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Important Upcoming Council Meetings
Admirals Forest Update
New Solar Action Group
Paint the Sky June 25
Book Suggestion
Council Mulls Official Community Plan
Upcoming Events
Photo Creator: Michal Klajban Wikemedia Commons
June. Days by the water. Midsummer Solstice, National Indigenous Day and also the month that Council is taking a fine tooth comb to the Official Community Plan.
Important Council Committee of the Whole Meeting Tonight -June 20 

This evening's council meeting at 7:00 pm will have a couple of items of interest to Transition Sooke Members. 

First is a presentation by the 606 Water Group, including Heather Phillips, Lynn Moss, and Steven Atkins.

Second is the Committee End-of-Term Reporting - Climate Action Committee. This is the climate action plan for the district going forward, and is the end result of three years of work by dedicated volunteers including a number of Transition Sooke members.

Both of these presentations would benefit from public support in attendance. So if you can see your way clear to making your way down to the municipal hall for the evening, it would really be appreciated.

A copy of the summary of the report for everyone's reading pleasure can be obtained from Bernie Klassen. There is a longer version currently wending its way through the system, but the summary is pretty good.

The climate action plan charts out what we can do right now and over the next eight years. With the exception of new growth, this will get us to a 50% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2030. Unless, like the 2010 plan, it gets prepared and ignored. It will take pressure to push this forward, so get informed, write letters to Council and the paper and if you can, come out to the meeting this evening. Submitted by Bernie Klassen, 2021-22 CAC Chair

                                                                                         Photo by Brett Cairns
      Admiral's Forest Purchase     
As published here last month, The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (JDFEA Parks and Rec) is raising pledges to purchase 58 acres (23.5 ha) in the Admiral's Forest for a community park in Otter Point.  

Heather Phillips reports that JDFEA Parks and Rec is nearing its goal for pledges. The community response has been very positive, so big "thank-yous" to everyone.  The CRD decision-making process is still underway and we will likely have to wait until the July CRD Board meeting.  
Solar Working Group Starts in Sooke
Photo by McKinne Mike stock photo

A Sooke Solar working group is starting here in Sooke, likely under the umbrella of Transition Sooke. Its first initiative will be the EMCS Solar Garden --a small solar installation in the EMCS garden area to service energy needs. Steve Unger from Shift Energy has developed the specifications and pricing. $7000 is required. Shift Energy will donate $ 2000 and initiative organizer, Gord Wallace,has obtained pledges of $3000 so far.
Transition Sooke members are invited to support the EMCS Solar Garden project by making a donation pledge or donating directly to EMCS Eco Academy for the project (donations directly to EMCS are tax deductible). Contact Gord for more information.
Paint the Sky

It's been a long winter and cold spring, so let's celebrate the summer solstice. Come on down to John Phillips Park June 25th for Paint The Sky. Come on down during market hours--10-2-- and fly a kite. That's it. Just something happy and summery. See you there.
Book Suggestion from William Wallace "Saving Us" by Katherine Hayhoe
                                                                                                                                             photos from Katherine Hayhoe website

Kathrine Hayhoe is a Canadian who has gained international recognition for her recent book “Saving Us”. 
She outlines why a very rapid decoupling of society from its addiction to fossil fuel is needed. She details how much better a life we all can lead when our values change from a competitive social structure to one of inclusivity. She is a religious person who uses faith and science to demonstrate a way out of the climate emergency. Not another doomsday book but one of hope based on science and the ability for a human moral imperative to change.  
Photo by Susan Belford
This sign pictured above is a great example of the disinformation and misinformation that is in the public realm regarding the OCP.   There are plenty of traffic solutions contained in the OCP, but there is no funding for a bypass. Taxes and costs are increasing for many reasons, none of which are to do with the OCP. It is important for people to inform themselves with accurate information.
Council Mulls Official Community Plan
Over a period of weeks, Council has been conducting a page by page, sometimes painstakingly granular assessment of the Official Community Plan (OCP). Video of these meetings is available on the District of Sooke website at for May 16  and June 15. Another meeting is coming up June 21st.
The OCP is intended to act as a guide for Council and Staff over coming years; It is best read by following individual topics— for example land-use— from vision, through goals and objectives to specific policies and actions. However, to ensure they don’t miss anything, Council is choosing to read the document sequentially, referring occasionally to letters from Sooke residents. This approach means that there are many detailed conversations about specifics which are in fact contained in later, policy sections of the OCP. However, many of these conversations provide clarity about measures contained within the OCP document and the 2-year engagement process.
While Council made changes to waterfront setbacks and land use designations after 1st reading due to pressure from some members of the public, they have made few recommendations for changes during their examination process to date. Some changes involve the use of more robust language (for example “drought” rather “dry spell”).
It is important to Council that the public understands the place of the OCP within municipal decision-making system.  Not only does the OCP reference other existing plans, such as the Transportation, Parks and Trails, and Climate Action plans, it also plugs into the District Strategic and Budget Planning processes. As Counsellor Beddows put it “all the other plans must align with the OCP”. The next draft of the plan will provide a graphic of how the OCP fits within the whole. Counsellor Beddows made it clear that the contents of the OCP are based on public engagement over two years. 
I was encouraged by Council’s May 16 discussion about the Climate section of the OCP. Vague language will be replaced with accurate terms and correct, updated climate and population figures will be used to capture the urgency of the climate emergency. Counsellor Beddows said that the language needs to stress that things are getting worse, and that the OCP seeks to address this.
Discussion about growth and the OCP included the information that over the past 5 years Sooke has grown by 16%. Councillor Bateman suggested that a statement should be added regarding population projections that “The District of Sooke and its elected Councils have the ability and the right (responsibility) to challenge, reject and re-envision these population projections”. Unfortunately, there was no consensus to approve this added wording.
These online videos are sometimes a little annoying because the conversation can seem laborious—but they are filled with a wealth of detail about the plan and are therefore worth watching.

Upcoming Events:
Sooke Region Community Health Network (SRCHN) 
Non-Profit Workshop June 22 1-4 at the Community Hall, ground floor.
Gathering Place at EMCS Gym June 30 1:30 - 5 pm

Ongoing Transition Sooke Events

The up-coming July 6 Monthly meeting will be 6:45 pm - 8:45 pm in person in the Sooke Library Meeting Room and online via Zoom.  

Transition Sooke monthly meetings are held at 6:45 pm on the first Wednesday of each month. Meeting dates for the next four months are:
  • Wednesday July 6, 2022
  • Wednesday August 3, 2022
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022
  • Wednesday October 5, 2022
 If you need the Zoom invite, contact Alan Dolan.
Correction-- in the May newsletter photos from the 606 Water event were not attributed. They were taken by Lily Mah-Sen.
Transition Sooke Needs You! 

Note-Taker for Monthly Meetings – Once again, we are looking for a note-taker for our regular meetings, the first Wednesday of each month. Third time will be the charm! Contact Susan.

Food Security – A few years ago we held a Green New Deal meeting followed by a workshop where we established a number of Action Teams. One of those Teams — Food Security — could really do with a coordinator.
Action Teams – Come and get involved in our Local Economy, and Transportation Teams.
Council Watch Dog – We need folks to attend council meetings (in-person or online) and write a short report on issues raise at Council that are relevant to Transition Sooke.
If any of these tasks interests you, please email us
Your Opinion Matters!
Your letters and articles on climate change, development, and community resilience in the Sooke News Mirror and the Sooke Pocket News keep important issues in the public eye. If you want to join one of Transition Sooke's Action Groups please contact us And if you have a photo you'd like to send the newsletter, a letter to the editor, or a piece of news, please forward that to us as well. Thank you!
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