Green New Deal Town Hall – June 22, 2019

Green New Deal Town Hall

Climate Emergency: Where Are We Going?

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

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

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

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

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

More information on Canada’s Green New Deal


Green New Deal Meeting – August 7, 2019

Green New Deal: Let’s make it happen!

Wednesday August 7, 7 pm
Harbourside Co-Housing

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

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

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

For more information, email Susan or Jo

Meeting Minutes – May 1, 2019

17 people present

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned

Sooke Climate Café – March 23, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information, please contact Susan at or Jo at

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

Minutes – April 3, 2019

21 people attending. Convened at 7 pm

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

2. Celebrating our successes!

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

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

3. Coming events

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 24 Global Climate Strike at Legislature

June 12 Awareness Film Night with Transition Sooke in the works

4. What’s next?

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

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

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

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

5. Website upgrade – Alan

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

6. Financial report – David

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

7. Other business

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned 9:20 pm

Minutes – March 6, 2019

20 people attending. Convened at 7:00 pm

Acknowledgement of meeting on unceded T’Sou-ke land

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

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


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

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

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

* Climate Cafe organizational meeting plans:

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

* EV Extravaganza update from Carol Mallett

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

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

* ZWS Repair Cafe 20 April 10-2  Bernie organizing

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

Meeting adjourned at 9 pm

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