How Local Government Works

In British Columbia, local government is considered the most accessible level of government:

  • Local citizens are elected by the community to serve on the Council or Board;
  • All meetings are open to the public and public can speak directly to the Council or Board;
  • Citizens participate directly by volunteering on committees or commissions.

The citizens of the District of Sooke voted to become a municipality in 1999 and upon incorporation elected their first Mayor and Council . This first Council began the ongoing task of establishing bylaws and policies for the planning for the community’s future and for the provision of services.

Local Government in BC – A Community Effort (UBCM, LGMA, Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development)

Community Participation

Local government provides many opportunities for its citizens to participate in the planning and management of their own community. A citizen may:

  • Run for Mayor or Councillor
  • Vote at general elections or public approval opportunities
  • Participate in public consultations and public hearings.
  • Attend council or committee/commission meetings
  • Volunteer for a committee or commission

As a citizen of the District of Sooke, you may at any time make your views known. It is usually best to begin with the contacting the appropriate municipal department or staff person, but citizens may also present their views to Council in writing or in person at a Council meeting.

In order to appear before Council as a delegation at a Council Meeting, you need to submit a written request to the Corporate Officer by 4:30 pm on the Tuesday before the scheduled Council Meeting. The request can either be by way of this form or a separate letter that you have written which contains the information requested on this form. You can submit your request in person, by mail or by fax at 250-642-0541

If you wish to make a presentation to Council or let Council know how you feel about an issue, please contact the Corporate Services.

Some communities that are represented by a regional district or improvement district, may be incorporated as new municipalities, or they may become part of existing municipalities through a municipal boundary extension or restructure process.

In the late 1990s, the province facilitated an incorporation study and through a public consultation process, an area of the Capital Regional District became incorporated as a municipality in December 1999. This area is now the District of Sooke.

Since incorporation, the District of Sooke has received several requests from neighboring property owners to be included within the municipal boundaries. Accordingly, through the boundary extension process, these properties are now included in the District of Sooke. See Boundary Map.

Letters Patent

Are You on the Voters’ List?

The District of Sooke uses the Province of B.C. Voter’s List as its List of Electors. To confirm you are on the Provincial Voters’ List for the District of Sooke, please contact Elections BC by phone at 1.800.661.8683.

Further Information:

  • Across BC general elections are now held every four years for mayors, Councillors, regional district electoral area directors, school board trustees and Islands Trust trustees pursuant to the BC Local Government Act
  • The next municipal election is October 20th, 2018

District of Sooke Logo and Coat of Arms

Sooke Logo

The District of Sooke logo and Coat of Arms proudly reflect elements of living on the West Coast and the history of the community. The District of Sooke logo was beautifully designed by a Sooke resident to portray an evening sunset over the Sooke Harbour and Basin.


Coat of Arms

Armorial Bearings of the District of Sooke were granted by the Chief Herald of Canada on September 16, 2002.

Arms (Shield)

The red and gold of the arms are the colours of Royal Spain and hence refer to the first European contact. Gold also symbolizes the wealth derived from the historically important industries of fishing and forestry which are represented by salmon and axes, and refers to the Leech River gold rush. The diagonal design of the arms echoes the basic division of the flag of Scotland and represents the Scottish who were the first European settlers in Sooke.

Crest (above the shield)

The canoe honours the people of the T’Sou-ke First Nation and their traditional lifeways. The sun refers to the sunset over the ocean as well as the sun in the flag of British Columbia. The camas was an important plant to the First Nation and the broom refers to Captain Grant, the first European settler.


At the base of the design, “RAINFOREST MEETING SEA” is a shortened version of “Where the Rainforest meets the Sea.”

Compartment and Supporters

The compartment is a visual representation of the theme “Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea. The cougar is an important native animal and its collar refers to Sooke being a Canadian municipality in British Columbia. The pendent crosses are of England and Scotland, referring to British settlers. The deer is also an important native animal, while the fleur-de-lis refers to French Canadian settlers. The animals stand and the shield rests on a mound set with Douglas Firs rising above the sea.

All the powers of Council are exercised by bylaws, policies and resolutions. The Community Charter states that these decisions can only be made at regular, or at specially convened, Council meetings where there is a quorum, or fixed number of Council members present.

Council establishes policies for the community and adopts bylaws or resolutions based on these policies. It must then ensure that these policies are executed by the municipality’s administration in the day-to-day business of the community.

We have made available on this website some of the most commonly used bylaws and policies that apply within the District of Sooke. The policies provide direction on administrative procedures and help guide future decisions of Council.

Click here for copies of District of Sooke Bylaws and Policies.

The bylaws on this web site are in most cases office consolidations. They are provided for convenience only and should not be used in place of the actual bylaws, which can be obtained from the Municipal Office. To have a bylaw mailed or faxed to you, phone us at (250) 642-1634 or e-mail us at

We make every effort to ensure that the bylaws on this web site are accurate and contain the latest amendments; however, the District of Sooke cannot guarantee the accuracy of information provided.