Meeting Notes – July 3, 2019

21 in attendance

  1. Three additions to the agenda. Minutes of the May 28 meeting passed by motion – moved by Lynn and seconded by Wendy.

2. Quick go-around – introductions

3. Ann Clement (from Harbourside) made some suggestions about getting involved in the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the District of Sooke as a municipality on August 17 organized by the DOS and the Sooke News Mirror. Anyone interested in collaborating with Ann can contact her:  Zero Waste Sooke may also be involved.

4. A sharing circle based on the six stages of grief — Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, Meaning — took the group until the break to complete. This process was used successfully to debrief from the excellent presentation by Dahr Jamail at the Climate Emergency Group meeting on June 13. While challenging for some folks, overall it seemed to be a good way to build connection and support among the group.

5. New Green Deal Town Hall – 22 June at Community Hall – 53 people gathered to make this event stimulating and very educational. The data produced is still being uploaded to Green New Deal website. Jo and Susan will be organizing a meeting on 7 pm, Wednesday, August 7 at Harbourside c/o Wynn LeComte 250-642-7490 E-mail: We will be involved in the next stage of the GND Town Hall in September so this meeting will be about planning for the next Town Hall.

6. Zero Waste Sooke was recognized for being part of getting the ban on single use plastic bags in Sooke which happened at a Council meeting on June 10. ZWS will be present at the Market and somewhere else sometime in the summer.

7. Moki will be away from July 15 until the end of August. He will keep in touch with Jo and Susan.

8. We received the proposal to be involved in hosting an all-candidates debate for the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding on October 7. It was felt that such a gathering should really happen in the middle of the riding in Saanich.

9. A presentation by two medical doctors about the current nuclear threats was tabled until the fall – maybe after the election.

10. An invitation to an event related to the Communities in Bloom program was set aside as being not of interest to our group.

11. Ride sharing – Paula reported on the possibilities of setting up a ride sharing network in the Sooke Region based on what is happening in the Kootenays especially in Nelson. Correspondence and a services agreement were supplied by Paula. This issue will be tabled until the fall. Thanks to Paula who also suggested that we might be able to get a grant to pay for the costs of setting up a network ($1,500+).

12. David gave the financial report. We are in pretty good shape. We are still expecting a bill for the cost of upgrading the website.

13. Alan reported that the website upgrade is just about complete. Take a look at:


Rainwater Catchment Systems – Sue Lidster

Divestment of Fossil Fuel Investments – Jo Continue to advocate through liaison and communication with all three levels of government: municipal, provincial and federal. Support circle to help people cope as changes start ramping up

Next meeting set for Wednesday September 3 at Harbourside

Sooke Byelection “Speed Dating” – Sept 15, 2019

Sooke Byelection Candidates’ Speed Date 

Sunday, Sept. 15, 2 to 6 p.m. at the Sooke Community Hall, 2037 Sheilds Rd., Sooke 

Come and meet your candidates for Sooke’s Municipal Byelection. Following last fall’s all-candidates speed date prior to the general election, we’ve invited the ten candidates in this month’s by-election to meet, greet and answer questions from the electorate. 

This is your opportunity to meet the candidates directly and find out their position on the issues that matter the most to you.  You will have limited time to talk with each candidate, so come prepared with your question. 

Bernie Klassen, from Transition Sooke, explains: “In a general candidate’s debate or forum,  there’s always the chance that a candidate will be harangued or lectured at. This format allows people to approach the candidates in a focused manner with prepared questions.”

Voting day is Sat., Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Edward Milne Community School. Advance polling is on the two Wednesdays (Sept. 18 and 25) at the Municipal Hall. 

For more information about our speed date, please contact Bernie at 

Climate Emergency Workshop – Sept 29, 2019

Climate Emergency: What Can We Do?

From Green New Deal Town Hall to Community Action

Sooke Community Taking Action on Climate Emergency

Following a successful Town Hall in June, Transition Sooke will be hosting a Community Action Workshop titled “Climate Emergency: What Can We Do?”

“Participants at the Green New Deal Town Hall identified issues they think need to be addressed in our community,” said Jo Phillips, one of two coordinators for Transition Sooke’s Climate Emergency Action Group. “We are inviting everyone from Sooke Region to join us on September 29 to form teams to take action on these issues.”

“Sooke region residents are anxious about the impacts of climate disruption on their cherished West Coast environment, on their family’s health and on the local economy,” said Susan Clarke, the other coordinator for the group. “Many members of our community have indicated that taking action reduces their anxiety and sense of powerlessness. They have also made it abundantly clear, particularly with provincial and federal inaction on climate change, that we need to take local, meaningful action as soon as possible.”

The Community Action Workshop will take place in the downstairs dining room of the Sooke Community Hall from 10 – 5 on Sunday September 29. The morning will feature several, short keynote addresses, followed by quick briefs by facilitators on the different issues that will be discussed around small “action tables” in the afternoon. The action tables will focus on creating teams, hearing from a number of different resource people in the community already working on these issues, and starting to build action plans for the upcoming year. Some of the identified issues that will be discussed include: rainwater harvesting, divestment from fossil fuels, local renewable energy options, greenspace protection, local economic models, and local food and agriculture.

Starting at 10 a.m., the first hour will feature keynote addresses, an opening circle and first steps. We’ll then break from 11-12 to enable participants to attend the Orange Shirt Day gathering in the nearby town centre.

Back at the hall, lunch will be provided by Transition Sooke.

We’ll then be breaking into action tables. Each will focus on creating teams, hearing from a number of different resource people in the community already working on these issues, and starting to build action plans for the upcoming year.

Our focus will be on the 12 big themes identified at Green New Deal Sooke, namely …

1. Food security and local agriculture

2. Water (conservation, rainwater catchment, greywater)

3. Habitat and species protection (land use, forest preservation, development, tree bylaws)

4. Divestment from fossil fuels

5. Zero Waste (reduce garbage footprint, energy cycles, consumerism)

6. New economic model (cooperatives, localization, affordable housing)

7. Transportation (Ride share, biking and walking infrastructure, electric cars, BC Transit liaison)

8. Building Community with Neighborhood Pods

9. Green energy/efficient/non-toxic houses (solar, heat pumps, cement alternatives)

10. Climate Angst (emotional, mental and spiritual health and listening to youth)

11. Green Lifestyle (individual action/re-skilling for resilience)

12. Direct Action (non-violent resistance, challenging governments and corporations who are not responding responsibly to climate emergency)

“We have identified 12 areas of concern to Sooke,” says Susan Clarke, coordinator of the TS Climate Emergency Action Group along with Jo Phillips. “Contact us if you would like to suggest another area where climate action would be relevant in Sooke. Some identified areas may not have enough interest to proceed to action. The gathering will determine which of the areas have an action-ready team.”

“Sooke is an incredible community of volunteers and there are already many existing groups working on different aspects of the climate emergency,” said Phillips. “We want to work with those groups wherever possible, and we will also take action in other areas.”

For more information email Susan or Jo.

Green New Deal Town Hall – June 22, 2019

Green New Deal Town Hall

Climate Emergency: Where Are We Going?

Saturday June 22, 2 – 5 pm
Sooke Community Hall, downstairs

Transition Sooke is holding a Green New Deal Town Hall so you and your neighbours — from Port Renfrew to Metchosin — can bring a regional, rural perspective to Canada’s Green New Deal.

Townhalls across Canada are gathering ideas for a national response to the climate emergency, while at the same time, imagining how to include everyone in a new economy.

The ideas gathered at the Sooke Town Hall will be shared with the rest of Canada, but Transition Sooke will use our local ideas for a follow-up “barnstorm” in September, when specific action teams will be formed.

The GND movement is supported by almost 100 national and local organizations. The purpose is to figure out where we are going and how to get there together.

More information on Canada’s Green New Deal


Green New Deal Meeting – August 7, 2019

Green New Deal: Let’s make it happen!

Wednesday August 7, 7 pm
Harbourside Co-Housing

Come to the August meeting to plan a fall event to take action on the Climate Emergency in the Sooke community

Following our successful June meeting, the Transition Sooke August meeting will focus on organizing the Green New Deal “make it happen” event for September. We have compiled all the information that participants shared on June 22. The next step is to organize a large community event, using a group process similar to Open Space, to form action teams such as “local transportation” and “community water conservation.”

We are asking all Transition Sooke members who are available and would like to help develop ideas and plans for this September event to come to this planning meeting on August 7, 7 pm at Harbourside Co-Housing. Many hands make light work and bring a rainbow of creative energy to produce a hugely successful event.

For more information, email Susan or Jo

Meeting Minutes – May 1, 2019

17 people present

  1. Approval of minutes for April 3 meeting; moved by Michael and seconded by Sinclair. Passed.


Account balances were shared along with details of expenses, income and remaining monies yet to be received ($250 from Emotive Grant after final report and the budget are filed). Report attached to these minutes.

3. A PROPOSAL FOR A SOOKE EMERGENCY RESPONSE DAY presented by Ann Clement who lives at Harbourside and is active with the Sooke Shelter Society. Ann laid out her ideas for the event. She got a fair bit of feedback from those present suggesting that the timing for a celebration rings a bit hollow when we are all working hard to figure out what exactly we can do to make inroads on the climate change crisis within Transition Sooke and in relation to the community of Sooke and its elected council. Once we have got things moving actions wise, we can see how we can use that progress to show there is indeed hope that we can make a real difference. The matter was tabled for future reference. Ann was thanked for her time and effort to put the idea together.


* Climate Cafés: Jo spoke on behalf of the committee about the plan for the next gathering on May 6 at Harbourside which will be a brainstorming session focusing on actions we can take and a check-in to share our personal and emotional reflections on climate change and how we are feeling in the world.

* Volunteers at the Sooke Market to look after a table for Zero Waste Sooke and Transition Sooke: Arrangements were made to cover as many market dates as possible over the summer. Diane offered to check out the museum Thursday market possibilities

* Zero Waste Sooke: Wendy gave report of the activities of the group including a very successful Repair Cafe and a delegation to Sooke District Council about banning single use plastic bags on April 23. Council announced that this issue will be addressed in May. The community cleanup at the end of April did not happen because there was simply no support or traction. This raised the issue of having a critical shortage of volunteers for ZWS. Wendy underlined the importance of having lots of time to begin announcing events well ahead with lots of reminders as we get close to the actual event. Next meeting is scheduled for May 15th at 7 pm at Sooke Library.

* Speakers Series: Dahr Jamail event is being handled by Susan Clarke and Jo. All set for June 4 at the Trinity Anglican church. Michael working on signing up with the church and the insurance. Michael also raised the issue of how Jamail handles the more extreme aspects of the climate crisis. Given the sensitivity of this issue, it was suggested that we are left with the important question to ask ourselves: “HOW THEN SHALL WE LIVE!” Regarding setting up another opportunity to interact with Jamail beyond the church program, it was felt that there may be several Sooke councillors and others around available to meet with him. Lily mentioned that the posters are coming and need to be distributed.

* Ecohome tour in September? Michael to contact Stephen Hindrichs to see if he can rustle up some sites for the tour. Pick a date very carefully avoid clashes with events in September.


Alan reports that the upgrade is just about complete. Final payment due once our consultant is finished.


* Michael announced that he is away May 11- 26.

* Global Climate Strike (Future Extinction Rebellion) is set for May 24 in Victoria at the Legislature.

* Invitation for Starhawk to come and speak on the theme mentioned earlier – In the face of extreme climate disruption HOW THEN SHALL WE LIVE? Michael will contact Jo and Stephen to check this out with Starhawk June 28 – July 10 at the Ecovillage (within those dates or before and after?).

* The subject of Transition Sooke having a yearly based insurance coverage plan rather than the current occasional purchase of coverage for specific events where risk is a factor. Michael will consult with Jeff and bring any details back to the Steering group.

* Woodside Farm acquisition: At meeting on April 24 it was stated that the CRD would need to purchase Woodside Farm. How do we support the CRD to do that?

* Tim Horton’s invasion of Sooke. Conversation led by Sinclair raised many difficult and frustrating questions about this situation. It was felt there is little we can do except to write letters. Sinclair is working on this. Michael had to “force quit” the meeting.

Meeting adjourned

Sooke Climate Café – March 23, 2019

Join us for the first Sooke Community Climate Café on Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m. to Noon at Jenny’s Country Pantry & Tea Shoppe, 6596 Sooke Road (corner of Church Rd across from Mariner’s Village)

A new project of Transition Sooke hopes to bring climate change into everyday dialogue by providing a comfortable place for conversation.

“The Sooke Community Climate Cafés will be informal gatherings where anyone interested can share concerns about climate change in a safe and welcoming environment,” says Susan Clarke, who is organizing the first in what is intended to be a series of gatherings with her TS colleague Jo Phillips.

Last month, the CRD declared a “Climate Emergency” in response to the recent International Panel on Climate Change’s report that gave humanity 12 years to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“While climate change is now receiving a lot of media attention, it is a bit overwhelming for many people to talk about,” explains Susan.

“I think a lot of people are feeling anxiety and a sense of despondency,” adds Jo Phillips. “We would like to give people an opportunity to talk about that over breakfast or coffee, to share their feelings and hopefully realize they are not alone.”

All family members are welcome; Jenny’s has an activity corner for kids.

For further information, please contact Susan at or Jo at

Transition Sooke, which is part of a worldwide movement, is a citizen’s initiative seeking common-sense steps towards a resilient and sustainable community.

Minutes – April 3, 2019

21 people attending. Convened at 7 pm

  1. Approval of minutes of the last meeting on March 6, 2019 Moved by Michael; Seconded by Bernie; Approved

2. Celebrating our successes!

Our EV Extravaganza was a great success – congratulations to David and Carol and all concerned

Michael met with Mayor Maja Tait to talk about the relationship between the District Council and Transition Sooke. Given the good track record, we hope to continue to make a useful contribution to promoting sustainability and resilience and to advocate for meaningful actions in our region.

3. Coming events

April 4 Salmon talk organized by George Butcher of Sooke Forum 7pm EMCS

April 9 Community Hall Roundtable 6-8 pm. Michael presenting for STTS and Samantha Webb for WWS

April 10 Farm and Film Gala by Awareness Film Night and Sooke Food CHI at EMCS with TS Table

April 14 Whiffen Spit Beach Cleanup with Surfrider and Zero Waste folks 11-1. Contact Wendy; Support for meeting with Council in April 23.

April 20 5th Sooke Repair Cafe at Community Hall 10-2 Contact Bernie

April 27/28 Sooke Region Communities Earth Week Cleanup coordinated by Jo, Wendy and Marlene Barry

May 24 Global Climate Strike at Legislature

June 12 Awareness Film Night with Transition Sooke in the works

4. What’s next?

  • Climate Cafe: March 23 gathering went well with Shayna Shamitoff facilitating with emphasis on how people were feeling about climate change; sub-groups being formed and feedback questionnaires being sent out.
  • Speaker Series and/or Strategy session with Dahr Jamail (author of THE END OF ICE).  He lives in Port Townsend. Could we do some selling of his books i.e. book tour? Looking at the 1st or 2nd week of June for this event.
  • OPEN SPACE EVENT to bring together key players in and around Sooke to explore how we can work together to address the climate crisis. Invitees could be Sooke Food CHI, District of Sooke Council, David Merner, T’Sou-ke First Nation, Sooke Forum folks, etc. WHO ELSE? Speaker Series team contacting Tony and Christiana St Pierre, Mary Coll to see if someone can facilitate? Timing mid-June.
  • OPEN SPACE or ORGANIZATIONAL SESSION regarding the acquisition of Woodside Farm bringing together all interested parties (see last item). This initiative could make a real difference in the area of food security. We support this initiative and encourage holding another preliminary meeting ASAP. Partners could be Sooke Region Food CHI, District of Sooke Council, Capital Region District, Kwantlen College, T’Sou-ke First Nation, local Farmlands Trust, David Merner, WHO ELSE?

* Speakers Series to bring Jens Wieting, Senior Forest and Climate Campaigner, Sierra Club BC, to give a presentation on his “3 elephants in the room” project in response to Horgan Government Climate Plan:    1] Insufficient GHG emissions reduction target; 2] New fossil fuel projects incompatible with meaningful climate action; and ESPECIALLY! 3] forest emissions!

 * Bring in a financial expert on divesting our investments from the fossil fuel industry and switching to green ethical investments say in renewal energy to give us some good insights and advice. Stephen Whipp was suggested.

  • A workshop on how to determine our carbon footprint with Arno Keinonen is being explored
  • TS and ZWS to have a table at the Country Market for 4 months June through September. Motion to do this was moved by David and seconded by Carol. Motion was approved.
  • Bernie presented his idea of having Transition Sooke sponsor a local Grant Writing training group (a guild). He moved a motion to make this happen seconded by Sue Lidster including a budget of $50 to cover first meeting space rent. The motion passed.

5. Website upgrade – Alan

Alan told us about the streamlined design of the website including optimized features for viewing on cell phones. He proposed the website hosting be upgraded to “Premium” level at $10 per month. Motion moved by David and seconded by Jo. Approved.

6. Financial report – David

Treasurer reported that finances were in good shape. See attached report. Acceptance of report moved by Bernie and seconded by Lynn. Passed. A small deficit of $26 for our last co-presentation payable to Jo P was approved.

7. Other business

* Michael reported that his article “Keeping our carbon footprint down and beyond” will be published in May’s edition of the Rural Observer.

* Sinclair initiated a discussion on the recent first approval of the plans for the new Tim Hortons fast-food joint in Evergreen Mall which was passed at the District of Sooke Council meeting on Monday, April 8.

There was lots of push back and criticism. Some disappointment with “our” two Council members for not standing up for our “Transition Town” values. Perhaps we need to be careful to choose which battles to engage in.

Meeting adjourned 9:20 pm

Minutes – March 6, 2019

20 people attending. Convened at 7:00 pm

Acknowledgement of meeting on unceded T’Sou-ke land

1 Agenda change to have Item 8 moved to Item 4 OK

2: Approval of minutes of the last meeting on February 6, 2019 Moved: Bernie; Seconded: David Mallett; Approved with the correction of Alan Dolan’s name


* Review of the Multi-Belief meeting on March 2nd at the Baptist Church by those 

* that attended. Of note: Mayor and two councillors attended.

* Call for carpooling for March 7 talk by Dr. Robert Clifford in Metchosin resulted in a good turnout of Sooke folks. He is a professor of psychology at UVic who specializes in exploring the resistance to taking action about climate change. Kara Middleton also spoke about how our love and care for the earth and our fellow humans can mobilize us to action. Three students from Pearson College stole the show with their elegant presentation on how our youth population wants in on solving the crisis before us. After all, they will be the ones to pick up the pieces not too ar down the road.

* Climate Cafe organizational meeting plans:

  • Climate Cafe Committee meets at 2119, Melrick Place at 7 pm on Monday, March 18
  • First cafe March 23 at Jenny’s Kitchen (Church and Sooke Road) 10 am to noon
  • Possible cafe with EMCS students during solar installation tour in cooperation with Andrew Moore. Also, we want to be available to work with youth as opportunities arise
  • Posters for the meeting were distributed
  • Dahr Jamail, author of a new book “The End of Ice” (2019) is being approached about a TS-sponsored tour of the island. Jo and Susan to approach other groups to set up a tour under the TS umbrella. Full proposal at next meeting (April) with budget for approval

* EV Extravaganza update from Carol Mallett

  • Local, affordable EVs as well as top-of-the-line models
  • Opens with talk and discussion in theatre
  • Then moves out of theatre to talk with owners
  • ZWS will provide coffee mugs, hot water, and tea. Coffee from The Stick. Volunteers needed for the day. Kara Middleton to organize (volunteer coordinator)

* ZWS Community Clean up 20-21 April. Wendy organizing

* ZWS Repair Cafe 20 April 10-2  Bernie organizing

4 TREASURER’S REPORT (see attachment 1) David to pay for domain name renewal and be reimbursed


After some explanation from Alan Dolan, a budget was approved for professional services arranged by Alan to update our website. A motion was presented to authorize a budget of $800 (10 hours at $80 per):

  • David moved for Alan to go ahead
  • Paula seconded
  • carried by floor vote


  • Patrick appeared before Sooke Council; sent report for attendees which included
    • proposed a Food/Land Trust Fund –passed by Sooke Council
    • multiple groups support purchase
    • next step—off to next layer of government
    • TS needs to keep a close eye on this. TS to sponsor a meeting of all/as many as possible of the interested parties


Much discussion from the floor on who gets to make decisions and how. There was some recognition that the Board elected at the AGM should have some say in making decisions as required under the Societies Act, particularly on financial matters. Yet the steering group works together to make things happen and we want to maintain the fluidity and innovative tone of our collaboration together. One possibility would be to carry on as we do now but when we have to spend money, we do it by presenting a motion which is moved and seconded and voted on. This is followed by a call for board members present (a minimum of 3 as a quorum) to confirm the vote by a show of hands. If anyone opposes the motion, their reasons should be noted in the minutes. The motion, mover, seconder and the vote itself should be recorded in the minutes. Maybe we can try it and see how it feels.


Wildwise has expanded its activities to Shirley, East Sooke, and Otter Point

  • Possible expansion into Metchosin
  • Otter Point meeting March 17 7:00 pm
  • E. Sooke meeting March 22 7:00 pm
  • Shirley—no meeting date set yet

Meeting adjourned at 9 pm