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)
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.
Local government elections in British Columbia are held every four years. District of Sooke residents can vote for one Mayor, six Councillors, and three school district trustees for four-year terms on Saturday, October 15, 2022. Vote by mail and advance voting opportunities will be available.
Elections Office Contact
|Chief Election Officer, Sarah Temple
Phone: (250) 642-1616
|Deputy Chief Election Officer, Carolyn Mushata
Phone: (250) 642-1607
What You Need to Know
View 2022 General Election Nomination Documents
The District of Sooke is making Candidate Nomination Documents available in accordance with Section 89 of the Local Government Act and our Election Procedures Bylaw.
Section 89(9) of the Local Government Act states that “A person who inspects or otherwise accesses nomination documents under this section must not use the information included in them except for the purposes of this Act or purposes authorized by Section 63 [restrictions on use of personal information] of the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act.”
Click “YES” to confirm that you have read, understand and accept the terms under which you are viewing these documents.
If you click “NO”, the 2022 General Election Nomination Documents page will not open and you will be redirected back to the main 2022 General Local Elections page.
Register to Vote
Advanced registration for the 2022 General Local Election is now closed. Resident voters may register at the time of voting by presenting two pieces of identification that provide evidence of identity and place of residence, one of which must include a signature. See “Voter Identification” below for more information.
Non-resident electors may still register to vote by contacting the Chief Election Officer. Day-of registration for non-resident voters is possible, however if there are multiple property owners, additional paperwork is required to be signed by all owners.
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can register to be automatically added to the voters’ list when you turn 18 using Election BC’s online voter registration system.
Key Dates for Voters
- Thursday, April 14 – Last day to meet 6-month British Columbia residency requirement before General Voting Day (October 15)
- Tuesday, August 2 – First day to request omission of personal information from the Voters List
- Tuesday, August 23 – Last day to request omission of personal information from the Voters List
- Wednesday, September 14 – Last day to meet 30-day District property ownership requirement for non-resident property electors before General Voting Day
- Wednesday, October 5 – Advance voting opportunity
- Thursday, October 6 – Special Voting Opportunity for Ayre Manor residents only (12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
- Wednesday, October 12 – Advance voting opportunity
- Saturday, October 15 – General voting day and declaration of unofficial results
- Wednesday, October 19 at 4:00 p.m. – Declaration of official results
Ways to Vote
Your vote is important. Here are the options for making voting easy and convenient:
Vote on general voting day
General voting day is Saturday, October 15, 2022 at:
- Edward Milne Community School, 6218 Sooke Road
- Open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Vote in advance
There are two days of advance voting at Council Chambers, 2225 Otter Point Road, Sooke BC:
- Wednesday, October 5, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 12, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Vote by mail
Any voter can apply to vote by mail.
To request a mail ballot, please complete Form 11-1 Request for Mail Ballot Application and email, fax, mail, or deliver it to the Chief Election Officer between September 21 and October 13, 2022.
Ballots will be mailed or available for pick up at the Municipal Hall beginning on October 5, 2022 and must be returned to the Chief Election Officer by end of voting on October 15. Ballots may be returned by mail or dropped off in-person at the Municipal Hall until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 14. Ballots may also be dropped off at the General Voting day location (Edward Milne Community School – 6218 Sooke Road) on October 15 before 8:00 p.m.
If you can travel to a voting place but find it difficult to get into the building, an election official will bring you a ballot. Curbside voting will be available at all voting places.
To register to vote as a resident elector at the time of voting you will need two of the following identification documents showing residency and identity and one must contain a signature.
- BC Driver’s Licence*
- BC Identification Card
- BC Services Card*
- ICBC Registration
- Citizenship Card
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- property tax notice
- credit card or debit card
- utility bill
*if you have a combined BC Driver’s Licence and Service Card, it counts as only one piece of identification.
To register as a non-resident property elector at the time of voting you will need two pieces of ID as listed above, plus one document that provides proof of property ownership, such as:
- property tax notice/certificate
- property assessment notice from BC Assessment
- State of Title Certificate
- Title Search
- Certificate of Indefeasible Title
- If applicable, written consent of a majority of the registered owners on title
Key Dates for Candidates
- Tuesday, March 8 – Last day to meet 6-month BC residency requirement for candidates submitting nominations on September 9
- Thursday, August 11 at 6:00 p.m. – Candidate Information meeting, Council Chambers 2225 Otter Point Road
- Tuesday, August 30 at 9 a.m. – Nomination period starts
- Friday, September 9 at 4 p.m. – Nomination period ends
- Friday, September 16 – Last day to withdraw as a candidate
- Saturday, September 17 – Election campaign period starts
- Saturday, October 15 – General voting day and declaration of unofficial results
- Wednesday, October 19 – Declaration of official results
- Friday, January 18, 2023 – Deadline to file campaign financing disclosure statements to Elections BC
All candidates must be nominated by 2 eligible electors and declared a candidate by the Chief Election Officer.
To be declared a candidate, a completed nomination package must be returned to the Chief Election Officer during the nomination period. The nomination period for the 2022 General Local Election is from Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at 9:00 am to Friday, September 9, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.
Nomination Packages will be available for pick-up at the Municipal Hall as of July 26, 2022.
- Running for local office
- Responsible conduct of locally elected officials
- Council roles & responsibilities
- Elections BC campaign financing
- Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, expense limit regulations for candidates
- Local Election FAQs
Candidate Information Meeting:
- Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
- District of Sooke Council Chambers, 2225 Otter Point Road
Potential candidates interesting in running for the offices of Mayor and Council are strongly encouraged to attend this session. Election staff will provide an overview of the nomination and election processes, as well as the roles and responsibilities of elected officials. Bring your questions!
A recording of the August 11 Information Session can be found on the District’s YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/UZxjgM_uxY0
Election sign regulations
Election signs are defined as “a temporary sign promoting a candidate or political party for election to public office.” Election signs do not require a permit; however, the sign must be removed within three days after the election. Election signs placed along Highway 14 are subject to additional restrictions, see: www.gov.bc.ca/electionsigns.
Election Work Opportunities
Interested in an employment opportunity for the 2022 election?
Please email the Chief Election Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
The District is responsible for conducting its own local election. The District also conducts school trustee elections on behalf of the Sooke District 62 Board.
Elections BC is responsible for managing campaign financing disclosure requirements and maintains the voter list for voter registration and information updates.
- Local Government Act – Electors & Elections
- Elections BC Campaign Financing for Candidates
- Local Elections Campaign Financing Act
- Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, Expense Limit Regulations for Candidates
- Elections BC Online Voter Registration
- Elections BC FAQs for candidates
- Community Charter – Council roles & responsibilities
The last general election was held on October 20, 2018, to elect the mayor, council and school trustees. A by-election was held in 2019 to elect one Councillor.
District of Sooke Logo and Coat of Arms
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.
Armorial Bearings of the District of Sooke were granted by the Chief Herald of Canada on September 16, 2002.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.