Sunday, Sept. 15, 2 to 6 p.m. at the Sooke Community Hall, 2037 Sheilds Rd., Sooke
Come and meet your candidates for Sooke’s Municipal Byelection. Following last fall’s all-candidates speed date prior to the general election, we’ve invited the ten candidates in this month’s by-election to meet, greet and answer questions from the electorate.
This is your opportunity to meet the candidates directly and find out their position on the issues that matter the most to you. You will have limited time to talk with each candidate, so come prepared with your question.
Bernie Klassen, from Transition Sooke, explains: “In a general candidate’s debate or forum, there’s always the chance that a candidate will be harangued or lectured at. This format allows people to approach the candidates in a focused manner with prepared questions.”
Voting day is Sat., Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Edward Milne Community School. Advance polling is on the two Wednesdays (Sept. 18 and 25) at the Municipal Hall.
Sooke Community Taking Action on Climate Emergency
Following a successful Town Hall in June, Transition Sooke will be
hosting a Community Action Workshop titled “Climate Emergency: What Can We Do?”
“Participants at the Green New Deal Town Hall identified issues
they think need to be addressed in our community,” said Jo Phillips, one of two
coordinators for Transition Sooke’s Climate Emergency Action Group. “We are
inviting everyone from Sooke Region to join us on September 29 to form teams to
take action on these issues.”
“Sooke region residents are anxious about the impacts of climate
disruption on their cherished West Coast environment, on their family’s health
and on the local economy,” said Susan Clarke, the other coordinator for the
group. “Many members of our community have indicated that taking action reduces
their anxiety and sense of powerlessness. They have also made it abundantly
clear, particularly with provincial and federal inaction on climate change,
that we need to take local, meaningful action as soon as possible.”
The Community Action Workshop will take place in the downstairs dining room of the Sooke Community Hall from 10 – 5 on Sunday September 29. The morning will feature several, short keynote addresses, followed by quick briefs by facilitators on the different issues that will be discussed around small “action tables” in the afternoon. The action tables will focus on creating teams, hearing from a number of different resource people in the community already working on these issues, and starting to build action plans for the upcoming year. Some of the identified issues that will be discussed include: rainwater harvesting, divestment from fossil fuels, local renewable energy options, greenspace protection, local economic models, and local food and agriculture.
Starting at 10 a.m., the first hour will feature keynote addresses, an opening circle and first steps. We’ll then break from 11-12 to enable participants to attend the Orange Shirt Day gathering in the nearby town centre.
Back at the hall, lunch will be provided by Transition Sooke.
We’ll then be breaking into action tables. Each will focus on creating teams, hearing from a number of different resource people in the community already working on these issues, and starting to build action plans for the upcoming year.
Our focus will be on the 12 big themes identified at Green New Deal Sooke, namely …
1. Food security and local agriculture
2. Water (conservation, rainwater catchment, greywater)
3. Habitat and species protection (land use, forest preservation, development, tree bylaws)
4. Divestment from fossil fuels
5. Zero Waste (reduce garbage footprint, energy cycles, consumerism)
6. New economic model (cooperatives, localization, affordable housing)
7. Transportation (Ride share, biking and walking infrastructure, electric cars, BC Transit liaison)
8. Building Community with Neighborhood Pods
9. Green energy/efficient/non-toxic houses (solar, heat pumps, cement alternatives)
10. Climate Angst (emotional, mental and spiritual health and listening to youth)
11. Green Lifestyle (individual action/re-skilling for resilience)
12. Direct Action (non-violent resistance, challenging governments and corporations who are not responding responsibly to climate emergency)
“We have identified 12 areas of concern to Sooke,” says Susan Clarke, coordinator of the TS Climate Emergency Action Group along with Jo Phillips. “Contact us if you would like to suggest another area where climate action would be relevant in Sooke. Some identified areas may not have enough interest to proceed to action. The gathering will determine which of the areas have an action-ready team.”
“Sooke is an incredible community of volunteers and there are already many existing groups working on different aspects of the climate emergency,” said Phillips. “We want to work with those groups wherever possible, and we will also take action in other areas.”
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.
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.
minutes for April 3 meeting; moved by Michael and seconded by Sinclair. Passed.
2. FINANCIAL REPORT – David
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.
4. REPORTS FROM WORKING GROUPS
* 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
* 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.
5. WEBSITE UPGRADE – Alan
Alan reports that the upgrade is
just about complete. Final payment due once our consultant is finished.
6. OTHER BUSINESS
* 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
* 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.
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
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
“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.
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
June 12 Awareness Film Night with
Transition Sooke in the works
4. What’s next?
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.
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.
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.
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.
workshop on how to determine our carbon footprint with Arno Keinonen is being
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
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
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
* 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
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
OF MARCH EVENTS
* 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
* Climate Cafe organizational meeting plans:
Cafe Committee meets at 2119, Melrick Place at 7 pm on Monday, March 18
cafe March 23 at Jenny’s Kitchen (Church and Sooke Road) 10 am to noon
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
for the meeting were distributed
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
affordable EVs as well as top-of-the-line models
with talk and discussion in theatre
moves out of theatre to talk with owners
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
5 WEBSITE UPGRADE
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):
moved for Alan to go ahead
by floor vote
6 WOODSIDE FARM PROPOSAL
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
TS needs to keep a close eye on this.
TS to sponsor a meeting of all/as many as possible of the interested parties
7 HOW WE CONDUCT OUR BUSINESS TOGETHER
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.
8 REPORT FROM WILDWISE (Samantha Webb)
Wildwise has expanded its activities to Shirley, East
Sooke, and Otter Point
Opened at 7 pm – with 16 members attending (see list on
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)
Alan, Sue L, Hester and Paivi
Volunteers: Kara, Paula and Val
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
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.
Election of the Board Officers and Directors for the
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
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.
Proposal from the floor at a monthly
If approved on the floor and a quorum
of three directors is present:
Director’s vote called.
Motion and votes minuted and
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.
APPENDIX 1 – President’s Report including Jeff Bateman’s
message to the AGM
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
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.