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

Elections

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.

The nomination period for candidates is Wednesday, August 30 at 9:00 a.m. to Friday, September 9 at 4:00 p.m.

Elections Office Contact

Chief Election Officer, Sarah Temple
Email: stemple@sooke.ca
Phone: (250) 642-1616
Deputy Chief Election Officer, Carolyn Mushata
Email: cmushata@sooke.ca
Phone: (250) 642-1607

What You Need to Know

Voter Information

Register to Vote

The District uses Election BC’s provincial voters list as the official list of registered electors for its local government election.

You can use Election BC’s online voter registration system to register to vote or update your information until July 13, 2022. Any changes to the Provincial Voter’s List after July 13th may not be reflected in the list used on voting days. Voters may be required to register again on site.

From July 13th to August 23, 2022, voters may register  at the District of Sooke Municipal Hall at 2205 Otter Point Road.

Non-resident electors may 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 now to be automatically added to the voters list when you turn 18.


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
  • 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.

Ballots will be available beginning on October 5, 2022 and must be returned to the Chief Election Officer before end of voting on October 15. Additional information on voting by mail will be made available on this page. Please contact the Chief Election Officer for more information.

Curbside voting

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.


Voter Identification

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 proof of property ownership and identification:

  • 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
  • Two pieces of identification as listed above for resident electors
Candidate Information

Key Dates for Candidates

  • Tuesday, March 8 – Last day to meet 6-month BC residency requirement for candidates submitting nominations on September 9
  • *Tentative* August 11 – Candidate Information meeting
  • 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

Candidate Eligibility

All candidates must be nominated by 2 eligible electors and declared a candidate by the Chief Election Officer.

Candidate Resources

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.

Read the District of Sooke Sign Regulation Bylaw >>


General Information

Election Work Opportunities

Interested in an employment opportunity for the 2022 election?

Please email the Chief Election Officer at stemple@sooke.ca


Election Administration

Municipal Responsibilities

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.

Council appoints a Chief Election Officer to ensure the process is run in accordance with the Local Government Act and the General Local Elections Regulation Bylaw.

Provincial Responsibilities

Elections BC is responsible for managing campaign financing disclosure requirements and maintains the voter list for voter registration and information updates.


Resources


Election Results

The last general election was held on October 20, 2018, to elect the mayor, council and school trustees.

 

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.

Motto

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.

Disclaimer
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 info@sooke.ca.

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.