Council candidates from right to left are: Kel Phair

Council candidates from right to left are: Kel Phair

Council candidates respond positively

Those seeking to be elected in Sooke came out for a questions and answer forum

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

The first opportunity for council candidates to answer questions from the public happened on Thursday night, October 30.

All candidates for both mayor and council met at the Sooke Community Hall for an evening of questions and answers from a room full of about 120 people. It was standing room only, which pointed to the obvious – people wanted to see how each candidate conducted themselves and responded to questions.

Each had their turn to make a brief opening statement. In attendance were mayoral candidates Maja Tait and Herb Haldane. Vying for council were: Incumbents Bev Berger, Rick Kasper, Kevin Pearson and Kerrie Reay. New faces running for councillor include; Jeff Bateman, Justin Hanson, Ebony Logins, Brenda Parkinson, Kel Phair and Mark Whiteson. Mayoral candidate David Shebib did not attend.

The first question from the public came from Ellen Lewers who asked if the candidates felt they were capable of looking after such things as upcoming sewer, staff and the Prestige contracts, and the roundabout. Each of the candidates said they felt capable and those without experience on council said they were willing to listen and learn from the professional staff at the municipal hall.

Other questions posed were: How would you curb the excessive wages being paid at the municipal level?

Both Haldane and Tait stated that council had taken great steps to curb and contain wages.

Margarita Dominquez came to the mic asking why council would not give SAFARS land for a cat shelter. Basically each of the candidates stated that they could not give or rent land when there was none, and this would set a precedent.

When asked if some of the public standing committees would be reinstated, all of the candidates said yes.

Haldane and Tait were asked how much time they would be able to dedicate if they were both working full time.

Tait answered first saying that 80 per cent of people in Sooke work in Victoria and she had a very flexible schedule which allows her to work from home, tele-commute, and respond via modern technology such as email or text. She said she would meet with residents on Saturdays.

Haldane said that even as a councillor and working he went to the office six or seven times a week and he would be able to spend a lot of time in the office.

All candidates said they were team players and would work together when asked by Deb Johnston what  character traits would make them a good leader.

Gail Hall asked Haldane if he ever gained financially for projects he voted for on council. He said no he had never gained financially.

Other questions relating to more engagement with the T’Sou-ke First Nation, how would Sooke benefit from amalgamation, how can people get together in Sooke at an indoor space and what would be done with the proposed 2 per cent hotel tax – and how can it benefit tourism and youth? Sewers on Kaltasin and what their passions were and investing in Sooke all drew responses from the candidates but no real answers.

The Sooke News Mirror has asked each of the councillor candidates questions and their answers which appear in this issue on pages 17 and 18. The school board trustee candidates will have a brief statement in next week’s edition (November 12).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read