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Growth, traffic, and waterfront park key issues for Sooke mayor candidate

Candidate Mick Rhodes keen to bring All Sooke Day back

A limit on population growth, traffic concerns, and a waterfront park are some of the key issues behind Mick Rhodes’ decision to run for mayor again.

The self-described community social activist and retired truck driver has lived in Sooke since 1977, except for 17 years when he worked as a journalist in Victoria.

“I would like to open a dialogue about limiting population growth and sit down and decide what we’re looking for moving forward,” said Rhodes, who ran for mayor in 2018 and for council in the byelection in 2019. “Unrealistic unrestrained population growth… Does Sooke want to see more of the same in the next 10 years?”

Rhodes said the quickening pace of development and accompanying traffic, and the “enormous change in Sooke’s picturesque landscape” is not what the people he has spoken with want to see.

He believes reducing the speed limit to 40 km/h on secondary streets will lower the risk of accidents and create a more relaxed, friendlier atmosphere for locals and tourists, and a leisurely, pleasant atmosphere for shopping and dining.

Rhodes would like to see Sooke encourage landowners and developers to build truly affordable, environmentally friendly housing for Sooke residents, families with modest incomes, seniors, and people with disabilities.

“Tiny homes are a growing trend in North America, marketed as more affordable, eco-friendly and sustainable,” he said.

“I would like to create a central waterfront park … I’ve lobbied council since 2017 for that every time a potential property becomes available.”

Exploring a land swap, public or private partnerships and pursuing funding from other levels of government are viable ways to achieve that, Rhodes said.

He would also like to bring back All Sooke Day, an annual event that began in 1934 and came to a halt in 2003 due to a number of issues.

“It was a great way to celebrate the community and the volunteer organizations whose exceptional work enriches our lives,” Rhodes said. “I’m taken aback every summer that this old-time Sooke tradition has never been revived.”

Sinclair Philip, a former co-owner of the Sooke Harbour House, said Rhodes is very knowledgeable on many subjects -including social justice issues, environmentalism and spirituality – and offers many reasonable alternatives to the status quo.

“Over the years I’ve known Mick Rhodes, I’ve found him to be really passionate about what matters, whether it is to do with local politics or the world at large,” Philip said. “For me, he has the credentials to be a mayor who has the motivation and presence of mind to put into action and truly represent the best interests of Sooke going forward.”

For more on Rhodes, visit

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About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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