Meeting Minutes – Oct 2, 2019

  1. Welcome. Indigenous Territorial acknowledgement. Round of names.

2. Agenda had 2 additions. Minutes of the last meeting on September 19, 2019 were approved by motion to accept said minutes: moved by Moki and seconded by Robin. Passed.

3. Review of the 29 September Community Action Workshop: 70-75 people attended with lots of enthusiasm and creativity in the air. The table facilitators went through a brief training session the day before. Thanks were expressed for the three keynote speakers in the first hour or so. While the morning session carried on, quite a few people left to attend the Orange Shirt ceremony organized by the local T’So-uke First Nation nearby at the kiosk in Evergreen Mall. This event was meant to remember victims of the 60’s scoop and well as the residential schools all over Canada. Kudos go to Bernie and the kitchen crew who prepared an excellent lunch. Much appreciation goes to Alan and Susan Belford for facilitating the whole day and making it a fine success.

The afternoon was made up of 13 tables each with facilitators and several participants, some of whom came and went. The session ended with a plenary part where the champions of each table briefly covered what went on at their table. All of the flip chart records of the day were assembled by Susan Belford who agreed to compile the written record of every group for future work. Overall the day seemed to go very well and now the real work begins as we seek and figure out what comes next. How will the 13 teams move forward?

4. Financial Report – David

Treasurer went over our balances held in three main accounts: main Chequing; Zero Waste Sooke; Special Events (related to Earth Day event for April 2020.) with a grand total of $7830. Donations collected amounted to $245 cash. Genrally we are in decent shape.

5. Any feedback and comments about previous recent events: Speed-dating for Sooke council candidates: a moderate success with about 50-60 people dropping in to talk with the candidates. 27 September Climate Strike in Victoria in front of the legislature: estimated crowd of 20,000 with many of us in attendance – quite a thrilling event! Sooke Council approves the sign about Sooke as a Compassionate Community to be displayed at the kiosk in Evergreen Mall: 4 members of our Sooke Multi-Belief Initiative were present when the Sooke Council approved it.

6. What lies ahead and needs to be organized: October 3: All Candidates debates on Climate Change for our riding. One of over 100 debates happening all over Canada. Metchosin Community Hall from 6-30 to 9 pm. October 9: Awareness Film Night c/o Jo Phillips presents a film PUSH October 11: Federal All-Candidates meeting made possible by the collaboration of Transition Sooke’s Multi-Belief Initiative and the Sooke Region Chamber of  Commerce. This is designed to be a non-confrontational debate. EMCS Theatre 7 – 9 pm. Decided not to have a TS display table. October 16: Crafting supplies swap and ZWS meeting October 20: Zero Waste Sooke Repair Cafe November 2 Workshop on Rain Water Harvesting by Ken Nentwig championed by Sue L and Robin. Budget estimated at $400. Support?

7. Other business: What’s next on Ridesharing Initiative? It was suggested that Paula should invite some more people to work together on this idea. Then they could prepare a proposal to bring back to the general meeting for support and approval. It would include a presentation to the Sooke District Council.

What’s next on the Pesticide Education Group? The petition to ban cosmetic pesticides now has 250 signatures. Maybe we can take the issue to Council in January?

Chris Moss on behalf of Lifelong Learning told us that three spaces have opened up in their January schedule; January 8, 15 and 22, 2020. He invited us to come up with a program possibly based on the activities of the 13 action teams formed on September 29. Several people have stepped forward to get involved so we can take advantage of this opportunity.

8. Getting photographs of our activities: It was suggested that we encourage the taking of photos of our activities and that we ask someone to do this at every event.

Next meeting: November 6 at Harbourside, 6683 Horne Road.


Rainwater Harvesting and Management Workshop – Nov 2, 2019

Concerned about our water supply in the Sooke Region?  Come to Transition Sooke’s Rainwater Harvesting and Management Workshop on Saturday November 2, 1-4 pm at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1962 Murray Street in Sooke.

This workshop explains the rationale for rainwater as a resource and gives instructions on Best Practice HOW-TO’s in developing a workable and sustainable harvesting system. Applications such as irrigation and other outdoor uses, as well as indoor and potable uses for rainwater and water management, are covered. The workshop is based on the CSA B805-18 / ICC 805 2018 “Rainwater Standard” which is expected to become a prime reference document for municipalities across Canada.

The workshop will be facilitated by Ken Nentwig, an educator with Gaia College (courses also offered through Royal Roads University) and a consultant with the Canadian Association for Rainwater Management.  Ken develops and facilitates online courses in Rainwater Management and the CANARM RWH Certification Program for Canada.

Sue Lister, one of the organizers from Transition Sooke, explains the need for this workshop: “I’ve experienced well water running dry in seasons lacking rainfall and I see the benefits of harvesting.  I am concerned about the effects of climate change on the rainfall pattern in the Sooke Region.  Instead of the slow but steady rainfall throughout the winter months, we are now seeing shorter, but more torrential rainfalls. This type of rainfall does not allow water to penetrate into the ground. Groundwater wells, especially in the Otter Point area, are running dry. We need to look at ways to capture and conserve rainwater for irrigation and potability.” 

This workshop falls within Transition Sooke’s goal of drawing on local knowledge, skills, and resources to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and to deal with the impacts of climate change, thus building a more resilient and sustainable community.

Anyone  interested in the topic of capturing and conserving rainwater is welcomed to attend. Donations will be gladly accepted.

Repair Café – Oct 20, 2019

Save the date! Sunday, October 20 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Sooke Community Hall is set for our sixth Sooke Repair Café. Expect familiar and new friendly faces with the tools and know-how to turn your potential recyclables into revitalized treasures.

This family friendly event welcomes everyone in town to bring items for repair.  Anything that is broken is fair game — lamps, hair dryers, clothes, fabrics, electronic appliances, furniture, bikes, toys, teapots and crockery included.  No guarantees, but more than likely these items can be repaired.  Learn new skills, meet your neighbours, and enjoy some coffee (or tea) and cookies.  Nothing to repair? Just drop in and join the fun.

 “If you can carry it through the door, someone will try to help you repair it!”  says Bernie Klassen of Zero Waste Sooke. “At the last café, a child brought in her precious toy for us to look at.  She shed happy tears when it was fixed!  Maybe we can help fix something precious to you.”

Our event is timed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Repair Café International. The first Repair Café was held in Amsterdam in 2009. Since then, Repair Cafes have been popping up all around the world.  Zero Waste Sooke, a working group of Transition Sooke, operates this event under licence with Repair Café International. 

Meeting Minutes – Sept 4, 2019


~22 people attending


Acknowledgement of meeting on the unceded territory of the T’Souke First Nation. Agenda approved. Minutes of last meeting (July 3) accepted after 3 corrections. Alan moved, Sinclair seconded. Approved

After the introductions were made around the circle, the financial report was given by David, who moved to accept it. Bernie seconded. passed. A cheque to pay off the cost of updating our website was struck with thanks.


Summer slowed a lot of activities. No table at the fall fair, no table in Metchosin.


The local GND Town Hall meeting is to be held 29 Sept. in the dining room at the community hall from 10 am to 4 pm. Lunch will be organized by Bernie (volunteers to help make sandwiches and/or help wash up are still needed). Next organizational meeting is set for 11 Sept at Alan and Sue’s. A budget of ~$250 was approved. Draft press release to Lily. Dianne pursuing endorsements from other local groups.


Speed Dating event to meet Sooke by-election candidates at the Community Hall upstairs 2 – 6 pm on Sunday, 15th September. TS table needs volunteers to greet attendees.

(Federal meet-the-candidates event cancelled. Don Brown would like to set up another  meet-the-candidates event, for which TS expressed its support.

(See below.)


Global Climate Strike September 20-27 with gatherings all week. SeaParc sign announcement arranged for GVTA (Greater Victoria Teacher’s Association) Teach-In rally at the Legislature on Monday, 23rd September from 1-30 pm to 3 pm. No one from TS available to attend the organizational meeting in Victoria.

FEDERAL ALL-CANDIDATES DEBATE (part of “100 debates” all over Canada on the same day)

An all-candidates climate change debate for the Esquimalt/Saanich/Sooke Electoral District is being held on October 3 at the Metchosin Community Hall from 6-30 pm to 9 pm. It will be live-streamed. Can we put together a local live-stream watching event? Might be possible. Anyone wanting to help should contact Bernie.


October 16 there will be a crafting supplies swap event from 6-8 at the Sooke library during the Zero Waste Sooke meeting. The next Zero Waste Repair Cafe is scheduled for Oct. 20 at the Community Hall 2-5 p.m.  Christina, Dave & Carol have volunteered to help with greeting the attendees. Jo to put up signs. More volunteers welcome.


Don Brown representing this initiative about making Sooke a more compassionate place wanted to see if it was possible for that group to hold a more respectful candidates debate focused on values and what it means to be a compassionate community.

Don was asked to provide a proposal to us which includes how the session would be facilitated and what the rules are. This event to be offered in October.


Planned for early in November. Request to go to council for municipal sponsorship. Ken Nentwig charges $250/3 hours. $400 tentative budget approved. Sue Lidster and other interested folks encouraged to go ahead.


Website update: status, done! Paid for at less than budgeted. ~350 people on TS email list, with a very high ~50% opening rate on emails.


Pesticide group has about 200 signatures currently on the petition. They are close to ready to present to council.


Rideshare exploratory group: looked into Kootenay Ride-share and found that their fee to run a website for Sooke Ride-share (connected with other Ride-shares across BC & Alberta) would be $1500.00 a year. That’s not an unreasonable fee for managing the website with all the rides being requested and offered by signed-in members. We could approach the CRD and District of Sooke to contribute to this fee in lieu of setting up a purely local website at about the same cost but with no connection to the Ride-share network. It could take about 300 rides a year to feel like Sooke was “getting its money’s worth.” We need to talk with users of Cowichan Ride-share to see how they like being part of this network. An alternative that involves no yearly fee is Poparide. That website pays its bills by taking a percentage from each fee paid when a driver and a passenger agree on a fee.


Monthly meeting name to be changed to something more inclusive so how about General Meeting with the tag “everyone is welcome to attend”.



Meeting Minutes – May 28, 2019

18 attendees

1. Agenda change and approval of minutes.

For the agenda: item 7 moved to 2

Minutes of May 1 meeting; moved by Michael and seconded by David – approved

2. Financial Report:

Things are fine – report moved by David and seconded by Alan – approved

3. Speakers Series:

Dahr Jamail to speak also to members of Council and staff

Holy Trinity rental $50; Event insurance $50—but covers Transition Sooke for all events at Holy Trinity Anglican Church for rest of year

Donations at the door. All donations to go to speaker. If our share of expenses is higher, we’ll cut a cheque at the time.

Volunteers needed for handling the welcome table, selling books, setting up

the sound system and serving refreshments.

Arrangements have been made for Dahr to meet Jeff, Tony and a staff person from the District of Sooke on Thursday

4. Climate Café:

Discussion about how to move forward – pending the presentation of the next item

5. Report on the Green New Deal Town-Hall in Fernwood

10 people from Sooke. More than 300 in attendance

Deb report: very exciting!

Diane report: Does TS need to get more political? More pressure on local and provincial government?

Discussion returned to Climate Café

The next climate cafe set for June 13 at Harbourside could be an organizational meeting for Sooke Green New Deal Town Hall or a debrief of the Dahr Jamail event. To be determined

6. Forest Action

Michael talked with Bruce Fogg (John Horgan’s Executive Assistant) as a representative of Transition Sooke expressing our opposition to the cutting of 4 blocks of old growth forest near Port Renfrew. One such block was very close o the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. We understand that the auction was stopped. Kara (Sierra Club) and Debb (Dogwood Sooke) did not attend.

7. ZWS – Bernie (Wendy away) Council was approached about-single use plastic ban. Staff to delay by “studying” sample bylaw to make sure what is most effective. Council itself seems onside.

8. Website – Alan      In final stages of upgrade

9. Other business:

Several people including Michael and Wendy have applied for the DOS Climate Change Action Committee

Event insurance ~$200/event or $1000/year. We will continue by event.

Caitlin put forward a proposal for the creation of a Sooke Rideshare based on Kootenay Rideshare. Web infrastructure CC licensed. Decision to move forward with this.

Eco-Home tour to be postponed for a year.

Adjourned 8:50 pm

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