that it is imperative that we find solutions to these problems as part of an option that uses the existing Blackburn Hamlet bypass corridor. There is an openness on both sides to consider other alternatives.

The Meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.