District of Sooke council

Getting to know the people running for Sooke council

  • Oct. 26, 2011 5:00 p.m.

David Bennett Mayoral candidate

I was a teacher and school principal for 36 years, 17 years in Sooke area schools. I have been a committed volunteer in my communities for decades.

I have lived in the District of Sooke since 1993. I believe we all have an investment in today, a stake in Sooke’s future. I have worked with people of all ages from different life experiences professionally and as a volunteer, allowing me to most effectively become a listener, a communicator, a contributor and a leader.

I am running for mayor because I believe we need a mayor and council that will work for the benefit of all residents and not special interests. I believe we need balanced and thoughtful leadership that focuses on positive solutions for the whole community. I believe Sooke is the best place in Canada to live, work and play, and as a person of action I want to keep making it better.

My experience as a Sooke councillor has given me the knowledge on how to get things done. I take every opportunity to promote our pristine setting, share best practices, learn what may improve our practices, and advocate effectively at all levels of government.

A successful council would debate the crucial issues and challenges facing our community in a respectful and constructive way, bring different views to council from our whole community, honour the outcome of the debate, and use the skills and knowledge of our professional staff to make things happen.

Bev Berger

I am proud to call myself a local Sooke girl.

I attended Saseenoes Elementary, and then continued on to graduate from Edward Milne Community School. After graduation I moved into Victoria to pursue a career in business. I quickly became the regional manager for an independently owned franchise. While in this position I was responsible for eight separate business locations across the island. In 1999 I moved to California to start a family with my husband. In 2004 I moved back to Sooke with my husband Kevin and our three children, Ky-11, Hannah-9 and Chloe-9.

It was extremely important to me to have my children grow up in Sooke. In 2006 we bought our first house, I became a certified bookkeeper and we started our own company. After being involved with the Parent Advisory Council, volunteering for Sooke Minor Hockey, Sooke Minor Fastball, and many other groups, I felt compelled to run for council.

Over the past three years I learned a tremendous amount about bylaws, policies and parliamentary procedures. The past three years have strengthened my own personal view as to what a local government should look like, and in my view, we should be seven different people, with seven different perspectives. Couple this will respect, fiscal responsibility and a strong desire to listen to the community and I think we’ll succeed.

Sheila Beech

I was born in St. Thomas, Ont. during WWII. I am the great granddaughter of Dr. Lionel Beech, one of the earliest doctors on Saltspring Island. My school years were spent in Prince George, Kamloops, Creston and White Rock, graduating with honours.

The arts is a major influence in my life. I toured Europe with the Elgar Choir for two and a half months in 1962. It was a trip of a lifetime.

After one year of university, I entered Medical Laboratory technology. I worked in Haematology at Vancouver General Hospital and developed the radioassay for vitamin B12. In Merritt I became head of the laboratory. We moved to Summerland and I was a stay-at-home mum. We moved to Kitimat in 1980. My career path changed direction when I became the supervisor and programmer of the Riverlodge Recreation Centre in Kitimat. In 1980 the family settled in Rossland where a partner and I opened a successful Canadian craft shop that still exists today. In 1990, our family moved to the Island and settled on Mt. Matheson.

The move into Sooke’s first police station started 20 years of renovating the historic home. I have been a feltmaker for 40 years and enjoy the challenge of entering the Sooke Fine Art Show.

I have enjoyed living in Sooke. The wonderful people of our town have sustained me when accidents and tragedy have struck. I live with my granddaughter, my son Evan and grandson Jack are close by.

Myke “Moonfist” Colbert

Moonfist was born Myke Colbert in Oshawa, Ontario. Forty-eight years old and a father of two, he was formerly  a network security analyst for Bell Security Solutions in Ontario before moving here in July 2007. His father was employed at a water filtration plant in Ottawa for many years, and came to Sooke because “clean water is quite important to me,” said Colbert.

Diagnosed with late-onset epilepsy, Colbert underwent specialized brain surgery in Montreal in an attempt to manage the neurological disorder. “I’m not the same as I used to be,” he said, but his condition is now “much more controlled.”

Colbert dropped out of highschool in Grade 10 but later completed his high school equivilancy. His nickname ‘Moonfist’ comes from his martial arts background. He said he holds a level six gold sash (instructor level) in the self-defense technique Wing Chun, and was practicing in the moon-light on a rooftop in 2005 when “Moonfist jumped into my head.

Ron Dumont

I’ve been a a resident of Sooke for 58 years, graduated from Milne’s Landing High School. Gail and I have been married for 46 years and we have two grown son who live and work in Sooke, I have worked in the community since 1961.

Experience and community service:

– Chairman of Sooke and District Credit Union and West Coast Savings

– Director of Pacific Coast Savings Credit Union

– Former CRD director for Sooke during which time we built the ice arena and began Sooke’s first Official Community Plan

– Former Sooke fire trustee

– Member of Sooke Incorporation Review Committee

– Elected three terms to Sooke council

– Former president of Sooke Chamber of Commerce

– Former chairman of SEAPARC

– Cook and vice-chair of Meals on Wheels

– Sooke representative Vancouver Island Regional Library Board for six years

– Former chair and current director of the Sooke Elderly Citizens Housing Society and Ayre Manor Lodge

– Member of Official Community Plan Review Committee

– Worked diligently to raise funds and build Ayre Manor Lodge.

Herb Haldane

My great grandfather worked at the Jordan River power station in the 40’s. My grandfather worked on the fish traps off Sooke in the 50’s.  My parents operated several buisnesses in Sooke and raised three kids here.  My dad was one of the founding fathers of Sooke soccer.  I was educated in the Sooke school system and grew up playing soccer and softball as well as participating in All Sooke Day loggers’ sports.  The Sooke Community Association was the glue that kept this town operating, so at an early age you were inspired to do your part. I truly believe I am the luckiest person in the world to have grown up here.

The families were here for work in logging or fishing.  We were the working poor but we were rich in character and leadership.  These people had no money so they gave with time and experience back to their community so that others could enjoy a quality of life growing up in our town.  I am an extemely proud member of this fraternity and will never forget the hardworking people who came before me. I can’t give you a resume with degrees and jobs in high finance because I don’t have any. What I have to offer is my experience with this place and the quality which it has provided to me.

I am in the A&W every morning at 6:45 being reminded of why I do this job.

Rick Kasper

Rick Kasper has lived in Sooke for 19 years, is retired, and married to Doni Eve a fifth generation Sooke reident. He has one son Aaron a 2011 EMCS grad.

Saying that it’s time to restore “trust in local government,” Kasper made it official and announced he is running for Sooke council

“Let’s work together to bring back trust and transparency to our local government. For me, it’s about doing what’s right for the community as a whole,” Kasper said. “That means reasoned decisions in the best interests of our community, with fair and respectful treatment for everyone.”

Kasper, known for his integrity and hard work, said he understands how tough it is for taxpayers.

With 20+ years experience in provincial and local government, Kasper is well versed in the rules and procedures. He notes Sooke has made some good progress in many areas since it became a municipality, but feels it has recently lost sight of what is really important.

Kasper served on District of Sooke Council from 2005 to 2008, where he worked to set the stage for many of the positive developments we see in our community today. Before that, he served as MLA for Malahat Juan de Fuca for 10 years, and as CRD Director for nine years. He has no political party ties, and no affiliation with any special interest.

“I look forward to working together with our new mayor, council and staff on behalf of the people of Sooke.”

Terrance Martin

My qualifications for council flow primarily from 29 years in business and dealings with municipal governments as a citizen. In the service sector I managed all functions of my business including two shop locations, five mobile units, legal affairs, staff, customer relations, and finance. As a contractor and project manager I bid public tenders, managed project work, permits, budgets, and operational staff, and worked with professionals such as government engineering consultants and facility managers.

As a forensic consultant for ICBC I conducted investigations, consulted with legal counsel, and acted in the capacity of court qualified expert in roughly 100 litigation files – small claims, provincial and Supreme Court, and criminal trials. I hold a two year technical diploma, and have a Master’s degree in communication and culture in which the thesis work involved development of public policy and land use issues.

Culturally, I am from a farm community in Saskatchewan settled by my ancestors. One of my great uncles was township reeve, and I follow in his charitable footsteps as a Shriner. With a rural background I am comfortable in Sooke, and having arrived with my wife and family in 2005, I am somewhat jealous of my new friends that have lived here all their lives with friends that they grew up with. I want that for my kids.

Wendal Milne Mayoral candidate

I was originally posted to Sooke with the RCMP in 1969 where I met my wife Wendy. We returned to Sooke in 1985, raised our family and made it our permanent home for the past 26 years.

Community Service over the past 26 years: Sooke Fire District; Sooke Incorporation Committee; EMCS Society; Sooke Water Advisory Group; Sooke Minor Hockey; Sooke Lions Club; and Sooke Legion.

I was employed  from  1969-1995 in the  RCMP and was stationed in Sooke in 1969-1970, 1985–1987 and 1994–1995 (S/Sgt in charge). As well as local detachment duties, I worked in serious crimes which required international travel, working with foreign governments and their legal systems.  I worked in RCMP staff relations as a liaison between senior management including the commissioner and RCMP members. Additionally, I provided advice on RCMP policy both provincially and nationally.

I held several positions with BC Transit from 1995–2008 including head of security, Manager of Transit Operations and Director of Operations and Maintenance. My experience as a trustee and chairman of the fire district gives me a solid background in council procedures.  My work in the RCMP and with BC Transit provided me with extensive experience in dealing with employees and the public.

I believe all of these experiences have provided me with extensive skills that would be an asset if elected as your mayor.

Jim MItchell

A few facts about Jim Mitchell.

Education: graduated from BCIT under accounting program with computer option.

– Obtained highest mark in province of B.C. on auditing exam for C. A. program.

– Graduated from chartered accountants program.

Work Experience:  I worked through C.A. articles program with predecessor company to KPMG chartered accountants and became senior on audit team and spent one year on tax team.

– Internal auditor for Yorkshire Trust Company.  Performed audits at eight branches and set up audit department.

– Have operated a public accounting and income tax practice in Sooke since 1977 and subsequently opened accounting offices in Victoria, Lake Cowichan and Port Hardy.

–   Have appeared as an expert witness on accounting matters in several Supreme Court actions.

Community Involvement:

– Assistant leader in Scouting program.

– Past President of the Sooke Chamber of Commerce and a Chamber director for 12 years, during which time I obtained funding for local improvement projects including repairs to Whiffin Spit.

–  Current director and treasurer of the Sooke Philharmonic Society.


–  Work

–  Sports

–  Singer and guitarist in classic R&B band.

Kevin Pearson

My name is Kevin Pearson, I was born in 1957 in Sooke and have lived here my whole life. I am a husband and father to three grown children who are fifth generation Sookites. Their great grandmother was born in Otter Point district (Sooke) in 1900.

I have been active in the community in many capacities, in various organizations, minor hockey, minor softball, SEAPARC Leisure complex. I have sat as a member on the board of variance for the CRD.

I have chosen to run for council as I believe now is the time to manage the eminent changes as we transition from our rural roots to a more urban community. My priorities are to be a part of and support a strong functioning council.

Taxation is on everyone’s mind and I commit to careful review of all spending.  The rapid growth and changing face of our community is also a front and centre issue.  I believe we have a good infrastructure with the existing sewer system and infill in the existing area should be a priority before costly expansion.

The natural setting and beauty of Sooke is our best asset. I will work hard to maintain that setting and develop a community that we all want.

Kerrie Reay

My name is Kerrie Reay and my husband and I moved to Sooke from Chilliwack in 2008.  We chose Sooke as we missed the small town lifestyle and community we had enjoyed when we lived in Terrace.

Our pets have been a huge part of our lives and most have been adopted or rescued.

I completed my degree at Simon Fraser University in 1984, attaining my Bachelor of Arts in Criminology.  I was admitted to the University Honour Roll in 1985 for outstanding academic performance.  I started working for the BC Corrections Branch in Terrace as an Adult and Youth Probation Officer and Family Court Counsellor. My husband and I had a construction company building homes on speculation so I also understand the needs, challenges and risks involved in owning and running a small business.  In 2007 I accepted a new position as a Project Manager with Corrections headquarters in Victoria. I commute daily, by transit, to Victoria.

In April 2010, I was awarded the Governor General of Canada Medal for Exemplary Service in Corrections

My community service has been varied over the years.  I served two years on the Terrace Youth and Family Justice Committee, fundraising for many charities but primarily with the Canadian Cancer Society.  I have recently become a Director with the Sooke Branch 54 Royal Canadian Legion Housing Society and I am the Chair of the Placement Committee.

Shaunna Salsman

Growing up in the small community of Cassidy, rural community values are fundamental to me. I attended BCIT and after graduating I moved to Saanich. Our family quickly fell in love with Sooke’s natural beauty and community feel, and have lived here for 10 years and enjoy the community spirit and outdoor lifestyle. I am fortunate to be able to devote my time to raising out family. I am an active community volunteer, putting together the Coho swimming program at SEAPARC, serving and on the Metchosin School PAC and  treasurer for the All Sooke Arts and Crafts Association.

In 2011 to support real change in government, I become a candidate for the Green Party of Canada where I had the honor of representing the Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca riding. As an advocate for sustainable environmental practices, human rights issues, and transparency in government, I received the most votes the Green Party of Canada has ever obtained in our riding. As Sooke is a fairly new municipality we have a real chance to set an example and be at the forefront in the way we invest in our community, seniors, youth, and our environment.

If elected I will be supporting and promoting: working collectively for and with the community, sustainable choices, buying local, green businesses, high-quality local jobs, agriculture security, road improvements for safer commutes, sustainable growth, stabilizing taxation, revitalization of our downtown core, and an open government.

Maja Tait

Maja Tait is a first generation Canadian who is proud to call Sooke home. She was born in Calgary and raised in the rural hamlet of Bragg Creek. Her formative years in Bragg Creek instilled both an appreciation for small town values as well as an insatiable curiosity to see the world beyond immediate borders. Maja lived in Japan and Calgary before moving to Vancouver Island in 1997.

After exploring various options in the Greater Victoria area, Maja and her husband permanently relocated from Victoria to Sooke in 2006 having recognized the district’s simple abundances of community, natural setting and charm.

In addition to her ongoing career in commercial and residential property management, Maja is also a dedicated volunteer and is a member of the Sooke Harbourside Lions Club.

Maja was successfully elected to council in 2008. Maja strongly believes in approaching all council duties and decisions with objectivity, respect and an underlying litmus test which asks, “Will Council’s edict benefit the community as a whole?”

Her responsibilities have included: Community Grant Review Committee, Sign Bylaw Review Committee, Climate Change Action Committee, EMCS Society Board, CRD – Regional Housing Trust Fund Commission, Vancouver Island Regional Library Board (Alternate), Greater Victoria Family Court & Youth Justice Committee.