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Inside:
  • Town Hall Success
  • Weighing in On Eustace Road Development
  • Towards a Local Economy
  • Climate Emergency Here Now!
  • Make Ecoside Illegal!
  • Food Security Report
  • Sooke's GHG Emissions Underestimated
  • Upcoming Events

Your July Newsletter

As usual, Transition Sooke members have been sitting in on both council and committee meetings. Watchdog reports can be found on our web page.

What's Been Happening?

Town Hall Success
Residents Respond to "Growing Pains"

About 40 people attended Transition Sooke’s virtual Town Hall — To Grow or Not to Grow, Developing a Liveable Sooke in a Climate Emergency — on Saturday June 26.
 
The Town Hall began with the video “Growing Pains,” which featured Sooke residents talking about their community and the impacts of growth on it. Participants then went into small groups to talk about the film, growth in Sooke, and what to do about it. Discussion was lively, participants were full of ideas, and attendance included several members of the District of Sooke’s advisory committees and two councillors.
 
There is a link to the video on the Transition Sooke website and full proceedings will be available soon.


Weighing in on Eustace Road Development

Transition Sooke is very concerned about a proposed shopping plaza for the property at 6783 Eustace Road.
 
“The owners are likely banking on the rapid future growth of Sooke,” said Transition Sooke’s Alan Dolan, “but our analysis shows that continued rapid growth is not sustainable and will make it impossible for Sooke to meet its climate change targets and align with residents’ vision of a small town close to fields, forests and the ocean.”
 
In a recent study commissioned by Sooke, Colliers estimated that Sooke could experience a demand for retail space of an additional 18,035 square feet by 2030. The proposed plaza, which is fronted by US-based Mid America Venture Capital, features large blocks of retail space including a grocery store for a total of 140,000 square feet.


 
“Why does Sooke need so much retail space including a third grocery store?” said Transition Sooke’s Roland Alcock. “Specialty food stores or ‘mini-markets’ featuring locally grown agricultural and value-added products would be more appropriate.”
 
“This retail proposal is designed to attract franchises and ‘small box’ stores,” said Alcock, “and that means money leaving our community. We need to support existing and new ‘made-in-Sooke’ businesses that create local jobs and keep money in Sooke.”
 
The above is extracted from a news release that generated widespread media coverage including on CHEK-TV and CBC-Radio.
 
For more information, visit Transition Sooke’s Local Economy Working Group page.



Towards a Local Economy

Alan and Jo made a short presentation to the June 25 Community Economic Development Committee meeting titled: Towards a Local Economy for Sooke.”
 

The Community Economic Development (CED) officer Sue Welke is building a CED strategy with the committee and intends to have it before Council by October or November. Transition Sooke hopes that some of our ideas will find their way into the strategy.
 

Public engagement on the strategy should appear on the District website in July. This is your chance to add to the list of possible CED actions. Be sure to watch the District website for when and how those public engagements might take place.

Thanks to Zero-Waste Sooke for submitting the idea of a recycling/circular waste incubator space. It's now on the CED action list.

If you want to know more about the CED Committee, Jo took notes during its meeting and they can be found on the Transition Sooke web page along with all of our other "watch-dog" reports.

Climate Emergency Here Now!

New Canadian heat records set this past week have resulted in tragic losses in Lytton and 719 heat-related deaths across the province so far. Wildfires can become serious very quickly. Please be careful and stay informed wherever you spend the summer.

You can track wildfires in BC here.

Updates on fire locations, evacuation alerts/orders can also been followed here.



Make Ecoside Illegal!

There's a movement to start taking international corporations and states to court: From the Guardian: Legal experts from across the globe have drawn up a “historic” definition of ecocide, intended to be adopted by the International Criminal Court to prosecute the most egregious offences against the environment.

 

The draft law, unveiled recently, defines ecocide as “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.” The Stop Ecocide Foundation initiative comes amid concerns that not enough is being done to tackle the climate and ecological crisis. See Guardian article.



Food Security Report

The Sooke Region Communities Health Network (SRCHN) has completed its “Putting Healthy Food on Our Tables: Sooke Region Food Security Report,” and submitted it to Council. This comprehensive document can be downloaded here.

It is an excellent read, especially the last section on "potential initiatives," which includes  forward-thinking ideas such as rainwater catchment, creating a Food Hub, and cooperative businesses, ideas that arose at Transition Sooke's 2019 Green New Deal Town Hall.

Sooke's Greenhouse Gas emissions Underestimated in Stantec Report

When Transition Sooke gave a presentation to the Official Community Plan Advisory Committee in February, committee members were taken aback by the increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from new housing developments. Transition Sooke based its calculations on a CRD study by engineering firm Stantec.

Stantec's 2018 GHG emissions for Sooke were reported as approximately 46,000 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent).

Early on, councillors in both Metchosin and the Highlands noted that the data from Stantec omitted significant GHGs. Shortcomings in the old database used by Stantec will now be replaced by a new database developed by the federal government — Municipal Energy and Emission Database (MEED) — that will help smaller municipalities track GHG emissions directly, allowing them to monitor their emission reductions each year.

A preliminary application of MEED to Sooke’s 2018 data gives a result of approximately 110,000 tCO2e, more than double Stantec's 46,000.

For more information, go to Natural Resources Canada.

Tell Them What You Think
There has been an ongoing series of letters and articles in the Sooke News Mirror from members of Transition Sooke on climate change, development, and community resilience. This is a great way to keep our issues in the public eye. Try it!

Upcoming Events

Note: A number of Transition Sooke groups are continuing to meet via videoconferencing. For the Climate Change Emergency Teams, contact the individuals listed at the top of the Climate Emergency page. For other groups, please send a message to our general email.

July 7, 7 pm Regular TS Monthly Meeting (via Zoom) All welcome. Contact Alan for the login information. Previous minutes available here.

 






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