Looking Back

A trip through the Sooke News Mirror archives:


Dec. 2, 1998

Fish farm under attack

A local fish farmer says a naturally occurring algae bloom, not disease or toxins produced from his aquaculture business, was responsible for a substantial fish kill at his Sooke Basin enterprise.

Prime Pacific Sea Farm’s Harry Hammer was responding to allegations made Tuesday by The David Suzuki Foundation and other fish farm opponents.

David Suzuki Foundation fish farm consultant Lynn Hunter advised the media The Alliance Against Fish Farms was holding a news conference Tuesday after the Sooke News Mirror went to press.

Hunter said the conference centers around a video tape shot by local residents who observed truck loads of dead fish being hauled out of the fish farm over the past six weeks.

“On Nov. 11 residents video taped fish farm workers haul out 24 totes alone. There are 1,200 pounds on each tote.”

Hunter said the dead fish were trucked up a gated road in Sooke where they were presumably disposed of.

Hammer refused to be specific about the number of fish that were lost, only saying that it was substantial.

Hammer said he witness East Sooke resident Gloria Graham video taping workers collecting and hauling off the dead fish.

“Here I am dealing with this loss and my good neighbour is sitting on the shore video taping it,” Hammer said.

Dec. 6, 2000

Local ornithologists to keep eye on the birdies for Christmas count

Two days before Christmas, another annual event is taking place in Sooke.

The 101st annual Christmas bird count will take flight at 8 a.m. and wind down at sunset on Dec. 23.

“It provides a snapshot of the relative numbers of bird in North America at one particular time of the year,” said Sooke resident Jack McLeod.

Last year, 38 bird-watchers counted an amazing total of 25,815 birds representing a whopping 104 different species just in the Sooke count area. The B.C. bird species champ is Ladner where 138 species were sighted in 1999.

“This area here is one of the best,” said McLeod, 72, who was introduced to bird watching as a nine year old when he was given a little red bird book by a  family friend.

Dec. 6, 2006

Development Cost Charges outlined

The Committee of the Whole met in Sooke Council Chambers Monday night to hear from Fraser Smith of Urban Systems Ltd. about development cost charges (DCCs).

Also covered during the meeting was a presentation from Ron Drolet of B.C. Transit, and discussion on a proposed bylaw concerning the control of fireworks in the District of Sooke.

What is sought is a method of financing municipal growth that is spread equitably among present and future residents, developers and various levels of government.

Some of the criteria looked at by an outfit like Urban Systems relates to the percentage of single, family dwellings, multi-family units, etc. For example, consultants assume a higher average number of residents in a single family dwelling than in other forms of housing.

A high load on local roadways and wastewater systems is therefore projected as regards to one unit, and charges are based accordingly.

Dec. 7, 2011

Inaugural meeting of District of Sooke council

The council chambers at the municipal hall was full to overflowing as members of the public, family and friends came to see the fourth council take office on Dec. 5.

The official ceremony was punctuated with clapping and broad smiles as each councillor took their oath of office and Mayor Wendal Milne gave his inaugural address.

Milne thanked the previous council and especially former mayor Janet Evans for her 12 years serving the community.

“It was a huge commitment, I think,” said Milne.

He vowed that there would be changes coming all with the intent of cutting spending in all ares of the district’s budget.

He said there were plans already in place for many initiatives, but each of those decisions cost money and he wanted to ensure a balanced budget.

He said in these uncertain economic times it was important to have sustainability for taxpayers.

“Council and staff need to start doing businesses in a new way,” said Milne.

He wants to control spending and stop tax increases, stating that it would be a “tough task.”

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