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Transition Sooke in the News
Local Economy
Pesticide, Local Economy and OCP-Climate Team Reports
Upcoming Events
Ongoing Events
Transition Sooke Needs You
A backyard rink is a rarity in Sooke... but here one is at the home of Alan Dolan and Susan Clarke! Photo by A. Dolan


Transition Sooke’s actions have received considerable media attention as of late.

Following our presentation to Council on December 13 on the need to put a temporary hold on new development, the following coverage appeared:

  1. Sooke News Mirror ­– “Groups Calls for Moratorium on New Development”

  2. Victoria Times Colonist – “Group Calls on Sooke to Slow Pace of Development”

  3. Sooke Pocket News – “Transition Sooke Asks for Hold on New Development

  4. Westshore (Capital Daily) – How Do You Measure the Carrying Capacity of a Town, and Should You?

Our donation to EMCS for the winners of its climate change poster contest drew this:

  1. Sooke News Mirror – “Four Sooke Students Win Cash for Climate Change Posters” –

  1. Sooke Pocket News – “Transition Sooke Supports EMCS Climate Poster Contest: And the Winners Are . . .”


Pesticide Group Efforts Pay Off!

 After pressing the local school board SD. 62 and associated agencies, we have been notified on Twitter that they have reviewed their policy of glyphosate spraying on school property and will no longer use it. So no more glyphosate on school grounds! 
The credit  for the SD 62’s change in policy goes to Dave, Jo and the Sooke Mirror letter writer who pointed out they were still spraying Roundup. Dave has been questioning and following the policy closely over the last number of months. Thanks to all the Transition Sooke members who helped out with this important issue.                                                                                                                                         Dave & Yvonne Court for the Pesticide Group.

Local Economy Group

Local Economy Group chairperson Jo has been attending the District of Sooke Community Economic Development (citizen) committee monthly meetings.  Here are the official minutes for the November 26th meeting can be found here. 

At that meeting the Committee finalized its Community Economic Development Strategy that was presented to the District of Sooke at the council meeting on December 13th.  If you are curious what went into this Strategy you can find it here (you just have to scroll down and click on the document). The emphasis and budgetary requests are focused on an "employment lands strategy" (defined as "lands designated in the OCP where employment occurs or will occur:  This can include industrial, light industrial, business parks and other commercial activity") - $20,000 and promotional materials to attract businesses to Sooke - $10,000. 

This is an interesting emphasis for the District of Sooke's economic development strategy.  Could there have been a more grassroots component to the budgetary requests?  If you are interested in being a part of the Transition Sooke Local Economy working group contact Jo (



                                                           OCP-Climate Group
On Dec 13, 2021
, Transition Sooke made a presentation to the District of Sooke Council recommending that Council put a hold on all new development until:

    1. The OCP is completed and approved and a revised Regional Context Statement (Regional Growth Strategy) resets the growth rate
    2. Zoning and building bylaws are updated and approved
    3. A Climate Action Plan is in place that specifies how the District will meet its goal of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

This pause on new development would be for a relatively short period (perhaps up to a year and a half). This would not put DoS out of alignment with the Regional Growth Strategy because residential projects currently winding their way through the planning process will fulfill the CRD’s desired population for Sooke by 2030.

Houses will still be built and sold in Sooke. However, District staff will have the opportunity to turn their attention from processing new development applications to pressing climate change matters and support the work of the Climate Action Coordinator. This pause would allow the District to put into place, through the OCP and related policies, regulations that:

  • Ensure the District meets its emission-reduction targets
  • Make sure all new development is as low carbon as possible
  • Provide for the tracking of C02e emissions
  • Create low carbon affordable housing to meet existing, identified needs
  • Upgrade municipal infrastructure to meet crises such as windstorms, fires, floods or other climate related emergencies
  • Provide a climate resilient community for Sooke’s current residents as well as newcomers

This pause will allow the District of Sooke to set itself up for success in coming years, building a safe, resilient and welcoming community for all.

Transition Sooke’s presentation was followed by a presentation from Anna Russell of the Climate Action Committee about the high carbon cost of unchecked new residential development. As always, Anna’s report was backed up by volumes of informational material. She urged Council to enact a temporary pause on new development until the Climate Action Plan is in place.

As everything suggested in the presentations builds on CAC recommendations previously adopted by Council, it was surprising that although many Council members said they were concerned about climate change, they had a strong negative reaction to the recommendations presented to them. Council voted to receive the materials without further action.

Later in the meeting, when Sooke’s Chief Administrative Officer presented recommendations from the CAC, the negative comments rose up again. Council finally voted to support the recommendation that members of the CAC and District Staff would work together to develop a Climate Action Strategy which would also be shared with T'Sou-ke Nation, and explored at a future Committee of the Whole. It should be noted, however, that there was much conflict, and misunderstanding of the issues.  

The minutes for this meeting are not yet available, but the video is available here ( ) . The relevant section starts at 2:41:59


Upcoming Events

Life Long Learning Hosts Climate Change Conversations

The Green Resilience Project is hosting a series of community conversations across the country - with several occurring in Sooke, through Sooke Region Life Long Learning - on how climate change and income security relate to each other, and how they affect people's day-to-day lives.

Conversations on Climate Change and Income Security in Sooke:  What do we need for the transition to a greener, fairer, and more resilient community?

Climate change and income insecurity are two of the most urgent challenges facing Canada and the world. As such, the Green Resilience Project is hosting a series of community conversations across the country - with several occurring in Sooke - on how climate change and income security relate to each other, and how they affect people's day-to-day lives.

Sooke, like many communities in Canada, is making a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly and a fast transition to a green economy is on the horizon. The desperate need to decarbonize comes at a time of growing income inequality, lack of affordability, and housing insecurity - the need for just transition policies and community resilience is greater than ever. 

The intention of the "Climate Change and Income Security" community conversations is to create "brave spaces" for a diversity of community members to talk about how the uncertainties brought on by climate change, affordability, income and housing insecurity impact their lives. What is shared will aid the development of government policies on income security, climate change, and community resilience in Canada. 

Pre-readings will be sent out to participants to provide a background on the ideas and questions to be discussed.

PRESENTER: Alysha McLaren-Jones is a member of Sooke's Climate Action Committee and the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment. She is a registered nurse with a Master's in Environmental Studies and a keen interest in climate justice and connecting with nature for health.                                                   When: Tuesday February 8th 1-3 pm on Zoom

Cost:  Free 
(Note: Maximum enrollment is 30 people)  (If more than 30 people apply we will open a new section for Thursday February 3rd, 1pm to 3pm) 

You can find this and other courses--and register--at the Sooke Region Lifelong learners webpage.

WE-CAN Offerings

Here are the 2 on-line events (free) being put together by WE-CAN along with an interesting event put on by Force of Nature. I am really impressed with the work that Force of Nature groups are doing in BC!

Wednesday January 12, 4pm Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Action: Community Solutions

From WE-CAN and RAVEN: Our guest presenters are Pansy Wright-Simms, a member of the Luutkudziiwus of the Gitxsan Nation, and Leona Humchitt, Councillor and Climate Action Coordinator, Heiltsuk Nation.  

Wednesday January 19  How Climate Groups can Influence Local Government

From WE-CAN: The first of four Roundtables. Roundtable One will focus on empowering the community to become engaged at the local level. Topics will include protesting, lobbying, relationship building with like-minded groups, relationship building with local government staff, and turning activism into a platform for an election campaign for elected office. Details  to follow. 

And an interesting event from Force of Nature:

Saturday, January 8, 1-3pm  Organizer Training Workshop - How to engage volunteers

The workshop will cover the organizing methods that have helped us win campaigns like convincing city governments to adopt United Nations IPCC climate targets. Learn how to combine the power of petitions, volunteer engagement, lobbying, and engaging the public to run successful people-powered campaigns. Register: 

Ongoing Events

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 the general email.

Our Transition Sooke monthly meeting is on Wednesday January 5th 2022. If you need the Zoom invite, contact Alan Dolan: 
Transition Sooke Needs You! 
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 some new energy.
Action Teams – Come and get involved in our Water, Local Economy, and OCP and Climate Action Teams.
Council Watch Dog – We need folks to attend council meetings (in-person or online) and write a short report on issues relevant to Transition Sooke.
If any of these tasks interest 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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