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

Saanich resident sends distress signal over cell-phone tower

Wes Solomonson says proposed cell-tower will undermine value of his rural Saanich home

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Third Victoria person pricked by needle in past week

Police say this one appears to have been deliberately placed

Sooke swim team competes well at end-of-year meet

The Tyee Aquatic Club finished off 2017 strong, as multiple swimmers beat… Continue reading

Police in brief: Teens nabbed for pot smoking near Oak Bay cop shop

Yacht club thefts, fireworks found and wakeful arrest in Oak Bay this week

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Most Read