The Sooke Seniors Drop-in Centre just closed its doors, ending more than 30 years of service to this community’s elderly.
This may not mean much to some, but it goes far beyond just a place for seniors shutting down. It’s another pain of the illness: there isn’t enough building space in Sooke and the process of adding more is embarrassingly slow.
Recently, the province announced it will not be funding any expansion at Ayre Manor, something our seniors hoped for as a possible permanent home for their centre. Our good province also said it won’t invest in any additional building space to help bring more doctors here, another thing Sooke is lagging at an alarming rate.
Even Mayor Maja Tait said Sooke is ignored by the province. Why? Why is the province ignoring one of its fastest-growing communities?
In the last two years, Sooke has had record growth in demographics, which is fantastic, but its antiquated and lackluster services are not even close to keeping up with demand.
Soliciting existing space doesn’t help either. The Sooke Community Hall, our dear mother, as much as we love her, is aging rapidly and is simply inadequate for most of the activities she’s used for – particularly as a centre for seniors that has the same accessibility as a Turkish prison, with its nearly vertical stairs, outdated kitchen and elevator.
The irony is big projects do make it to the planning stages, but it stops nearly dead there. Nothing’s impossible. What makes it impossible is political will.
More doctors and medical services. More senior and community centres. More commercial and residential space. Sidewalks. Roads. We need all these things in Sooke now, not tomorrow, not next year.
If the Liberals really believe we are one of the greatest provinces in Canada, they should start acting like it by listening to its people.