Meeting Minutes of December 21, 2015


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting

December 21, 2015

Hintonburg Community Centre

1064 Wellington Street West

K1Y 2Y3

Members present: Nicole DesRoches (chair), Erwin Dreessen (notetaker), Amy Steele, Paul Johanis, Jason Kania, Juan Pedro Unger, David McNicoll

Regrets: Bruce Lindsay, Sol Shuster, Iola Price and Lorne Peterson

The meeting commenced at 7:15 p.m. with conveyance of Winter Moon wishes from Lorne, in word and image – attached.

1. Agenda

A modified agenda was agreed upon.

2. Administrative items

a. Minutes of November 23: Erwin moved, seconded by Paul, to approve the November 23 Minutes as amended. Agreed.

3. Action updates

a. Letter about the Domtar lands: The Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club and Ecology Ottawa likely will sign on. Other possibilities continue to be pursued.

b. Kanata – “Area 2”: During and following the public meeting of December 8, several of us have provided input to the planner. Erwin noted that the environmental constraints report was remarkably incomplete. Paul has asked Councillor Wilkinson to sponsor an Inquiry via Planning Committee about the appropriateness of spending City resources on studies about this area, given the absence of need.

c. Urban Forest Management Plan: Further to participation in the November 24 consultations, comments were sent in, including a request to clarify the role of the NCC and the mandate of the consultants. Action: Erwin will press the NCC (Christie Spence) to make this a joint effort.

d. Aggregates policy review: Comments were sent in on December 15 and forwarded to members of Planning Committee. In response, it was learned that the City’s only input was via the Ontario Professional Planners Institute.

e. New web site: The new site is live. Jason has checked all files of the old site for viruses and will hold a second tutorial on working with WordPress this Wednesday (Paul, Erwin and JP participating).

f. Coalition for Landfill Accountability (COLA): On December 18, a letter co-signed by the Alliance and the O-C Wildlife Centre was sent to Council, requesting that adherence to the recently approved Protocol for Wildlife Protection during Construction be made a requirement in the Host Municipal Responsibility Agreement that is under negotiation with Waste Management.

g. Memorial to the victims of communism: The new government’s decision (announced December 17) to relocate and redesign the memorial was hailed.

4. Coming in January 2016

a. Encroachment of the Central Experimental Farm: The Ottawa Hospital has announced that a public consultation will be held in January. Strategy planning and lobbying continues under the leadership of Heritage Ottawa to ensure that the scientific argument is heard and the Hospital’s site selection criteria and findings are explained.

b. LeBreton Flats: Two proposals submitted for development of two parcels totaling 9.3 ha (plus an optional 12.1 ha) will be revealed to the public on January 26 and 27. We questioned the sense of this consultation: two shortlisted developers did not follow through; both submitted proposals would have an arena; Mr. Melnyk has announced that the Senators will not play in somebody else’s arena. Amy noted that she worked on proposals for the future of LeBreton Flats in the early 1970s.

c. Notice of Motion by Councillor Chernushenko: The Chair of Environment Committee has put forward a motion (attached) to, among other things, have Ottawa’s targets for GHG emissions align with those of the Province and have the Mayor join the Compact of Mayors. Action: To be reviewed for later possible action.

d. Westgate Mall: Redevelopment of Ottawa’s first shopping mall into a mixed use site was announced recently. We noted it would offer more greenspace because most parking would move underground.

5. Brief reports

a. OFNC Conservation Committee – November 26: Members are proposing to nominate the City for a Conservation Award for its effective action saving Snapping Turtle hatchlings around Mud Lake by lowering the curbs around the water filtration plant. This followed an OFNC request earlier in the year.

b. NCENN meeting – November 27: Jason Garlough presented the ins and outs of the Ottawa Eco-Talent Network. Laura Scrigeour (Bioregional) conducted some market research about behavioural change optimization. Attendance was sparse.

c. NCC Urbanism Lab on Archeology in the Capital – December 3: Four speakers, including the NCC’s own archeologist and Jean-Luc Pilon (Canadian Museum of History), explained their findings of recent research. An article by Pilon and Randy Boswell, “An Ancient Cultural Landscape,” about the Chaudière area, will soon be published in the Canadian Journal of Archeology.

d. FCA meeting – December 10: Guest speaker was Planning and Development Acting General Manager Michael Mizzi, who was a near-neighbour of Jane Jacobs and claims to have learned much from her. Also attending was Councillor Nussbaum, who noted that most planning issues play outside the Greenbelt and that there is no consensus on what makes for a good city; he also observed that there is political interference in planning advice that comes forward.

e. FCA Governance Committee: Members met with Robyn Guest and her staff (City Manager’s Office) on December 15; she has recently been given responsibility for public engagement. We can expect to be invited to a focus group to provide feedback on a “calendar” of public consultations and to learn who the departmental champions for public engagement are.

The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m. whereupon we retreated to Tennessy Willems for pizza and drink.

The next monthly meeting will be on January 25, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. in the Hintonburg CC.