AGM Minutes – Feb 26, 2019

Minutes of Sooke Transition Town Society AGM 2019

Harbourside Cohousing, Sooke

Opened at 7 pm – with 16 members attending (see list on last page).

Meeting called to order by Michael Tacon (acting President) who welcomed everyone to our Annual General Meeting for 2018/2019.

President’s Report – see Appendix 1

Michael read to the assembled the message from previous President Jeff Bateman, detailing the successes of STTS in 2018 and a formal “thank you” was voted for Jeff Bateman for all his hard work over the last several years and for his continuing support. Michael went on to read his report covering the period when he and Bernie worked together to keep things going and looking ahead into 2019.

President’s acknowledgement of who is doing what:

  • Publicity: Lily, Jo, Jeff
  • Social Media: Jeff (behind the scenes)
  • Website Re-org/Communications: Alan, Sue L, Hester and Paivi
  • Volunteers: Kara, Paula and Val
  • Newsletter/Communications: Alan

Action Groups and other functions:

  • Speaker’s Series: Carol with David and Michael
  • Awareness Film Night (AFN): Jo, George
  • Climate Cafés: Susan and Jo
  • Pesticide Education Group: Paivi, Alan, Yvonne and Dave Court, Mary Alice Johnson, Kara, Jeff, Paula and Bernie
  • Zero Waste Sooke: Bernie, Paula, Jo, Wendy, Carol and David
  • Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative: Mark Ziegler, Don Brown, Rick Eby, Jeff, Koshin-Moonfist, Humeric Anderson, Bruce Hegerat, and Troi Leonard
  • Wild Wise Sooke (WWS): Samantha Webb with thanks to founder Debb Read
  • Transportation Group: David Hannis
  • Transition Town Book Club: Paula

Treasurer’s Report delivered by current treasurer David Mallett – Appendix 2

Thanks were expressed for Martin Bissig’s service as our Treasurer for several years.

David Mallett moved for the acceptance of his report – seconded by Sinclair Philip.

Unanimously approved.

Election of the Board Officers and Directors for the Society

After instruction on the role, Sinclair was appointed as the elections officer for this meeting.

After announcing the requirement that the members of the previous board must step down, the elections officer called for any further nominations for 3 times. Seeing no further nominations, he read the list of those members standing for election.

The slate of nine directors was voted in by acclamation.

The new board consists of Michael Tacon (President) and David Mallett (Treasurer) with Directors Bernie Klassen, Jo Ann Phillips, Stephen Hindrichs, Wendy O’Connor, Alan Nolan, Paivi Abernethy, and Samantha Webb.

Proposal for how we can formalize our meeting processes.

Bernie Klassen put forward the suggestion that when a motion is recommended to the board by a floor vote at a meeting, as long as a quorum of directors is attending said meeting, the directors can then vote to approve said motion, or not. The full motion would then be minuted and distributed to both the board and the membership at large within a week of the meeting. With the proviso that all such decisions be reviewed by a full director’s meeting to be held thrice yearly.

The process:

  • Proposal from the floor at a monthly meeting.
  • up/down vote.
  • If approved on the floor and a quorum of three directors is present:
  • Director’s vote called.
  • up/down vote.
  • Motion and votes minuted and distributed.
  • List of votes considered at a full director’s meeting (one of three in a year).

Suggestion to be forwarded to all directors with the AGM minutes for consideration and discussion. This matter was tabled until the next steering group meeting on March 6.

Meeting adjourned.

APPENDIX 1 – President’s Report including Jeff Bateman’s message to the AGM

Hello everyone!

Let’s start by acknowledging that we are meeting on the traditional lands of the T’Sou-ke First Nation……and we honour the fact that our indigenous sisters and brothers and their ancestors have lived and thrived on these lands for centuries.

Let’s also start by acknowledging our previous President, Jeff Bateman, for his years of faithful service to the Sooke Transition Town Society. We are gathered here today owing to the legacy he passed onto us. Thank you, Jeff!

And what is great, is the fact that he and Tony St Pierre who were active in TS, are now District of Sooke councillors championing the same issues that TS supports. You have our gratitude and support as you undertake the important work of governing this community.

I invited Jeff to write a few words =

When I arrived back from my summer time trip on October 1 last fall, Jeff had already stepped down so he could run for Council. We all know that he left a very big hole for us to fill.

I have to thank Bernie Klassen for being willing to step in as a Co-President until we got our ducks in a row. I knew immediately that all I could do was guide things along and delegate like crazy. Fortunately, many of you took on specific tasks and roles and others just showed up to see how and why we do what we do. We have had as many as 25 people attending our monthly steering group meetings which has been a real morale booster.

We were involved with the fever of the municipal election which included: the Mayoral Candidates Debate at E.M.C.S.; a booster evening for Jeff’s campaign; the All-Candidates Debates; culminating in the Election on October 20. We were rewarded with the election of an excellent group of people including Jeff and Tony as well as our illustrious Mayor Maja Tait.

Meanwhile, we had a successful Ecohome Tour with some amazing places to show off for their originality and innovative projects. The star of the show, from my point of view, was the so-called Harmless House perched high on a rocky ledge that involved some ground-breaking sustainable construction and unique materials including “biofibre building blocks.”

The owners, Arno Keinonen and Linda Simrose were keen to have people see what is possible.

We were involved in several events through to the end of the year: Site C Dam Protest Group;

Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative Open Space meeting with community focus on possible compassionate action plans to address local issues (homelessness, affordable housing, affordable child care, affordable food, social isolation, inadequate health services, and improving communication, awareness and collaboration); 2018 Inaugural Council Meeting to witness the swearing in ceremonies; and a Solstice celebration at Inishoge Farm with Mary and Stephen.

It seems to me that we are entering a whole new chapter in the evolution of Transition Sooke.

Climate change has always been a part of the Transition Town package of initiatives, but now as Climate Change morphs into becoming a matter of planetary survival, and, as people are really beginning to take it seriously, we see ourselves beginning to focus on Global Warming and its consequences that are really beginning to show up. As we ramp up our efforts to engage the challenges that climate change is bringing, the other initiatives within the Transition Town model continue to be very important and relevant. As Paul Hawken has said, we need action in a large number of ways on a scale that builds up to be equal and more to the power and scope of the phenomenon of Global Warming as expressed through abrupt climate change.

We have got much work to do. And we must continue to commit ourselves to do whatever we can to be serious about tackling climate change in small ways and large.

When our children and grandchildren ask us about what did we do when we knew what was coming, we will be able to tell them the story of how we did our part. We will be able to look in their eyes and they will know that we all did our best.

Thank you everyone here for being with us. Thank you to our members and supporters wherever you are. May we go forward with determination and enthusiasm to build a resilient and sustainable response to what we must do to care for this Earth, its people and its creatures, and the ecosystems that we belong to.

Michael Tacon

APPENDIX 2 – David Mallett’s Treasurer’s Report

MINUTES – Feb 6, 2019

15 people in attendance

  1. Addition to the agenda: Jo proposing a roster of people to attend District of Sooke Council meetings on a regular basis.

2).  What’s coming up in February:

 —  February 13 AFN event at EMCS with a showing of the film “WHAT IS

      DEMOCRACY” at EMCS. Jo is looking after publicity. Alan agreed to bring the

      display setup with signup sheets, etc. Table required.


     SURVIVAL” with Dr. Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth. Lily handling publicity.  

     Alan will bring TS display for one table. Another table will be set up for book

     sales. Will need a donation box. David to pay EMCS and Technician. Michael will

     introduce the speakers. Set up at 6-30 p.m. when Peter and Elizabeth arrive.

— February 20.   ZWS meeting at Sooke Public Library. Planning for Seedy Saturday.

     Champion needed to take on single use plastic bag ban. Next repair cafe set for April

     20th. Spring cleanup on or close to Earth Day.

— February 23.  Seedy Saturday.  Tables for TS display (Alan + ?) and for the

    Pesticide Education Group (Paivi + ?)  Volunteers may be needed – maybe take shifts.

— February 26.  Sooke Transition Town Society AGM  Discussed selection of

     prospective Board members. Bernie Klassen declared he is stepping down as

    Co- President effective immediately. Michael will stay on as President subject to the

    election of officers at the AGM on February 26th, 2019.


     David Mallett, our new Treasurer, finalized the arrangement to pay for the community

     bins out of the Legacy fund with Jo Phillips. The amount was $2,092.63 leaving a

     balance of $1,314.28 in the Fund.

    Current account balances: Main account = $5,156.48

                                               ZWS sub-account = $1,083.60

                                               Legacy Fund = $1,314.28

     The 2018 Financial Report will be presented at the AGM on February 26th, 2019.


—  SPEAKER SERIES c/o Carol and David

     EV SYMPOSIUM details are not finalized yet.

     Open Space event ENVISIONING SOOKE IN 2020 still not firmed up

— CLIMATE ACTION COMMITTEE got off to a great start with their first Climate 

     Change Cafe with 17 people showing up. They need a larger space so have rented

      the Band Room at EMCS. The next one will be on February 11 at 7 pm

      MOTION: “That TS pays for the rental of this next meeting on condition that a

     donation box is available to help defray the costs of the space for future meetings.

     Moved by Bernie and seconded by Paivi. Short discussion. The motion passed.

— SRMBI (Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative): Public Open Space session set for

    March 2nd. Location yet to be determined.

— WILD WISE SOOKE: Sam Webb has assumed control of this working group.

— TRANSPORTATION ISSUES: David Hannis and others plan to attend a Transit

     Planning Meeting on March 6th in Sooke (by invitation only)

— WEB TEAM UPDATE: Much to be done. Team is looking for professional help and

     will get some quotes of costs and extent of assistance

— MONITORING COUNCIL MEETINGS Several people showed interest and

     willingness to attend council meetings to bring back information we should know




     This was approved at a meeting of the CRD Parks and Environment Committee on

    January 23, 2019. 20 delegations attended and spoke to the Committee in support

    of the Declaration. 2 Transition Sooke members made statements – Michael

    representing Transition Sooke, and Susan Clarke as a convener of the Climate Action Committee in Sooke. There were some remarkable comments made by high school students and youth leaders. Now the Declaration will need to be endorsed by the

    Board of the CRD. It is hoped that all the mayors and councils of the 13 municipalities

    within the CRD will support the declaration. A meeting with Mayor Tait to be arranged.


     Michael mentioned that Britt Santowski “gave” us a free subscription with a request

     that several members subscribe to SPN. He believes that at least 3 folks have

     signed up. The cost is $10 per month plus tax.


     Several people made suggestions on this topic. Michael said he would lay out some

     guidelines to address these concerns for our next meeting on March 6.


     * Monitor the review of the Official Community Plan (O.C.P.);

     * Public acquisition of Woodside Farm possibly including the local Farmland Trust

       and the T’Sou-ke First Nation;    

     * Inviting Jens Wieting (Sierra Club) to give a presentation on the desperate state of  

     some of our forests going from functioning as carbon sinks to becoming emitters of

     greenhouse gases which increases global warming. He also wrote a hard hitting

     article in the on-line magazine The Narwhal entitled “B.C.’s climate action must

     address three elephants in the room”.  They are: 

     1) Insufficient B.C. emissions reduction target;

     2) New fossil fuel projects incompatible with meaningful climate action;

     3) Forest emissions

CRD asked to formally recognize the “climate emergency” – Jan 23, 2019

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait, the City of Victoria’s Lisa Helps and 19 year-old Saanich councillor Ned Taylor are calling on the Capital Regional District to formally declare that we’re  in the midst of a bona fide climate emergency and that urgent, accelerated policies are required to make the region carbon neutral by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2030 benchmark for action.

As Ben Isitt, chair of the CRD’s new Parks and Environment Committee states here, members of the public are welcome to speak at the Jan. 23 meeting at which the trio’s report (reproduced in full below) will be heard.

“Should the Capital Regional District declare a Climate Emergency? We have 11 years to reduce GHGs by 45%…if that’s not an emergency I don’t know what is.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) Parks and Environment Committee will be considering a Climate Emergency Declaration on Wednesday January 23 at 10:00 am at the CRD Headquarters, 625 Fisgard St, 6th floor boardroom.

We are encouraging as many as people as possible to sign up to address the committee and encourage directors to adopt the resolution, as a first step toward meaningful climate action. You can sign up at this link and will have up to 4 minutes to address the committee (listed on the form under “Environmental Services Committee”, and you can specify the meeting date of Jan 23 and the agenda item “Climate Emergency Declaration”)

DEADLINE to sign up to address the Committee is January 21 by 4:30 pm using the link above.”

Here’s the submission from Tait, Helps and Taylor in full … 


“Forget that the task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was possible only after you are finished.”  ~ Paul Hawken, author and entrepreneur

SUBJECT Climate Emergency Declaration 

To provide background information on the current climate emergency identified in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in October 2018, the actions taken by other local governments around the world in response, and to outline what we think the CRD should do to seize opportunities – economic, social and environmental – and to avoid the astronomical costs to taxpayers in the region that will result from inaction.

In October 2018 the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, described the enormous harm that a 2°C rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise. The report outlined that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities. Everyone has a role to play.

In response to the IPCC report, cities in the UK including Bristol, Manchester and London England have declared climate emergencies and are accelerating their paths to carbon neutrality. Bristol’s resolution is the most ambitious. Its full council calls on its Mayor to:

1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;

2. Pledge to make the city of Bristol carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3);

3. Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible;

4. Work with other governments (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C;

5. Continue to work with partners across the city and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;

6. Report to Full Council within six months with the actions the Mayor/Council will take to address this emergency.

A number of other cities around the world have also declared climate emergencies, including Berkeley, Oakland and Santa Cruz in the United States, Ballarat and Vincent in Australia, others in the United Kingdom. As of now, no city or metro region in Canada has declared a climate emergency.

Cities and metro regions are particularly well-poised to take action and we have motivation to do so. On the one hand, cities and metro regions worldwide are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, cities and metro regions are centres of innovation able to implement quickly and have much to gain economically, socially and environmentally by taking action.

Michael Bloomberg, billionaire, philanthropist and former Mayor of New York City shares a key insight in Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses Can Save the Planet.“ He realized quite quickly after he became mayor “a central truth that the national debate about climate change got wrong: What was good for people and job growth was good for fighting climate change.”

Bloomberg goes on to write: “Trees and parks give people opportunities for recreation and relaxation and they also suck carbon and soot out of the air. Strong mass transit connects people to job opportunities, and also reduces traffic and air pollution. Bike lanes connect neighbourhoods and help improve public health, and they al help keep cars off the streets by giving people a safe alternative. Energy-efficiency measures save consumers money and clean air while also shrinking the city’s carbon footprint. Most of the things that make cities better, cleaner, healthier, and more economically productive places also reduce carbon emissions.”

Clear in Bloomberg’s work and in all other writings on cities and metro regions and climate change is that fear is not a motivator nor is “saving the polar bears.” A key responsibility of local governments in British Columbia, according to Section 7(d) of the Community Charter is “Fostering the economic social and environmental wellbeing of its community.” Taking serious climate action is the best long-term way to protect and enhance the well-being of our residents economically, socially and environmentally.

The CRD has long been a climate leader. According to the CRD’s website, “For more than a decade the CRD and its partners have been providing leadership on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts. Addressing climate change means fundamentally re-thinking many of the big questions: where we live, how we move, what we eat, where our energy comes from, and what a changing climate will mean for life on southern Vancouver Island. Every action and decision has a climate impact – either locally or globally.” And Climate Action is once again emerging as a key strategic priority for the board through the strategic planning process, as it was last in the last term.

We as a region are dealing with some of our most difficult transportation challenges to date. It is important that as we address these challenges we show our commitment to doing so in a way that will reduce emissions.

We are in a new reality. Bolder leadership is needed in the post-IPCC report world.

The Parks and Environment Committee recommends to the CRD Board: 

* That the Capital Regional District Board declare a Climate Emergency;

* That the CRD take a leadership role to work towards the achieving carbon neutrality in the region by 2030;

* That the Board Chair write to all local governments in the region requesting that they also declare climate emergencies and commit to working towards climate neutrality by 2030;

* That staff be directed to submit a Letter of Intent for the $1 million Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Theme Partnership Program by the deadline of February 15 2019, to address the question: “How can the Capital Region achieve carbon neutrality by 2030?”

* That the CRD Board Chair write to the Provincial Minister of the Environment, assert the CRD’s support to help the Province close the 25% emissions gap in the CleanBC Plan, and call on the Province to provide the powers and resources to make the Region’s 2030 target possible;

* That the CRD Board Chair write to the Federal Minister of the Environment, assert the CRD’s support to help Canada meet its Nationally Determined Contribution target made in the Paris Agreement and call on the federal government to provide the powers and resources to make the Region’s 2030 target possible.


“We can’t possibly become carbon neutral by 2030; we don’t have enough information.” 

Mayor Helps met recently with the Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) at UVIC. PICS has recently launched a funding program to help accelerate climate action. Grants of $1 million are available to “connect top researchers with policy and industry leaders to develop climate change solutions for British Columbia and beyond.”  Mayor Helps asked, “Is ‘How can the Capital Region achieve carbon neutrality by 2030?’ a good research question?” The answer was an enthusiastic yes. The funding application is, of course, a competitive process; PICS staff have offered to work with our staff to assist in developing the Letter of Intent, due February 15th.

“It’s going to cost too much.”

The CRD’s own research, “Climate Projections for the Capital Region,” (2017) documents the impacts of climate change on human health, rainwater management and sewerage, water supply and demand, tourism and recreation, transportation network, ecosystems and species, buildings and energy systems, and food and agriculture. Each impact will have a correlative cost. The more we work now to mitigate climate change, the less the costs will be in the longer term.

The Stern Review: Economics of Climate Change makes this case very clearly. Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more. In contrast, the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year.

“This is a distraction from the real work that we need staff to be doing.”

The largest single contribution to greenhouse gases in the region is transportation, fully 50% of our emissions. Solving the transportation in the region also rose to the top of the Strategic Planning agenda for the board. This is just one example of how the work that we need staff to do anyways will also allow us to decrease our emissions as a region. As Bloomberg, quoted above notes, increasing the health and quality of life of our residents and the strength of our economy is also good for reducing emissions.

“Taking action on climate change doesn’t align with my politics or ideology.” 

We turn once again to Bristol for inspiration. Bristol City Council has 56 members. They voted, unanimously, across party lines, to endorse the resolution outlined above. Conservatives, Greens, Liberal Democrats and Labour members all voted in support. Creating a strong, prosperous low-carbon economy and enhancing the health and well-being of residents is everybody’s politics.


We have an opportunity as a board and as a region to take leadership in British Columbia and in Canada. We hope that the Parks and Environment Committee and the CRD Board will vote unanimously in favour of these recommendations. Our research demonstrates clearly that taking action is the lowest cost, most prudent and also most inspiring way to proceed in an era where the scientists have given us 11 years to help create a sustainable future.


The Parks and Environment Committee recommends to the CRD Board:

~ That the Capital Regional District Board declare a Climate Emergency;

~ That the CRD take a leadership role to work towards the achieving carbon neutrality in the region by 2030;

~ That the Board Chair write to all local governments in the region requesting that they also declare climate emergencies and commit to working towards climate neutrality by 2030;

~ That staff be directed to submit a Letter of Intent for the $1 million Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Theme Partnership Program by the deadline of February 15 2019, to address the question: “How can the Capital Region achieve carbon neutrality by 2030?”

~ That the CRD Board Chair write to the Provincial Minister of the Environment, assert the CRD’s support to help the Province close the 25% emissions gap in the CleanBC Plan, and call on the Province to provide the powers and resources to make the Region’s 2030 target possible;

~ That the CRD Board Chair write to the Federal Minister of the Environment, assert the CRD’s support to help Canada meet its Nationally Determined Contribution target made in the Paris Agreement and call on the federal government to provide the powers and resources to make the Region’s 2030 target possible.

Respectfully Submitted,

Director Lisa Helps, City of Victoria 
Director Maja Tait, District of Sooke
Director Ned Taylor, District of Saanich 

Why CRD should declare a climate emergency – Jan 23, 2019

TS co-president Michael Tacon on why CRD should declare a climate emergency – Jan 23, 2019

Transition Sooke’s Michael Tacon addressed the Capital Regional District’s Parks and Environment Services Committee on January 23 in Victoria. He was one in a series of area speakers urging the CRD to adopt the climate emergency declaration proposed by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Saanich Councillor Ned Taylor and Sooke’s own Mayor Maja Tait. As Michael noted on receiving word about the initiative, “I was elated and relieved that finally – finally –  we have the beginning of ramping up a significant level of engagement with the biggest challenge confronting us with CLIMATE CHANGE (capitals intended).” Here’s his address in full . . .

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,

My name is Michael Tacon and I represent the Sooke Transition Town Society (known as Transition Sooke) which is a citizen’s initiative working towards a resilient and sustainable community in the face of climate and societal change. We have been active in Sooke and region since 2010. I view the intention to declare a climate emergency to be a dream come true and that it represents a very important opportunity to help us come to grips with these immense challenges before us.

We must “get serious” about Climate Change. We must raise the profile of Climate Change so that it gets on the front pages of our print media – not somewhere on the middle pages – so that people understand how desperately we need to mobilize our resources on a massive scale – on a scale that is much more equal to the threats facing us. The time is NOW!

In my learning journey about Climate Change I am sometimes both inspired and overwhelmed. The complexity and interactive nature of Climate Change reaches into every aspect of life on this planet. Our unsustainable modern industrial civilization is pushing against the limits of our ecosystems to the point that major imbalances and crises are catching up with us.  Climate change is  creating many consequences in all areas of our lives: health, extreme weather, loss of fisheries, food supplies shortages, natural ecosystems, loss of species, wildfires, major storms, fresh water shortages, ocean level rise, droughts, loss of coral reefs, heat waves, flooding, climate refugees, and so it goes on.

We have worked hard in Sooke over the last 8 years to raise the awareness of what lies ahead of us. By going ahead with the declaration, we believe we can get us closer to crossing that threshold between ignorance and taking action.

We must push through the denials and resistance to change towards to embracing the urgency of what must be done to avoid catastrophic consequences and to renew and “green” our civilization”.

The science is clear: the facts are well known; everybody will be affected

Just imagine one of your children or grandchildren asking you this question:

“What did you do, once you knew?”

Are we ready, as a wealthy country, to do our fair share?

Perhaps we may need to say to those unwilling to get with the program:”Please get out of the way so we can get the job done. Our survival including yours is at stake whether you believe it or not. Are we ready to get on the job?

Michael Tacon is one of the co-founders of Transition Sooke, served as its first President and is now its co-president with Bernie Klassen.  Through the Sooke Region Lifelong Learning Network, Michael will be leading “A Primer On Climate Change,” a four-part seminar series on successive Thursday afternoons (1:30 to 3 p.m.)  from Jan. 31 to Feb. 21 at SEAPARC. Admission is by donation. To register, phone 250-642-8000 or visit 

Minutes – Nov 7, 2018

Attendance: 21
Present: Bernie Klassen, Moki Tacon, David and Carol Mallett, Jo Phillips, Wendy O’Connor, 
Alan Dolan, Bev England, Susan Clarke, Wynn LeComte, Kara Middleton, David Merner, Brian White, Lily Mah-Sen, Robin Zabloski, Mick Rhodes, Jack Gegenberg, Hester Vair, Sinclair Philip, Ron Ramsay, Anna Kenklies

Called to order: 7:10 pm

Report on the Meet the Candidates event in regards to the municipal election:
– Very well received by attendee
– Appreciated by candidates
– Suggestion that next time we add the candidates for Regional Director as well (general agreement on this point)

Report on the Mayoral Forum
– Went well, well received
– Strong on fairness in reply time by each candidate—no one dominated
– Perhaps too many questions? (some agreement on this point)

Report on the Eco-Home Tour
– Some snags this year (i.e., tiny house was unfindable)
– About 60 people attended
– Down from last year
– Made for a more relaxed and accessible day

Report on Site C Dam evening
– Middle of the municipal campaign
– Over 30 people attended
– Very positive response from Amnesty International (Canada)
– Follow up in Sooke paper

Report on the Sooke Regional Multi Belief Initiative forum at Baptist Church
– About 50 people attended
– Intent was to develop several Compassionate Action Plans, particularly around homelessness, affordability challenges, social isolation, medical services, communications, cooperation, advocacy and awareness
– Report to come from forum, which will be posted on website and members informed

Report from the Website Re-Org Group consisting Alan, Paivi, Sue, Hester and Paula
– Group meeting to determine problems with the current website
– Design solutions and approaches brainstormed
– Recommendations to come forward at nest TS meeting

Question from the floor: “Should the press be invited to meetings as well as events?”
– General feeling was “no”
– Better that they are asked to events—events are the public face of TS; meetings are member-oriented

TS roles that still need to be filled:
– Roles don’t take much time
– Roles sometimes challenging but become simpler to fulfill
– Role descriptions will be put out to the mailing list
– Template will be developed, in order that coordinators have a simple way to post volunteer requirements to the website
– Lily volunteered to be the publicity coordinator (with help from Jeff and Jo)
– Kara expressed interest in coordinating volunteers (with help from Hester)

TS information table:
– Set up at the meeting so any issues about how it looked could be addressed
– Where’s the banner? (last seen on Earth Day)
– Bernie is making a banner for Sooke Zero Waste—when it’s done, design will be presented to TS meeting for discussion and possible adoption

TS Book Club
– First book of season to be The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
– Link to the book trailer:
– Copies of The Marrow Thieves are available from the library—the library book club pack should be in soon, and copies will be available from Paula Johanson
– First meeting in January
– Contact Paula Johanson (

New Business
Climate Change evening
– Proposed for either February 19
– Dr. Peter Carter and his wife will be staying in Colwood—we can piggy-back on that to bring him to Sooke
– Author of “Unprecedented Crime” with Elizabeth Woodworth
– Could/should be the kick-off event for local Climate Change action
– Could be a lead-in to Earth Day, 2019
– We can link up with Sooke Life-long Learners group for the evening
– Strong support from the floor

We need to talk to Modo about what it takes to set up a car share cooperative
– Do we need a permanent transit group?

Housing—both affordable and attainable
– Sooke Affordable Housing committee is to meet November 13
– Sooke municipal council initiative
– TS involvement is held in abeyance for now

Next Repair Cafe scheduled for Sunday, 21 April 2019

Treasurer’s Report
– Martin, the current treasurer, would like to step down at the Annual General Meeting
– Remaining money after last Earth Day event is about $4258.00
– Jo is still working on spending $2400 for locally placed recycle bins
– 20% of final total is to be transferred to Sooke Zero Waste for their current and future projects

From the floor: Kara – NEB review
– There is a 20 November deadline to comment on the new Trans-Mountain Expansion review
– Public comments are being accepted BUT by mail or fax only
– How to submit? Here’s the link:

Whales and salmon
– We need to hold an Orca and Wild Salmon town hall
– There should be a political component
– There are multiple people available for such an event
– proposed for March—as part of the lead-up to Earth Day

From the floor: Susan Clarke (with help from Jo)
– Re: Climate Café
– Hosting coffee meetings (at people’s homes or in cafés) consolidating and addressing concerns about fossil fuels
– Approved to go forward under the TS umbrella

From the floor: Moki
– Re: Proportional Representation has a five-minute quiz that helps define what your preferences are
– Discussion around pro-rep followed

From the floor: Carol Mallett has offered to coordinate the speaker series (yay!) with help from David and Moki

Meeting adjourned at 9:05 pm. Discussion followed, and the meeting room had to be forcibly emptied at 9:30 pm. A great success, pats on the back for all concerned.

Notes prepared by Bernie with some editing by Moki and Alan.

Minutes – Dec 5, 2018

23 people in attendance

Called to order at 7:05 pm by Moki
– David Mallet is the new treasurer as of January 2019
– Some positions still available particularly a social media coordinator and a social convenor
– Housekeeping has been done on the website: Jeff Bateman removed as chairman, Moki and Bernie added as co-chairs. Website still needs proposal and changes and by whom?

– First book to be The Marrow Thieves and the second book to be 12 Years a Slave

– December film to be “Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket” with a post- screening talk with (Professor) Carey Newman
– February film to be the NFB documentary What is Democracy? presented jointly with TS

– Jo and Susan are proposing a series of “Climate Cafes”
– Discussion with a strong emphasis on action(s)
– Organizational meeting in early January; Call will be put out on the TS mailing list via Alan

– Movement for and towards making Sooke a Compassionate Community by creating an evolving series of Compassionate Action Plans (CAPs)
– The report on a recent meeting held on October 27th, 2018, which was a community based Open Space event to gather ideas and issues is now available on request.

– The Speaker Series is coordinated by Carol and David Mallett. They are proposing four events:
January 23, 2019 Open Space event entitled: “Envisioning Sooke in 2030” looking at what we should be addressing and what are the priorities? Location yet to be determined.
February 19, 2019 Dr. Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth are presenting a hard-hitting presentation on abrupt climate change which includes calling out the climate change deniers as guilty of committing crimes against humanity. They then go on to offer game changer strategies for reversing climate change. The event is booked for the theatre at Edward Milne Community School in Sooke.
March event will be based on some of the issues growing out of January Open Space meeting
April 22, 2019 event proposed for Easter Monday/Earth Day.

– Suggested that a survey of vital signs for Sooke would be very important. The results could be forwarded to the District of Sooke Council and would be useful in the OCP review.

– Bernie offered to lead an exploratory committee on what could take place for Earth Day. It was suggested that the event could be framed as Earth Week and it could involve various groups such as the Ancient Forest Alliance and Coastal Carnivores. The theme this year is Protecting our Species

– Next meeting December 19, 2018 at the Sooke Library

– A proposed agreement was discussed between WWS and TS regarding working group responsibilities to the “umbrella society” i.e., Sooke Transition Town Society. A comment was made that it should probably be run past a lawyer. Martin and Moki signed the agreement.

Several times a year there is a meeting of the WWS working group with representatives of the District of Sooke to talk over how things are going. It was agreed that someone from the Steering Group should attend such meetings and be tasked with reporting back to the Group. Sue Lidster offered to take on this role.

– Martin Bissig, our treasurer, has informed us that he will look after the accounts until December 31, 2018 and will hand everything over to David Mallett in early January. He will also prepare the 2018 Financial Report.
– Martin reports the following balances:

TS main account = $6,006.33

ZWS account = $851.85

Special events account = $3,406.85. (This amount includes approximately $2,400 for ZWS yet to be used to purchase recycling bins committed to in May, 2018)

– Bernie wants to ask Council for changes to streetlights and asked for TS support. The goal is to convert all streetlights to LED or lowest energy use bulbs with lights pointing down – not lighting the sky.

– Jeff reminded everyone that previous delegations to Sooke Council were effective in maintaining a current profile and presence with Mayor and Council. This issue was tabled until 2019.

Issues that TS has taken to council in the past:

  • Being 100% renewable with our use of energy by 2050 (BCSEA)
  • Bylaw on cosmetic use of pesticides
  • Promoting bear-wise garbage disposal
  • Installation of public watering poles
  • Banning of single-use plastic bags

15) REMINDER TO GO TO THE “LOT A” CHARETTE – December 8 at Municipal Hall

Adjourned at 8:20 p.m. Let the party begin!

Turn down Murray Road towards the harbour at the traffic lights at Sooke Road and Otter Point Road. Go past the Anglican Church and turn left onto Horne Road. Harbourside is the big building on the right. The entrance is obvious and the great hall is on the left as you enter the lobby. Parking is OK on Horne Road (observe no parking area) and there is a public parking area at the corner of Horne and Murray Roads.

Minutes – Jan 9, 2019

Minutes – January 9, 2019

~25 people in attendance


Climate Change

  • Michael leading a course on with Sooke Lifelong Learners

“Envisioning Sooke in 2020”

  • Open Space event to be moved to March or April whenever the timing is right as this event will be linked to the OCP review process by the District of Sooke Council
  • Carol Mallett is the point person on this proposal.

Sooke Vital Signs survey

  • One has been done for Victoria and for Tofino. Should Sooke have one done?
  • Brian White pointed out that Tofino’s was well done and is available on the Tofino municipal website. He and Paivi can look into this and make a recommendation.
  • Sooke Pocket News recently linked to Sooke 2018 demographics

Earth Day 2019:

  • Link to a number of events under the Earth Day umbrella. Theme is “Protecting our species”
  • ZWS is to lead a spring clean-up again

Zero-Waste Sooke:

  • ZWS is operating another repair cafe – date/place to be determined
  • Promoting a ban on single use plastic bags. ZWS to resume pressure on council to pass a bylaw.
  • ZWS has a table at Seedy Saturday February 23.

OCP Review monitoring

  • We need to be aware how tourism in Sooke is being marketed especially as a hotel tax is proposed/coming into effect for marketing Sooke. It was stated that the development of the OCP is lacking in clarity about how tourism fits into the development of Sooke.
  • Concern was expressed that the appointment of a new CAO could lead to a rush to pass the OCP?

Street Lighting

  • Bernie wants to see the upgrading of street lighting to involve LED technology and point to the ground. He is going to to try and bring this before Council on January 28

Wild Wise Sooke

  • Samantha Webb, who works with Debb Read, talked about the bear resistant bins for garbage pick-up that are being manufactured with Alpine making an initial run of 50. Testing in Sooke to follow. All this is underway.

Woodside Farm Proposal

  • Patrick Gauley Gale would like to see either Council or the CRD parkland acquisition fund purchase this property for the benefit of the whole community. The steering group agreed with the spirit of his proposal and will offer whatever support we can.


Climate Change Cafe

  • Jo Phillips and Susan Clarke stated that the initial meeting is proposed for a Monday evening. Jo and David Mallett looking into locations. Word will go out in due course.

Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative (SRMBI)

  • Michael mentioned that Mark Ziegler has prepared a report based on an Open Space event last October. It covers compassionate attention and possible actions needed in 5 areas: Homelessness; Affordability as it relates to housing, food and child care; Social Isolation; Inadequate Heath Services; and how we work together through Communication, Awareness and Collaboration.
  • The next meeting is on Wednesday, 16th January at 2:30 p.m. at the Baptist Church. All welcome.

Wild Wise Sooke

  • An agreement between WWS and the Society was signed to clarify the responsibilities of each party to maintain a good working relationship.
  • The new Community Coordinator, Sam Webb, was on hand to bring us up to date with what’s happening with WWS and their work in Sooke. Their focus is gradually transitioning from bears to all wildlife.
  • There is a volunteer meeting on 22nd January at Seaparc, at 7:00 pm.


Sooke Pocket News

  • The group agreed that we should establish an active working relationship with Britt Santowski of the Sooke Pocket News. Thanks were expressed for her help and cooperation.

Appointment of a new Treasurer

  • Motion to appoint David Mallett as the new treasurer of the sooke transition town society “I move that Dave Mallett, a member of this Society in good standing, be appointed as the new Treasurer for this Society effective immediately.” Moved by Michael Tacon and seconded by Paivi Abernethy. The motion was passed unanimously.
  • Members requested that Martin Bissig be properly thanked for his help and services as our Treasurer for the last few years.

Earth Day Legacy Funds to pay for Recycling Bins

  • Jo Phillips announced the final numbers for these bins. For 1 outdoor and 2 indoor bins the cost will be $1,800 plus tax. The bin purchase was budgeted at $2,400 from the Earth Day Legacy Fund. Jo has worked closely with 2 volunteer sports groups in Sooke where the bins will be located. Jo was authorized to proceed and place the order.

Awareness Film Night with Transition Sooke

  • WHAT IS DEMOCRACY” is a new NFB documentary film to be shown at EMCS on Wednesday, February 13th at 7 p.m. Michael Tacon will facilitate a discussion after the showing.

Speaker Series presentation for February

  • Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, co-authors of the book “Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival”, will present their take on the climate crisis, who is responsible, and how Sooke and southern Vancouver Island will be impacted. A question and answer period will follow their presentations.
  • This event is set for Tuesday, February 19 at 7 pm at the theatre at EMCS.
  • Carol and David Mallett are handling the logistics and Lily Mah-Sen is looking after the publicity

Annual General Meeting of the Society

  • Annual General Meeting of the Sooke Transition Town Society at Harbourside Cohousing proposed for 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 26th, 2019
  • Timetable: 5:30 pm Warm-up / 6 pm Potluck supper / 7 pm Meeting begins 7-30 p.m. Dessert and Socialize

Financial Report

Martin reported the current account balances as at December 31, 2018:

Main chequing account = $6,006.38

Zero Waste Sooke sub-account = $1,083.60

Wild Wise Sooke sub-account = $16,446.22

Special Events sub-account = $3,406.85

A more complete 2018 report will be presented at the AGM

Meeting adjourned shortly after 9 p.m.

Next meeting set for Wednesday, February 6 at Harbourside

Minutes by Bernie Klassen and Michael Tacon (Co-Presidents)

Appendix 1

2020 Vision via Stream of Consciousness Initiative

If anyone is interested, this organization makes it possible for us to put on a seminar about Transition Sooke using the skills and equipment available to us for a video presentation that could go viral using digital technology.

Check it out at

For an example of one of their presentations done for Creatively United Victoria see:

Call to Action! Join us at Wednesday night’s monthly TS meeting

A New Years greeting from TS co-president Bernie Klassen ahead of our monthly meeting this Wednesday night, 7 to 9 p.m., at Harbourside Cohousing, 6669 Horne Rd. in Sooke’s town centre. Everyone is welcome to attend in heeding Bernie’s urgent call to action.

“Happy 2019 to everyone on the Sooke Transition Town mailing list!

2018 was a busy year in Sooke. From the Planet Earth Party: Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration back in April, through issues around transit and pipelines, to the municipal elections, where we made a real difference, we had a heck of a year. Everyone in Transition Sooke needs to take a moment to reflect and, yes, to give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.

The Transition Town movement was born in Totnes, UK, only 13 years ago as a way forward in the face of peak oil (which petroleum scientists figure has come and gone, regardless of propaganda to the contrary), and climate heating. Transition Towns have accomplished a great deal, even in the face of government inaction and corporate push-back.

But 2019 dawns in the shadow of two new reports ~ the US Fourth National Climate Assessment and the IPCC Special Report 15 (aka “An International Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty”). Both detail the horror-show we knew was coming and now, has already begun.

The IPCC report points out that “pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems. These systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors. If we followed these pathways, we would have clear emission reductions by 2030.”

2030. That’s only four thousand days away.

We are not on track for those “emission reductions by 2030.” Not here in Sooke, not provincially, not nationally. Not even close. And, according to the Special Report, we are already at 1.0°C of global heating—and we have to hold heating to 1.5°C or less. So business as usual means runaway global heating likely within the lifetimes of those now born.

We have a meeting coming up on January 9. And at that meeting I know that I would like to hear fresh, bigger ideas, new ways forward. This town we love has to become sustainable and we have about 4,000 days to get that done. We also have to think a bit bigger in how we get our provincial and national governments to get off their collective rears and start making hard, significant changes to the way we live our lives.

We’ve done a lot—more than we think we have. But the gun is here and we are under it. We need fresh ideas, fresh faces, fresh energy. Let’s start thinking about how the changes we need are going to happen.”


(image credit: Global University Network for Innovation)

A CAP (Compassionate Action Plan) for Sooke

All welcome to this public brainstorming event as our Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative fields input and ideas for a Sooke Compassionate Action Plan.

Saturday, October 27, 1 to 4 p.m

Sooke Baptist Church, 7110 West Coast Road, Sooke. 

Bring your ideas and energy as we identify key local social issues, look at how they’re being dealt with in the Sooke region … and then hone in on practical ways to tackle them further as a united Sooke region community.

This open-space meeting is the important first step in the development of a realistic, achievable Compassion Action Plan (CAP) for Sooke. Please contact the SRMBI’s Mark Ziegler ( or Donald Brown ( to confirm your participation, or if you have any questions or comments. The SRMBI is a collective of caring individuals who share in common a belief in the golden rule. It is not a religious or political organization.

Much is already being done by individuals and organizations on such issues as homelessness, social isolation, community engagement, harm reduction, and other critical matters impacting youth, adults, families and seniors in the Sooke region. 44065450_1959550797444461_8934213187557916672_n.jpg

The goal of the afternoon will be to identify as many as five key priorities that we as a community might want to tackle collectively with specific actions tagged to realistic timelines.  Under the direction of facilitator Michael Tacon, co-chair of Transition Sooke and a founding member of the SRMBI, the afternoon will unfold as follows:


i) Brief context-setting presentations from four speakers:

* Constable Sam Haldane, Sooke detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;

* Kim Kaldal, president of The Sooke Food Bank Society

* Sherry Thompson, co-founder of the Sooke Shelter Society

* Jonny Morris, Director of Planning and Strategic Priorities for the BC Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association

ii) Attendees will then join breakout groups to develop lists of local issues and/or projects that a Sooke Compassionate Action Plan might address;

iii) Collectively discuss and identify which of these issues/projects should be included in the final CAP plan;

iv) Create specific activities (with time lines and resource requirements) through which community associations and agencies would work to implement the plan.

This Compassionate Action Plan will be subsequently submitted to Charter for Compassion International along with all else the SRMBI has been doing as we strive to secure official recognition for Sooke as a Compassionate Community.

We will also request that the document be incorporated within Sooke’s new Official Community Plan.

“We look forward to your participation in this important and ambitious workshop,” says Ziegler. “Building on the exceptional services provided by volunteers and service groups throughout our caring community, Sooke can join Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Powell River and 400 other cities and towns around the world officially recognized as Compassionate Communities.”

Site C Speakers’ Night – Oct 17, 2018

Breach of Trust: Indigenous Rights
and the Future of the Site C Dam

A thought-provoking evening with Amnesty International Canada‘s Craig Benjamin, Julian Napoleon from Saulteau First Nations, and Sarah Cox, author of Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand Against Big Hydro (UBC Press).

A timely follow up to our Sooke Justice for the Peace evening with the Peace Valley Environment Association‘s Ken Boon in the spring that we co-presented with Rolling Justice Bus.  Special thanks to newly arrived Sooke resident Lily Mah-Sen for making the evening possible.

Admission free or by small donation to cover modest event costs.

About the speakers:

* Sarah Cox is an award-winning journalist who specializes in energy and environmental issues. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, online publications, and provincial and national newspapers. Breaching the Peace is Sarah’s first book and tells the inspiring and astonishing story of the farmers and First Nations who fought the most expensive megaproject in BC history and the government-sanctioned bullying that propelled it forward. She lives in Victoria.

* Julian Napoleon is Dane-zaa/Cree from the Saulteau First Nations in Treaty 8. He recently moved back home to Moberly Lake after completing a Biology degree at UBC. He is dedicated to his role as a community hunter and fisher-person. As an uncle to many youth and children in his community, Napoleon carries the responsibility of passing on the traditional subsistence practices and cultural protocols of his people. He is also working closely with his nation on various food sovereignty initiatives.

* Craig Benjamin is an Amnesty International Canada campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) in Canada. A non-Indigenous person currently living in Mi’kmaw territory in Nova Scotia, Craig is honoured to have had the opportunity to work alongside Indigenous activists from across Canada and around the world.

About Breaching the Peace (UBC Press)

“In the pages of this book, we read of the shameful litany of excuses offered up for government failures to uphold Treaty 8, respect human rights, and protect the environment. Federal officials pretend it is out of their hands and up to the province. The Horgan government now asserts it is hamstrung by the money already invested by its predecessors. Indeed, the overarching calculus comes down to money. Too expensive to turn back, says Premier Horgan. But the truth really is that he and all other political leaders before him have been unwilling and unable to accept their responsibility to treat the Peace River Valley and its people as something more than a resource to be exploited for the benefit of the rest of the province.

And as goes Site C and the Peace River Valley, so goes the rest of the country. Too expensive. Too entrenched. Too cowardly. Too short-sighted. Sarah Cox tells us a story that points to a history that defines more than 150 years of failure to respect the rights of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada. She shows us how failing once again to commit to reconciliation is also inextricably tied up with disregard for the rights of non-Indigenous families and communities and the prospect of devastating environmental destruction.” ~ Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada from the foreword.

“This is a necessary book, truly a parable for our time.” ~ John Vaillant, author of The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness

“Sarah Cox has written a great book. Not only does she provide searing insight into how Site C developed, she does so through the eyes of the people most affected by it…a must read.” ~ Marc Eliesen, former president and CEO of BC Hydro, former chair and CEO of Ontario Hydro, and former chair of Manitoba Hydro

“Economic logic fails, a valley is inundated, and treaty rights are set aside in pursuit of political power: that’s the story of Site C.” ~ Harry Swain, former chair of the Site C federal-provincial review panel