Both Sooke and the Capital Regional District are in the process of gearing up for new official community plans, also known as OCPs. Both are predicting considerable growth for Sooke and the surrounding region.
People need to get involved now and loudly and clearly state their vision. We are in a climate emergency, and to slow and stop this destruction of Earth and our way of life, we need to think clearly and act now.
First, look at our choices, with climate as the deciding factor. We need to decide and define what we are and then make a plan.
Are we a bedroom community? A disastrous choice with all the pollution from commuting and time wasted. More quickly built cheek by jowl, no yard, no sidewalk, no joy housing.
Are we a tourist destination? Do we want to give up our unique sense of community to draw in money in season and on the occasional weekend?
Are we a retirement community? Where are all the supports older people need- quick access to medical care at all levels, more assisted living, good walkable access to shops? If the older people are in, the smaller affordable housing, where do the young people buy?
Are we a stand-alone small town with a large and hard-working volunteer community and small businesses? If so, we need to help start new businesses and support the businesses we already have. Co-operative investment and labour are a possible solution. There is no reason why we cannot draw in more food and beverage industries or small manufacturing companies. The talent and drive are here, but they need us to support them – not just individuals but the governments at all levels.
Both Sooke and the CRD need to listen to the people to define our area, lifestyles, and future and get on with it. Trying to please everyone is neither fish nor fowl; it is bumbling along.