Letters: Make a West Coast plan

Community needs to focus on a theme to brand Sooke

I have lived in Sooke for over 10 years and I recently had the opportunity to voice my opinion when public input was sought regarding a strategic plan for our community. Listening to what was put forward I felt those elected have laid a solid footing regarding fiscal responsibility and they intend to concentrate on the downtown core and the sidewalk issues which do need to come first. But I also felt unsure of what the focus is going forward.

My wife and I have been fortunate to travel widely in Europe and North America. The communities that were doing well all had something unique or a focus, whether it was art, antiques, cultural, recreational etc., a brand so to speak. Chemainus and its famous murals and theatre are a great example of branding a small town.

I don’t believe our community is looking for big box stores, major industry or manufacturing and I think we are already a jewel with so much to offer. So, what if we renamed our community Sooke Harbour? That says something already, making us stand out; and we could focus on the West Coast experience. We are adjacent to Victoria, and unlike Tofino and Ucluelet, we are nearby to it all. Maybe the Prestige could join in with the look, a little cedar and maybe the front pillars could be new totem poles? Our art shows, symphony concerts, etc., already draw people in.

Where we once hosted the International loggers sports days we could establish something new on a marine theme.Our new sidewalks and streetscape design could incorporate our West Coast and marine focus rather than be the same old cookie cutter design. Maybe an orca or minke whale skeleton in Ed Mcgregor Park or on the marine boardwalk. We already have the salmon interpretation centre and the Jack Brooks Hatchery, maybe the hatchery could be relocated to the Sooke flats as a major draw or a fish ladder around the Potholes to open up spawning grounds and make a viewing station for the public. I realize many have likely worked on these ideas before, and have faced opposition. We are the quintessential West Coast experience and have so much to build upon; we are a natural  jewel in the ruff. Does anybody else agree? Or maybe you could offer what your town would look like going forward.

Norm Amirault

Sooke

Just Posted

Sooke’s ‘Stonehenge’ gets a rocky reception

Structure intended to accommodate memorial plaques

Sooke district under fire for zoning debacle

Saseenos Veterinary Clinic may have to pay twice for rezoning

Central Saanich strawberry farmer reports bumper crop

Strawberry season could last well into October

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read