• May 2023 newsletter: Transition Sooke activities on Earth Day with the 606 water group and Zero Waste Sooke, upcoming Jigsaw Puzzle and Board Game swap with Zero Waste Sooke on May 28th, and “The Rain Gauge #3”. Read the newsletter here.
  • April 2023 newsletter: Transition Sooke’s “The Time is Now: Building Community Resilience Together“ Forum, was a success, Jigsaw Puzzle & Board Game Swap on Sunday, May 28 by Zero Waste Sooke and the Sooke branch of VI Regional Library and Earth Week Events April 19-22, 2023. Read the newsletter here.
  • Wednesday March 22 – Transition Sooke held its 2022 Annual General Meeting as a hybrid meeting (library in-person/online Zoom). Members passed the yearly financial report and approved the minutes for the 2021 AGM. Alan Dolan made a presentation on the highlights of 2022. Thanks were given to all the directors on the present Steering Committee. Four directors of the present committee were acclaimed — Lily Mah-Sen, Susan Belford, Jo Phillips, and Alan Dolan. One new Director was acclaimed — Paula Johanson.
  • Saturday March 25 – Come visit Transition Sooke’s table at the annual “Seedy Saturday” event at the Sooke Community Hall, 10 am – 3 pm.

  • Sunday March 26 – 10 am – 3:30 pm. Public Forum. The Time Is Now: Building Community Resilience Together. Sooke Community Hall. The forum gets underway at 10 am with a keynote address by Gord Baird, Highlands councillor, Chair of the CRD Regional Water Commission, farmer, and consultant on regenerative water and sewage systems. In the afternoon, there will be small group discussions on a broad range of topics including; tiny homes, zero waste, car sharing co-ops, climate anxiety and council advocacy. More information, contact Susan C:
  • March 2023 newsletter: Transition Sooke hosts “The Time is Now: building a resilient community together”, a new series about water, Yarn Swap by Zero Waste Sooke and Transition Sooke attended the rally against Old-Growth logging. Read the newsletter here.
  • February 2023 newsletter: Transition Sooke’s Strategic Plan Event Focuses on Building Relationships, more EV charging stations in Sooke, United for Old Growth rally and book review of Paulette Steeves’ The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere. Read the newsletter here.
  • January 2023 newsletter: Transition Sooke evaluates its role in the community with three events, news from the Juan de Fuca Electoral District, events from Zero Waste Sooke and the workshop “A Heart for the Earth” in Sooke. Read the newsletter here.
  • December 2022 newsletter: Transition Sooke Festive Gathering, Zero Waste Sooke gives a demonstration of furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in festive material, Lions seek alternative location, Transition Sooke in Santa Parade. Read the newsletter here.
  • November 2022 newsletter: The salmon are back, solar installations in Sooke, greenwashing Natural Gas, meeting of Zero Waste Sooke and good climate news from around the world. Read the newsletter here.
  • October 2022 newsletter: What happens after the election, Craft & Art Supplies Swap and Repair Café both a success and Sooke’s vanished tree canopy. Read the newsletter here.
  • On September 21, 2022, Transition Sooke ran a 1/2-page advertisement in the Sooke News Mirror to encourage Council to pass the Official Community Plan (OCP). See ad here. Unfortunately, Council did not pass the plan and passed it on to the next Council to follow-up.
  • Transition Sooke organizes an All-Candidates’ Meeting with a Twist: We call it “Speed Rating.” All questions will be delivered at small tables with only one candidate present. Read more about the event on Sunday October 2, 2 – 6 here.
  • Zero Waste Sooke’s Repair Café – Bring the broken stuff you love and get help fixing it! October 16 from 10 am to 2 pm in the large meeting room at the library.
  • September 2022 newsletter: Public hearing for OCP on September 27, Transition Sooke’s municipal all-candidates’ meeting on October 2, Repair Café on October 16, Transition Sooke Takes a Stand on John Phillips Memorial Park, new Community Park Land Acquired for Juan de Fuca Electoral Area: Read the newsletter here.
  • August 2022 newsletter: Upcoming council elections, potluck for Sooke’s Climate Action Coordinator Maia Carolsfeld, EMCS Solar Garden Project, a trip across Canada by EV, Member Lily Mah-Sen’s open letter about ICBC rebate: Read the newsletter here.
  • June 2022 newsletter: Important Council Committee of the Whole Meeting, the purchase of Admiral’s Forest, a new solar working group in Sooke and a book recommendation: Read the newsletter here.
  • May 2022 newsletter: Successful Repair Café, information by the Transition Sooke water group, movie nights and an investment in local green space: Read the newsletter here.
  • Zero Waste Sooke’s Repair Café – Bring the broken stuff you love and get help fixing it! April 30, 10 am – 2 pm downstairs at the Sooke Community Hall
  • Earth Day/Week – Come and visit Transition Sooke’s booth and the 606 Water Group’s displays at the opening day of the Sooke Market on April 23, 10 am – 2 pm
  • April 2022 newsletter: Earth Week; OCP Open House; Zero Waste Sooke’s Repair Café; and more. Read the newsletter here.
  • March 2022 newsletter published: Transition Sooke Water Group talks about the importance of clean water and how to save it, the District of Sooke delays the Official Community Plan, and Transition Sooke events for Earth Day. Read the newsletter here.
  • February 2022 newsletter published: Two successful presentations on groundwater, nearly 1000 more cars in Sooke than in 2019, and Transition Sooke op-ed about pausing some development in Sooke. Read the newsletter here.
  • Read transition Sooke’s op-ed: “Why pausing some development in Sooke is a good idea” here.
  • January 2022 newsletter published: Transition Sooke’s actions in the media, no more glyphosate on school grounds in SD 62 and upcoming events on Climate Change. Read the newsletter here.
  • Transition Sooke Asks for Hold on New Development. Read the news release here.
  • December 2021 newsletter published: Transition Sooke to District of Sooke: Put a hold on hew development, support of EMCS Climate Poster Contest, and Climate heroes with a rainwater harvesting system in Sooke. Read the newsletter here.
  • Transition Sooke supports EMCS Climate Poster Contest. See details and the winners here.
  • November 2021 newsletter published: Carbon calculations for new buildings in Sooke and the 7% goal, responds to Sooke’s Official Community Plan, the work of different Transition Sooke groups, and a comparison of Sooke with other Municipal Climate Actions in the area. Read the newsletter here.
  • Transition Sooke made a major submission to the engagement process for Sooke’s draft Official Community Plan (OCP). The document was developed by the OCP and Climate Emergency Team. See details here.
  • October 2021 newsletter published: Transition Sooke at community events, push for a potential Sooke Ban on Cosmetic Use of Pesticides, support for Council’s passing of the Climate Change Mitigation strategy, the “7% Solution”, and good news from Fairy Creek. See details here.
  • September 2021 newsletter published: 100 Debates on Environment, Health and Climate, West Coast Climate Action Network and Last Stand: Old Growth Forest and the Fairy Creek Ecosystem. See details here.
  • Transition Sooke supports EMCS ECO Academy with $1,000 bursary. See details here.
  • August 2021 newsletter published: Climate Emergency is here, new Water Group in Transition Sooke, Proceedings to Town Hall about “Growing Pains” and one-year anniversary of Fairy Creek protests. View here.
  • About 40 people attended our online Town Hall “To Grow or Not to Grow: Developing a Liveable Sooke in a Climate Emergency” on June 26. Find out more here.
  • July 2021 newsletter published: Online Town Hall about Sooke’s growth, concerns about the Eustace Road Development and Climate Emergency. View here.
  • Transition Sooke’s Local Economy Working Group made a presentation to the Community Economic Development Committee of Council on June 25, 2021. See details here
  • News release: Transition Sooke is very concerned about a proposed shopping plaza in Sooke. Read here why there should be a more sustainable approach.
  • June 2021 newsletter published: Upcoming online town hall by Transition Sooke about growth, Fairy Creek protests every Saturday in Sooke and Transition Sooke’s Local Economy Working Group. View here.
  • The council of Sooke adopted “Low Carbon Resilience (LCR)” as its definition of “Climate First”. Read here why this approach is problematic.
  • May 2021 newsletter published: Transition Sooke’s Official Community Plan raises awareness, upcoming Town Halls focused on growth and Fairy Creek protests. View here.
  • Article in Sooke News Mirror: Transition Sooke calls for slower growth. Read it here.  
  • Transition Sooke issued a news release — “Sooke needs to slow growth to meet the climate challenge” — and offered a low carbon/slow growth alternative to the growth scenarios proposed by the consultant preparing the Official Community Plan (OCP). Read the news release here.
  • April 2021 newsletter published: Low Carbon/Low Growth Scenario proposed for Sooke, BC Climate Action Network and Zero Waste in Sooke. View here.
  • Transition Sooke’s OCP and Climate Team develops alternative low-carbon / low growth scenario for OCP. View here.
  • Op-ed in Sooke News Mirror by board member Alan Dolan on Growth, Housing, and the Climate Emergency. View here.
  • March 2021 newsletter published: presentation to OCP Advisory Committee, new board of directors and launch of BC Climate Action Network. View here.
  • February 25, 2021 presentation to the OCP Advisory Committee
  • January 2021 newsletter (Year in Review) published. View here.
  • Transition Sooke sent a letter to our MLA and Premier John Horgan on Site C. Download it here.
  • Transition Sooke members met with Dialog Consulting, the firm doing the Official Community Plan for Sooke. Summary of that meeting and follow-up can be found here.

Sooke Community Taking Action on Climate Emergency – Sept 29, 2019

From Green New Deal Town Hall to Community Action

Following a successful Town Hall in June, on September 29, 2019, Transition Sooke hosted a Community Action Workshop titled “Climate Emergency: What Can We Do?”

Transition Sooke’s Susan Belford has prepared proceedings of the workshop that you can download here.

“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 invited everyone from Sooke Region to join us 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.”

Climate Emergency Group’s Susan Clarke (left) and Jo Phillips

More than 75 participants attended the Workshop, which took place in the downstairs dining room of the Sooke Community Hall from 10 – 5 on Sunday September 29.

The morning featured two short, keynote addresses — one on “The Future of Forests” by J. Ocean Dennie of the Sooke Hills Wilderness and the second on “Building Community with Neighborhood Pods” by Al Wickheim of Otter Point Emergency Services and Ron Bilinsky, Sooke Emergency Planning.

The afternoon featured facilitated action tables that focused on specific issues. The goals of the small tables were to hear from a number of different resource people in the community already working on these issues, build teams and start to build action plans for the upcoming year.

The issues at the action tables focused on the big themes identified at the Green New Deal in June 2019.  

  1. Food security and local agriculture
  2. Rainwater harvesting
  3. Forest and ocean / habitat and species protection
  4. Divestment from fossil fuels
  5. Zero waste
  6. New economic model
  7. Transportation
  8. Emergency disaster planning
  9. Green energy
  10. Climate angst
  11. Green lifestyle
  12. Direct action
  13. Water

Over the next few months, the teams that emerged from the workshop will begin taking action. Anyone interested in getting involved on the teams should contact Transition Sooke or Susan Clarke or Jo Phillips directly.

Conversations with the Federal Candidates – Oct 11, 2019

The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce and the Sooke Multi-Belief Initiative hosted an All Candidates Event for the federal election on Friday October 11 from 7 to 9 pm at the Edward Milne Community School Theatre in Sooke.

The event used a unique format that is not commonly seen at all-candidates debates.  Instead of engaging in a political debate, the candidates at this event were asked to explain their visions for the future in a non-confrontational way.

“Federal election politics has become a battleground of antagonism and personal attacks rather than a clear conversation on issues and opportunities that matter locally and nationally,” said Don Brown of the Sooke Multi-Belief Initiative.  “The presentation format that we used enabled the candidates to share their personal visions for the future of our riding and our country.  We wanted to hear substantive answers to important issues from each candidate, not campaign slogans or attacks on each other’s party platforms.”

The candidates were asked to respond to questions on the following issues:  Social Inequality, Affordability and Taxes, Climate Change, and willingness to work with the other parties in government.  The discussion were moderated by Maja Tait, Mayor of the District of Sooke.


Green New Deal Town Hall Sooke – June 22, 2019

It was a powerful and inspiring stage one lift-off for Green New Deal Town Hall, Sooke on Saturday, June 22 at the Sooke Community Hall. More than 50 concerned locals gathered in break-out groups under the direction of our facilitators and emerged with strong, clear, progressive and positive ideas aplenty about how we can navigate the climate emergency.

This wealth of material will now be collated by our Susan Clarke, Jo Phillips and Wendy O’Connor before being forwarded to The Council of Canadians as it prepares a national report from 100+ such town halls across the country.

We’ll be back in the fall with stage two — a barnstorming session at which we’ll identify truly localized adaptations and mitigations we can tackle right here in #Sooke.

Our Jo offered introductory comments about The Pact for a New Green Deal, and we share them here: 

“What is a Green New Deal?  It is taken from the New Deal that US President Roosevelt started during the Great Depression of the 1930’s that incorporated economic management and public work projects to try to stabilize the economic and social collapse which was seen as an emergency situation requiring a concerted effort by everyone to resolve.  It was done from the top (government) down.

The Green New Deal was started in the US by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a “democratic socialist.”  It is a bottom-up movement, i.e., created by The People.

The idea is that the climate changes and eco-destructions that we have seen over the past 70 years have created a Climate Emergency that requires, in the words of the IPCC report “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes.” We have all heard about glaciers melting, species becoming extinct, coral reefs dying, the Amazon (lungs of the Planet) being mowed down, all at unprecedented rates.  Locally we watch as grand polluters and eco-destroyers such as mining companies, fish farms, oil and gas corporations, forestry operations – basically everything that we call “resource extraction” – are allowed to carry on operating without any real controls and, often with tax breaks and government hand-outs.  We persist in building complex highway interchanges instead of light rail, stalling on protecting Indigenous rights and animal habitats, permitting tens of thousands of mostly untested chemicals to be added to our environments and promoting a “throw-away” culture.

In response to the climate emergency and governments’  continued response of “business as usual” the GND is being proposed to bring all sectors of society together to create an action plan to a) do what we can to stop and, where possible, remediate the eco-destruction of our planet b) build resilience so that we can maintain, not our lifestyles, but our very lives as the abundance we have known for the past half-century dissipates and c) create a more just, inclusive, peaceful and cooperative society while we’re at it.

In Canada the GND is supported by over 100 organizations such as the Council of Canadians, The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, Sierra Club,, Rise and Resist, Surfrider Canada and many churches and unions.

The GND also recognizes that economic inequality (46% of Canadians are within $200 of insolvency while 2 billionaires control as much wealth as a third of the population), increasing hate, racism and addiction and housing unaffordability are not separate crises.  It is all tied together.  We are at a point where we have to restructure life as we have come to know it. Change is not something we do well, but think of being called upon to dismantle: hierarchy, inequality, disregard for nature and the ecosystems that have sustained life forever, consumerism, greed, self-centeredness, worship of the elite and caving to “authority” (instead of trusting ourselves) as a chance to rid ourselves of all of these social precepts that definitely no longer serve us. It could be seen as a golden opportunity rather than something to fear and dread.  And it could be fun if we all work together.

And this Town Hall is a great example of working together.  We had only 9 days to organize this event and lots of people pulled together to pitch in where they saw a need in order to help Transition Sooke make it happen.

Most of the town halls across Canada have been done in urban centres so we especially want to focus on the rural perspective at ours.  And we are also focusing on community.  The Council of Canadians asks: “Why focus on communities? Municipal governments are responsible for the majority of local infrastructure and public services.  They control roughly 44 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, according to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Municipalities can also play a key role in rejecting new fossil fuel infrastructure in their jurisdictions.”

The pact for a GND is stated as follows:

 – Rapid, inclusive and far-reaching transition to slash emissions, protect critical biodiversity, meet the demands of the multiple crises we face, create over a million family-supporting jobs, full implementation of UNDRIP (UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People).  It is a huge mobilization calling on the creativity and participation of all of us.

 – It must meet the demands of Indigenous knowledge and science, cut Canada’s emissions in half in 11 years while protecting cultural and biological diversity

 – It must leave no one behind.”


 All photo credits (above): Alan Dolan

Dahr Jamail: Addressing Climate Disruption is a moral imperative – June 4, 2019

On June 4, Sooke residents filled the Holy Trinity Anglican Church to spend an evening with celebrated author Dahr Jamail talking about his new book: The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption .

Jamail has travelled the world to witness the effects of climate change first-hand.

“My book and my talks provide a full and comprehensive overview of how far along we are on this runaway climate disruption path,” said Jamail. “Then I take a deep dive into answering the question: ‘How, then, shall we live?’”

“I don’t peddle hope, but offer a mature perspective on the need for a deep morality, a conviction and commitment to doing all we can,” said Jamail. “I believe we all have a moral obligation to limit greenhouse gases and find ways to adapt to this unknown world we are moving into.”

The talk was part of a four-stop Vancouver Island tour, organized by Transition Sooke’s Susan Clarke. Sponsoring organizations included Transition Sooke, Sierra Club of BC, Council of Canadians, One Cowichan, KAIROS Victoria, and University of Victoria Social Justice Studies.

Jamail, who is based in Port Townsend, Washington, is an independent, award-winning journalist and author of four books as well as more than 100 articles on what he prefers to call “climate disruption.” He was one of a few unembedded journalists in Iraq during the 2003 invasion. His stories have been published in The Guardian, The Nation, Huffington Post, The Independent and elsewhere, and he is a full-time writer for Truthout. For more information on our Jamail and his latest book, click here.

PS Check out a 52-minute recording of Jamail’s June 5 talk at the University of Victoria here courtesy of Chris Cook, host of 101.9FM Victoria’s Gorilla Radio.  

PPS Jamail noted several times how touched he was by our Susan Clarke’s introduction, so here are her words in their entirety: 

“It is my pleasure to introduce our guest and fellow planet dweller Dahr Jamail.  

He’s an ordinary enough person, living just over the border in Port Townsend WA. He loves nature, growing food, going on long treks, living in community and cherishing solitude. He writes a lot, and has earned many distinguished awards.

You might already know that Dahr is someone you want on the planet. Or you might meet him on one of the billions of paths you cross in a lifetime. And you might pass him by, until he slips you a note. Dahr is a messenger. He takes this mission to great heights, and depths.

Dahr sees what is here, then asks questions, unafraid of the answers. He is your eye witness, your contact with reality.

And did I mention Dahr is an ordinary guy? His easy and natural style is unnuanced and open, as he speaks about his journey of deep passion and heart-wrenching grief.

This book is extraordinary. Captured within its pages is the breath-taking beauty and diversity of our home planet. In the pages of discovery, there’s a wealth of knowledge and a humility of spirit.

The vastness of ecosystems, as we have known or imagined them, are diminishing rapidly — leaving token islands of habitat — stranded assets—glimpses of former abundance.

What does it all mean? Where are we going? How do we pack for the trip of our lifetime? It is our lifetime.

Please encourage this extraordinary, ordinary being to share his insights and explore with us the path of joy through loss. 

Dahr Jamail.”


EV Extravaganza Success! – March 23, 2019

All photos by Stephen Hindrichs

More than 200 people flocked to EMCS on March 23, 2019 to learn about electric cars and see the many different models available.

The event began with a panel discussion of EV owners and then everyone went outside to look at the cars and talk to their owners.

Thanks to Transition Sooke volunteers extraordinaire — David and Carol Mallett — for spearheading this exciting event.