CRD gets Sooke Potholes campground
The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board is pleased to announce the pending transfer of Sooke Potholes campground to the Region, with the support of The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) in consideration of their overall restructuring plan.
Sooke Potholes Regional Park in-holdings, known as the Campground, the Works Yard and Lodge Site, are held by TLC with reversionary rights secured by CRD under registered Option to Purchase and Right of First Refusal agreements. The CRD previously exercised its Option to Purchase and Right of First Refusal for the lands owned by TLC at Sooke Potholes Regional Park. The Court stayed the completion of the transactions pending completion of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act process. With TLC’s restructuring plan accepted by the Monitor and the Court, TLC is in a position to transfer the Sooke Potholes parcels to the CRD.
“As a result of the transfer, the CRD will resume discussions and explore opportunities with the T’Sou-ke First Nation who previously expressed an interest in operating the campground,” said the CRD Board Chair Nils Jensen.
This place is also sacred to the T’Sou-ke. It is important as a bathing and ceremonial place and is called “Kle-e-len” by the T’Sou-ke which means “spring salmon place.”
“In our language one word can mean a lot, Kl- e-len means a “place where salmon give back to Mother Earth,” said Planes in a previous reference to the Sooke Potholes lands.
“We are thrilled that the Potholes will remain protected and that the CRD will be continuing our discussions with the T’Sou-ke First Nation regarding operating the campground,” said John Shields, TLC’s Director of Operations. “This recognizes the important connection the band has to that land.”
CRD staff will return to the Regional Parks Committee with a recommendation on next steps following discussions with T’Sou-ke First Nation.
Shaw Communications Inc., a major contributor to the initial acquisition of the Sooke Potholes has agreed to donate a further $50,300 the amount of TLC’s tax arrears with the District of Sooke, following the transfer of the Sooke Potholes lands from TLC to CRD and the dedication of the Sooke Potholes lands as part of CRD’s adjacent Sooke Potholes Regional Park.
“We are extremely grateful to Shaw Communications for their generous contribution,” said Susan Brice, CRD Regional Parks Committee Chair. “The CRD’s primary interest is to secure these properties because of their ecological values and great cultural significance to the region.”
TLC and CRD first worked together in partnership to secure these lands to ensuring future generations will continue to benefit from this unique regional treasure. In 2004, TLC and the CRD purchased lands neighbouring Sooke Potholes Regional Park for $3 million, effectively creating a regional park managed by the CRD and a campground managed by the TLC. Shaw Communications Inc. also contributed to the TLC’s campaign to purchase the property and improve the facilities.