Mayoral Message: March 2024

Monday, March 25, 2024 – I am delighted to share some exciting news regarding significant investments in our community’s infrastructure and services. Thanks to diligent efforts and successful funding applications, we’ve secured substantial financial support for essential projects that will

District of Sooke Mayor Maja Tait

enhance connectivity, safety, and quality of life for all residents.

Sooke has received $1 million in BC Active Transportation funding.

$500,000 is allocated towards the addition of sidewalks and bike lanes along Charters Road and $500,000 is for the Little River (Demamiel Creek) Pedestrian Crossing Project.

These investments will ensure safer pedestrian movement and promote sustainable transportation options, reducing our carbon footprint and fostering healthier lifestyles.

This funding for Little River Crossing is in addition to a Government of Canada Infrastructure Grant that was announced in December 2023 for $1.3 million.

The Little River Crossing project will be instrumental for our community and travelling within Sooke. Whether making your way to school, visiting local shops and restaurants in our town core, or enjoying the sports box and future recreation amenities at Ravens Ridge Park, Little River Crossing transforms an approximate 8-kilometre round trip on Highway 14 into a 1-kilometre round trip walk.

As this project is realized, some congestion should lessen around schools which I know creates a significant bottleneck for those travelling on Highway 14.

Council is working with School District 62 to understand long-term planning for our local schools, including access points given the traffic concerns experienced with the current functionality. As soon as more is known in this regard, I will keep you informed.

Speaking of Highway 14, a reminder that staff representatives from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will be attending our April 8th public meeting to discuss ongoing and upcoming Highway 14 priorities with Council.

Each of these initiatives aligns closely with the feedback we received from residents through Sooke’s annual budget survey, where the transportation network was identified as a top priority.

Despite the economic challenges we face, we’ve endeavoured to balance our fiscal responsibilities with the needs of our community in this year’s budget.

Currently, we’re looking at a $147.12 per year increase ($12.26 per month) on your tax bill for municipal services. This adjustment is not a decision made lightly and is necessary to address important needs, including 24/7 policing, fire rescue services, additional bylaw enforcement, and continuing with the implementation of our Transportation Master Plan.

To learn more about the District’s budget, I invite you to attend the Community Budget Open House on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, from 2:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Municipal Hall, where staff and elected officials will be available to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Other upcoming opportunities to connect with Council include Sookearama at SEAPARC on Saturday, April 20 and at Sooke’s Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 27, which is taking place alongside the Sooke Country Market (beside Fire Station One on Otter Point Road).  These opportunities are, of course, in addition to public meetings.

To view the meeting schedule, please visit As with all public meetings, if you cannot make them in person, a reminder that the meetings are live-streamed and a recording of the meeting is also available on our website and YouTube channel.

As always, please sign up for our monthly e-newsletters as another way to stay connected with District activities.

Finally, I am pleased to announce the permanent appointment of Raechel Gray as our new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Raechel’s dedication and leadership have been invaluable to our community as she has supported us in financial services for the last 5 years and served concurrently as the Interim Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Financial Services for the last 18 months.  I have full confidence in her ability to guide us toward continued success.

Thank you for your ongoing support and participation in shaping the future of Sooke.

Warm regards,

Mayor Maja Tait