Sooke population drop raises questions

Survey shows population in Sooke needs access to more services

Mayor Maja Tait

Octavian Lacatusu

Sooke News Mirror

A recent survey shows Sooke lost just over a hundred of its citizens in the last year, while Langford gained more than a thousand. This isn’t by any means startling, but the odd question remains:

Where have all these folks gone?

Well, they certainly weren’t abducted by aliens; at least, we hope not. In fact Sooke Mayor Maja Tait believes the reasons behind the township’s minor drop in population are evident: lack of easy access to services could be a deterrent for some considering to live here.

Or, as she notes, “do we have enough?”

“Finding daycare was a challenge for young families in Sooke… is that still a problem, well, I’m not entirely sure,” she said, adding that proximity and cost for locals to important services could play a big role in all of this. “Geographically-speaking, seniors with health challenges may also find it difficult because we’re far from readily-available medical services.”

And it’s not just the basics, Tait says; given all the natural wonder on the island, making it easier for both citizens and locals to see and travel around is equally an important factor. In Langford’s case, this could very well be true.

“Langford has done extensive work to create a liveable community in terms of recreation services, parks and trails, so I think sometimes it can go beyond just an affordable house when you have parks and trails right outside your door,” she said. “We should consider doing this as well, because we do have an abundance of unique areas – like redeveloping the bike park, for example, or remediating the playing field. We need to promote all the wonderful things about our community.”

In retrospect, the numbers aren’t all that bad: Sooke’s population was steady at 12,390 in 2013 and dropped to 12,257 in 2014 by -1.19 per cent decrease. Comparatively, Langford bloomed by 3.99 per cent, bringing its total of 33,390 in 2013 to 34,677 in 2014.

Others like local real estate agent Shayne Fedoshyenko, say that it is more than just the lack of comfy amenities that are scaring potential citizens away from Sooke.

“It’s the taxes. They are way too high,” he said. “People ask, ‘why would I come out here in Sooke and be 35 minutes away if I can buy a house closer to Victoria with the same price and not have to deal with Sooke Road or any of the commute.’”

Fedoshyenko notes that while houses can be bought for almost the same kind of money, there is something to Sooke that is rather special: its vast availability of space and nature.

“From East Sooke Park to Port Renfrew, each person averages around two and a half acres of parkland with all the trails accessible right from their own back yard,” he said. “Where else around here would a regular buyer be able to afford such a thing?”

Just Posted

Lengthy cannabis report leaves Sooke council with questions

Temporary use option for pot producers seen as untenable

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Jeff McArthur suspends Sooke council bid

Former Mountie second candidate to withdraw from race

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Sooke athletes win gold at 55+ Games

Myrtle Acton, 86, leads way with three first place finishes

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Most Read