Your May Newsletter
So many actions, so many concerns, so much to be aware of.
Sooke is a popping place these days . . .

What's Been Happening?

Official Community Plan (OCP) and Climate Emergency Team 

Low carbon/ low growth alternative scenario front page news!

Transition Sooke’s Official Community Plan (OCP) and Climate Action Team continues to raise awareness around the need for Sooke to embrace a low carbon/low growth approach. Our news release, issued in early April, made the front page of the Sooke News Mirror! Story here. Our news story was also picked up by Victoria CBC-Radio, the Sooke Pocket News, and the online newspapers Discourse and Capital Daily.

To dig deeper into Scenario D, our alternative growth scenario, follow this link.

Is Low Carbon Resilience (LCR) really putting Climate First?

We advised you previously about our concept of making Climate First a part of everything the District of Sooke does. Our ideas were submitted to the District, but Council has chosen a different approach called Low Carbon Resilience (LCR).

We have been raising concerns about LCR and whether it is truly putting Climate First, rather than just adding a checklist to business-as-usual, which is “Economy First.”  Watch our website for more information on this as discussions progress. 

Upcoming Town Halls focused on growth 

In the near future, we are planning two Town Halls to explore growth in Sooke and its effect on the community. The first will open with a short video featuring our “OCP Video Stars” answering four questions that explore their feelings about Sooke now and in the future. The Video Stars feature a broad range of people of different ages from Sooke. The video will be followed by a facilitated conversation with participants.

The second Town Hall will examine growth in more depth and the implications for Sooke in meeting its climate change goals, including its 2030 greenhouse gas target. The format will begin with a panel discussion of speakers followed by questions, answers and discussion.

Watch this newsletter for updates on these two town hall meetings.

Green, Zero-Carbon buildings

The materials that go into buildings have already contributed greenhouse gases produced during their manufacture, transportation and disposal. There is very little information available on so-called “embodied” carbon. We are looking into green, low or zero-carbon options that can be used for buildings. If you have any ideas or knowledge, please pass them on to Chris or Lynn.

Climate Action Committee Takes Action 

The District of Sooke Climate Action Committee, which includes four Transition Sooke members, appeared in front of the Committee of the Whole (COW) this month and recommended that Sooke set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 7% a year, or a drop of 50% by 2030. After some to-ing and fro-ing, COW agreed to pass the recommendation. Subsequently, Council passed the motion as well. Council asked for tangible actions they can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  For more information contact us.

Local Economy Working Group

The Transition Sooke Local Economy working group is being resurrected. If you are interested in being part of it please contact Jo Phillips

The District of Sooke has hired a Community Economic Development Officer. She will be working with the Community Economic Development (citizens') committee and the public to develop a vision of what local economic development and the local economy should look like. It seems an opportune moment to connect with her to make known what Transition Sooke would like our local economy to look like. 

What is your vision and what are your ideas for creating a vibrant local economy? Tax breaks for local businesses? Creating bylaws that would make it more difficult for franchises to set up shop here?  Encouraging cooperative businesses? Promoting a circular economy?  Promoting the development of a "Sooke Green Business" designation? Community-owned renewable energy? A District-sponsored new business incubator space? 

Whatever your thoughts please consider joining the next zoom meeting to help compile a specific vision of Sooke’s economy that would benefit local people, local business, the environment, the climate and our future economic resilience.

Fairy Creek Protests

The Fairy Creek blockades, in place for the past nine months, have been given notice to cease and desist under a court injunction effective April 1, 2021. Like the 1991 forest actions in the Carmanah/Walbran, protestors at the blockades at Fairy Creek and two other entrances to the watershed are threatened with arrest. 

A renewed call for action throughout the province has produced rallies in support of banning old growth logging in 30 communities including Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and here in Sooke. The NDP is being criticized for falling back on its election promises to protect old growth and for ignoring its own commissioned Old Growth Strategic Review (2020). 

The Sooke rallies have been ongoing each Saturday since April 10 with an average of 50 - 70 attendees each time. The cacophony of the horns of passing cars signalling approval indicates strong public support. Join the rally each Saturday from 11am - noon at the EMCS boulevard before the bridge in Sooke. All COVID safety protocols are being followed. Masks and social distancing are being enforced. 

Wide coverage provincially, nationally and internationally makes it easy to learn more about this time-sensitive issue. Sadly the local newspaper has declined to report this high profile contentious issue to its readership community.

Volunteer Opportunity
Transition Sooke has volunteers following the actions of Sooke Council and its committees, posting summaries to our website and Facebook page. If you are free on Monday evenings to attend Council meetings, willing to highlight items of importance to Transition Sooke, and take notes, we would greatly appreciate your input. Contact Hester to help out.

Food Security
Food security is another concern of Transition Sooke. Some of the story on how we managed to become so food insecure (remember $7/head cauliflower last year?) can be found in the Capital Daily

The much deeper look at Sooke food insecurity, Putting Healthy Food on Our Tables: Sooke Region Food Security Report has reached its draft stage is making its way around for commenting. 
The Sooke Region Backyard Garden Project, a collaboration of Transition Sooke,  Sooke Region Food CHI and the Sooke Garden Club, partnering with the Food ECO District (FED) of Greater Victoria is set to continue with a few modifications from last year.  If you're interested in helping, please contact Stephen Hindrichs.

The District of Highlands is facing some of the same development pressures as Sooke, but has managed to hold back the tsunami of environmentally unsustainable residential housing that threatens to engulf Sooke. Now Highlands faces a new threat: mining. Read about this fight in the Discourse.

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 bottom of the Climate Emergency page. For other groups, please contact our general email.

May 5, 7 pm Regular TS General Meeting (via Zoom) All welcome. Contact Alan for the login information. Previous minutes available here.

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Transition Sooke · c/o 2119 Melrick Place · Sooke, BC V9Z 0M9 · Canada

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