Monthly Mayoral Message: July 2023

Mayor Maja Tait

Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – With summer in full effect, I hope you’re enjoying Sooke’s spectacular setting, local events and activities! The Sooke Fine Arts Show runs from July 29th to August 7th at SEAPARC, the T’Sou-ke Nation Summer Market takes place on Sunday, July 30th from 10am to 3pm at 2154 Lazzar Road, ongoing community markets with live music are running throughout the summer – Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm at the Museum and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm beside Fire Station 1 on Otter Point Road, and the All Sooke Day Family Picnic is just around the corner on August 19th at Fred Milne Park. I hope you experience the numerous opportunities to connect in our community!

While you enjoy the outdoors, please remember that our current fire danger rating is EXTREME. This means that the forest is dry, even with the rainfall earlier this week, and the fire risk is significant. New fires will start easily, spread rapidly and challenge fire suppression efforts. As such, activities including campfires, fireworks and sky lanterns are prohibited. It is anticipated that considerable rainfall is required before the fire danger rating changes. Should conditions change, information will be posted at Your assistance to keep our community safe is appreciated.

With community safety a priority, I extend my appreciation to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for their investment in Highway 14. Two new lanes between Connie Road and Glinz Lake Road and a new 45-stall park and ride are now open, along with median barriers in place and reconfiguration to Gillespie to make travel into and out of Sooke safer. This work has been a major undertaking; thank you to commuters and area residents for your continued patience while it was completed.

Among the list of current local activities is your chance to inform the District’s 2024 Budget! Not quite as exciting for many as the artistic wonders at the Sooke Fine Arts Show or physical feats of the Sports Logging Show at the All Sooke Day Family Picnic, but critically important for Sooke!

Interested in more community events? Complete the survey and let us know.

Do you want to see more or less invested in local roads? Tell us.

Interested in ramping up or slowing down our approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Participate in the budget survey!

Your voice matters and we are listening. Survey results will be shared in a What We Heard Report available later this year as Council undertakes the service-level review. The service level review is where we make changes to the types and levels of services offered in Sooke. Have your say and participate in the short or long-form survey before August 20th at

The District’s budget process is one of many ways to participate in your local government; Council meetings are another great opportunity. Submit written correspondence by noon on the day of the meeting or speak to agenda items during the public input portion of the meeting. If you cannot attend in person, please note that meetings are livestreamed on the District’s YouTube channel with recordings available for you to watch at your convenience. Find the meeting schedule, agendas, minutes, video links and more at

A few highlights from recent meetings include:

  • Progress on Ravens Ridge Park to include bleachers, the addition of a 3-on-3 basketball court, considerable landscaping and planting of 40+ trees, greenspace additions, and accessible parking and access. Work is scheduled for competition in early 2024.
  • Awarding of the construction contracts for Charters Road and the Church Road Roundabout – stay tuned for project timelines (which I anticipate will be available this fall)!
  • Launch of the Community Climate Action Seed Funding Program – stay tuned for dozens of community-based initiatives covering repair cafes, food security, tree planting and more!
  • Strong public participation to continue the conversation about the Official Community Plan (OCP).

The OCP is a conversation which began just before the pandemic impacted how we engaged with you! As Council seeks to revise the draft in its current form and awaits direction from the province on the Housing Supply Act, we’re ensuring this important guiding document works best for Sooke and our unique needs and desires to deliver on the community’s vision. The next public meeting to discuss the OCP is tentatively scheduled for October 3rd. Save the date and stay informed at

Lastly, and certainly far from least, please join me in welcoming two members of the District’s Administrative Leadership Team: Mr. Jeremy Denegar has been appointed the District’s Chief Administrative Officer and Staff Sergent Greg Willcocks is the new Detachment Commander of the Sooke RCMP.

Jeremy brings sixteen years of municipal government experience, most recently as CAO with the District of Lillooet. With his experience in municipal government and proven leadership skills, fresh ideas, and a commitment to community and collaboration – combined with our District of Sooke staff team – I believe that we will be well served. He will begin employment with the District on September 5, 2023.

Greg joins us from Haida Gwaii’s Daaiing Giids (Queen Charlotte) division. Serving in a variety of roles throughout his career – from the front line to major crimes to detachment commander, he arrived in Sooke last week and is eager to connect with his team, the community and Council to best meet the needs of our growing community.

Please join me in warmly welcoming Jeremy and Greg to Sooke!

As always, plenty is happening with your local government and I invite you to stay connected.

Warm regards,

Mayor Maja Tait