When it was decided that Sooke should incorporate, people with a vision for the future began to understand that Sooke was a town in transition. They understood that Sooke was worth investing in, because they saw that growth was coming, even though the region was losing so much in terms of its resource extraction based economy. Either incorporate and manage the growth, or keep the status quo and wait for the steamroller of uncontrolled development to run roughshod through town, leaving big box stores and fast food joints in its wake.
Self-sufficiency was to be the target, and by equipping administrative staff with tools like regulations and laws, managed growth would be the arrow in the bull’s eye. However, the stage was set for some to get their knickers in a twist. With incorporation, the requirement for bylaws, rules and their enforcement became necessary. The district had to play the heavy, and for the first time, residents and land owners were required to operate under much more stringently enforced regulations. Burning, building permits, land rezoning, the potential for expropriation etc. were now on the table. No doubt the shock of operating under a new set of rules has left some in our town with the sour feeling of resentment. Resentment which now seems to be fueling the campaigns of some who desire to be in the driver’s seat.
Should resentment inform people’s opinion of the district itself? I don’t think so.
The past is important, as it informs us and prepares us for the future. But that, as well, is a balancing act. How to bring the best of what the past is into the future without bringing with it the negative stuff which perpetuates itself through the dark aspects of human nature is difficult, but not impossible.