Community Economic Development Strategy

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Community Economic Development (CED) is about working together as a community and with partners towards a diverse local economy that helps all of Sooke to thrive. It’s also about learning from all sectors of the community, and supporting local businesses, organizations, professionals, service providers and citizens. Council’s commitment to take action on climate change will drive community economic development in Sooke. We are striving for Low Carbon Resilience, and the achievement of social, economic and environmental co-benefits for all Sooke citizens.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the summer/fall 2021 development of the CED Strategy and Action Plan through the business Walk, telephone interviews, discussions about town, and surveys. We have posted an Engagement Summary here.

Read the CED Strategy and Action Plan that District Council that Council approved on December 13, 2021. Watch for updates, and let us know if you have ideas or feedback on the Strategy.

Community Economic Development (CED) is about working together as a community and with partners towards a diverse local economy that helps all of Sooke to thrive. It’s also about learning from all sectors of the community, and supporting local businesses, organizations, professionals, service providers and citizens. Council’s commitment to take action on climate change will drive community economic development in Sooke. We are striving for Low Carbon Resilience, and the achievement of social, economic and environmental co-benefits for all Sooke citizens.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the summer/fall 2021 development of the CED Strategy and Action Plan through the business Walk, telephone interviews, discussions about town, and surveys. We have posted an Engagement Summary here.

Read the CED Strategy and Action Plan that District Council that Council approved on December 13, 2021. Watch for updates, and let us know if you have ideas or feedback on the Strategy.

  • Sookearma - Just One Month Away!

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    The Sooke Lions Club hosts the 2023 Sookarama Business & Trade Show, proudly presented with support from the District of Sooke!

    The event is set for Saturday, April 22, 2023 at Seaparc Arena from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission for the public is free!

    Why attend:

    • 100+ booths of Sooke area businesses & services on display including product sales!
    • Food Concession outside!
    • Live entertainment from local groups!

    Additional parking is available at the Sooke River Campground - walk from the campground or take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service.


    Become a vendor!

    Booths are approximately 10 ft x 10 ft bare space. Vendors are responsible for the construction and decorating of their own booths. Backs can’t exceed 6 ft, sides can’t exceed 3 ft. Although vendors may request a specific location, the placement of booths will be to enhance the overall show. Tables/chairs not provided.

    Cost – $100 per booth or $85 if paid before Jan 31, 2023

    Payment – Cheque made out to Sooke Lions, Box 248 Sooke BC V9Z 0S9, or by E-Transfer to sookelionsmd19@gmail.com or Visa or Mastercard Credit Cards for which we will call you to complete the transaction.

    CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION FORM >>

  • Bringing Health Care Services Closer to Home and Increasing Local Employment Opportunities

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    The District's Community Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan (CED Strategy) is oriented toward promoting environmental health as well as human well-being and safety in a climate-changing world. As captured in the CED Strategy, "it is clear from community feedback that a focus should be on supporting locally-owned businesses in Sooke, reducing economic leakage, and creating jobs in Sooke." Given the alignment, in doing so, the District is sharing this announcement from the Province of British Columbia.


    New integrated health-care centre coming to Sooke

    People living in Sooke and the surrounding area will benefit from a new integrated health-care centre offering team-based services in the heart of Sooke village.

    The new centre is the latest in a series of investments over the past six years to build capacity and improve health-care services for residents in Sooke.

    “Improving access to health-care services for people in B.C. is a key priority for our government,” said John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “This centre will be critical to meeting the health-care needs of people living in Sooke and surrounding areas, now and in the future, and I am proud that people in the region will soon benefit from being able to access the care they need, close to home.”

    The new facility will combine the community health centre (CHC) and urgent- and primary-care centre (UPCC) at a future development planned for 6671 Wadams Way.

    Once open, the CHC/UPCC centre will consolidate local primary-care services from West Coast Family Medical Clinic and other local community services into a single location, making it easier for people to access the health services they need. This will be done by better connecting more people to integrated health-care services in the community, such as primary care, culturally safe supports and mental-health and substance-use services.

    “This new integrated health-care facility will connect people in the community to a range of health-care services, including primary care, urgent care and community health services all under one roof,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Integrating physicians into a community based primary-care model means more time for patients, more patients accessing health-care services and less administrative burden for practitioners. This is part of our continuing work to build increased and improved access to primary health care for people in Sooke.”

    The team of clinical providers is expected to include family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, mental-health and substance-use workers and other allied health providers. The new staff will supplement the existing staff working at West Coast Family Medical Clinic.

    The ministry is also providing funding to hire an Indigenous cultural safety liaison to support the project while planning is underway.

    Over the past six years, government has made significant investments in building health-care service capacity to support growing demand and the high-use rate of health services in the Sooke region. Investments include increased mental-health counselling and home support services, $1 million in funding to further support team-based care and $600,000 in funding to expand and improve the West Coast Family Medicine Clinic, and $10.5 million to establish the Western Communities Primary Care Network. These investments were made based on
    significant local engagement.

    The new facility will be community-governed and operated by the Sooke Region Communities Health Network and is expected to join the provincial rostering system to ensure patient care continuity and attachment initiative announced in 2022 as part of the new payment model for family physicians.

    Quick Facts:

    • The new centre will be part of the Western Communities Primary Care Network and provide extended hours for urgent and non-emergency health care and better same-day access to primary care to help meet community demand.
    • The team of clinical providers is expected to include family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, mental-health and substance-use workers and other allied health providers.

    Learn More:

    • To learn more about the Province’s primary health-care strategy, visit:https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010
    • To learn more about the Province’s health human resource strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022HLTH0059-001464

    What people are saying about the Sooke Region CHC/UPCC

    Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions –

    “People need access to high-quality mental health and addiction care close to home. With the opening of the new blended community health centre, and urgent and primary care centre, more people in Sooke and the surrounding area will now be able to connect to the local mental-health-and-addiction supports they need and deserve.”

    Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –

    “We are delighted that the first-ever community health centre/urgent- and primary-care centre in the Island Health region will be owned and operated by the Sooke Region Communities Health Network. The Sooke CHC/UPCC will increase access to same-day, team-based primary care to residents of the Sooke region.”

    Mary Dunn, president, Sooke Region Communities Health Network –

    “For many years, we have been collaborating with the District of Sooke, the South Island Division of Family Practice, the West Coast Family Medical Clinic and other local organizations to establish a community health centre in Sooke. We are excited to have the opportunity to expand community health services for everyone in the Sooke region.”

    Dr. Anton Rabien, West Coast Family Medical Clinic –

    “Approval of the proposed community health centre/urgent primary care centre is fantastic news for Sooke! The proposed health centre will undoubtedly increase access to primary-care services for people living in Sooke and the surrounding communities. A big thanks to Mayor Maja Tait for initiating discussions between the District of Sooke, Island Health, the Sooke Region Communities Health Network, and the Sooke family physicians that ultimately led to the development of this proposal; to the volunteers of the Sooke Region Communities Health Network who did all the hard work in drafting the proposal; and to the Honourable John Horgan, who was willing to listen to our concerns and advocate on our behalf for improving the delivery of primary health services in Sooke.”

    Dr. Randal Mason, board co-chair, South Island Division of Family Practice –

    “The Sooke Region CHC/UPCC is a great example of advocacy and collaboration between government and community organizations. The unique nature of a blended CHC/UPCC will provide access to urgent medical services, while focusing on longitudinal needs of individuals and the broader community. Community governance will allow the people of Sooke to develop, deliver and adapt services that reflect the needs of the community. The Sooke region CHC/UPCC will be a much-needed resource within our broader Western Communities Primary Care Network. The South Island Division of Family Practice is grateful for the opportunity to provide support and input in planning and development of the centre.”

    Maja Tait, mayor of Sooke –

    “Today’s announcement is a culmination of the work of many people who remained steadfast to ensure the residents of Sooke have access to the health-care services they deserve. Thank you to all project partners, including the Province of British Columbia, Island Health, the Sooke Region Community Health Network, the Primary Health Care Service Working Group, and the doctors and care providers of the West Coast Family Medical Clinic, who, through collaboration and innovation, are working together to ensure our residents have access to medical services closer to home.”

    Rose Dumont, administrative health co-ordinator, T’Sou-ke First Nation –

    “Building a new health-care facility such as the Sooke CHC/UPCC is more than just bricks and mortar. It’s an opportunity to forge new relationships with us as First Nations neighbours through collaboration, mutual respect and enhanced services. By working together, we all can create a welcoming, culturally sensitive environment that promotes healing, wellness, and improved health outcomes for all members of our community.”

    Alix Arndt, interim CEO, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of B.C. –

    “Nurses and nurse practitioners of B.C. are pleased to see that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team will be utilized to improve access to health care for all British Columbians through urgent- and primary-care clinics. We believe that this approach will be pivotal in ensuring B.C. families can access health-care services, and we are excited to see the opening of another urgent- and primary-care clinic in B.C.”

  • District of Sooke Launches Community Data Portal

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    Today, the District of Sooke launched a Community Data Portal. The user-friendly data portal makes information, research and analysis more accessible to community stakeholders and businesses seeking data to make decisions about investing in Sooke.

    The Data Portal can be accessed through the District of Sooke website or directly at community-profile.sooke.ca. Using the mobile-friendly tool, stakeholders can search community information while simultaneously analyzing demographic, labour force, housing information, and more. The tool also provides a visual presentation of the data with charts, graphs, and infographics. Reports can be dynamically sorted and downloaded, too.

    Giving users direct access to many data points and the most accurate, up-to-date information on the District helps showcase the opportunity available and the value of investing in Sooke.

    Quotes:

    Mayor Maja Tait, District of Sooke –

    “Through the new community profile site, information is more timely and accessible to assist residents and community stakeholders in becoming more informed about what is happening within our community in the realms of population, housing, and much more.”

    Britt Santowski, Executive Director Sooke Chamber of Commerce –

    “This tool lets business owners dive into a comprehensive look of all-things-Sooke. A bird’s eye view or granular detail. This is an excellent information-rich initiative that will help present and future businesses plan and expand!”

  • Sooke Chamber Launches 2nd annual Shop Sooke Survey — you could win $200!

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    The District is sharing this information from the Sooke Chamber of Commerce:

    Scan the QR code above, click the image, or visit this URL (tinyurl.com/ShopSooke2023) to complete the 2023 survey!

    For the second year, the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce is doing a Shopping in Sooke survey. Answer 12 short questions, and you could be entered to win $200 to help you shop in Sooke! The information gathered will be shared with local business owners and politicians, so that we can promote and grow the local economy in Sooke. Last year’s survey results are available here.

    In answering the survey, you help your Chamber keep its finger on the pulse of what it is that the residents of Sooke want from our businesses. This is one of the many functions Scan the QR code above, click the image, or visit this URL (tinyurl.com/ShopSooke2023) to complete the 2023 survey!we serve in the community. Chambers of commerce and boards of trade play important roles in supporting our communities, businesses, and citizens. The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce is an integral part of the fabric of this community and we are proud of the work we do. Some of the things we do for Sooke include the following:

    • We bring people together to generate solutions to the challenges we face. And we develop innovative programs and events (like the Newcomers Club) to support our community.
    • Using information gathered from surveys like this one, we advocate for government policies that promote an inclusive and competitive business environment, we also discuss and advocate for social issues like housing, health care, education, mental health and addictions – these are important issues to our members and we champion solutions.
    • We also play a role in organizing and participating in charitable initiatives that assist those in our communities who need a helping hand, so that we contribute to the social well-being of our community.
    • As a member of the BC Chamber of Commerce, we have a connection to nearly 100 other chambers of commerce and boards of trade that make up a strong network across B.C. Together, we represent more than 36,000 businesses of every size and from every region of the province. We are proud to be part of an established and powerful voice.
    • The Sooke Chamber is also a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, so we make sure Sooke interests are represented and heard everywhere.
    • We live, work and play in Sooke. And as we celebrate B.C. Chamber of Commerce Week, it’s important to remember the critical role our chamber of commerce plays in our community.

    Coincidently, it just so happens to be “Chamber Week,” which runs from Feb 13 – 17. Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, has released the following statement on Chamber of Commerce Week:

    “British Columbia’s business owners have stood up to immense challenges over the past few years, from the impacts of the pandemic and labour shortages, to global inflation and supply-chain disruptions.

    “The 125 chambers of commerce throughout B.C. are relied on more than ever as they support boards of trade alongside 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region in our province. They are rising to the challenge to ensure strong, resilient businesses and communities.

    “The pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to go it alone, and that together we can accomplish great things. As a former business owner, I fully appreciate the importance and strong support of chambers of commerce when it comes to growing a business, creating networks and creating jobs for British Columbians.

    “As the new Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, I have had extremely productive conversations with chambers and business communities. I’m looking forward to connecting with even more of them very soon to continue to support the work they do as we deliver on the goals of our StrongerBC Economic Plan.

    “This week, our government is proud to proclaim Chamber of Commerce Week to recognize the leadership and impact that chambers have shown by supporting businesses in communities throughout British Columbia to help us build a clean and inclusive economy.

    “In the past few years, the Province has provided more than half a billion dollars in grants for tens of thousands of business owners, lowered taxes and brought in new supports that reduce costs for businesses, like allowing restaurants to purchase liquor at wholesale prices. We have also made major strides with skills training, while taking steps to help more people enter the workforce, including investing access to more affordable child care. Those are just some of the ways we are helping B.C. businesses, and we will continue be there to support them no matter what comes our way.

    “This week, I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on the dedication of B.C.’s chambers of commerce. The investments that chambers make in business communities stimulate our economy, contribute to vibrant communities, making British Columbia one of the best places in the country to live.”

    Learn More:

    • To find out more about membership with the Sooke Chamber of Commerce, click here. Sign up before March 1 and pay 2022 rates.
  • District Welcomes New Community Economic Development Officer, Gail Scott

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    The District of Sooke is welcoming Gail Scott as the District’s new Community Economic Development Officer.

    Gail is a seasoned Community Economic Development professional with over 25 years of experience working within the private and public sectors throughout British Columbia and Alberta. She brings a wealth of experience, touching on all aspects of sustainable community growth and development practices including Economic, Environmental, Social and Cultural, Governance, Housing, Transportation and Connectivity services.

    Recently returning home to Vancouver Island after ten years, she is excited to call Sooke her forever home. Gail came out of retirement in 2020 knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic was going to significantly impact the way we do business and that change would be eminent for our communities.

    “I’m thrilled to be making my home in Sooke on the traditional territory of the T’Sou-ke Nation,” says Scott. “I look forward to connecting with the community and collaborating with local businesses and developers, industry and community groups as we work together to help Sooke realized its full potential.”

    “With Gail’s expertise and enthusiasm for community building and sustainable economic growth, she will help lead the implementation of the Community Economic Development Strategy,” said Mayor Maja Tait. “We are fortunate to have her joining our team with her years of experience and impressive record of successful economic development including involvement with the 2010 Winter Olympic bid among many others.”

    Gail began with the District on November 15, 2022. She holds a Professional Economic Development Certificate from the University of Waterloo in collaboration with the Economic Development Association of Canada, a Community Economic Development Certificate from the University of Calgary in collaboration with Economic Development Alberta, and a Business Administration Management / Personnel Concentration Certificate from the University of Calgary.

    More on Community Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan

    The Community Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan provides guidance to the District of Sooke about industrial and commercial development.

    Sooke’s economic development is oriented toward promoting environmental health as well as human well-being and safety in a climate-changing world.

    As the plan identifies, “It is clear from community feedback that a focus should be on supporting locally-owned businesses in Sooke, reducing economic leakage, and creating jobs in Sooke.”

    Learn more and follow the implementation of the Community Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan at letstalk.sooke.ca/ced.

  • District Adopts Community Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan

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    The District's Community Economic Development Committee has developed a Community Economic Development (CED) Strategy and Action Plan (the "Strategy"), and recommends that it be adopted by Council. Citizen, business and organization engagement was carried out over the summer of 2021, and the Strategy takes into account the feedback provided during the engagement. Development of the Strategy used a Low Carbon Resilience approach to analyze potential actions. The Strategy is nested in Climate Action.

    The Strategy has the following Vision and Strategic Goals:

    VISION

    Sooke’s community economy realizes environmental, social and economic co-benefits for all residents/citizens, is grounded in its vital partnership with the T'Sou-ke First Nation, and is Low Carbon Resilient, diversified, resilient and adaptable.

    STRATEGIC GOALS

    1. To attract new businesses and organizations that are Low Carbon Resilient. Definition of Low Carbon Resilient businesses are those that, to the greatest extent possible:

    • contribute to a circular economy,
    • protect natural resources and carbon sinks,
    • provide protection from climate risks,
    • lower GHG emissions,
    • identify social, environmental and economic co-benefits as part of the business vision.

    2. To support existing businesses and organizations to grow, thrive and create jobs in Sooke.

    3. To augment opportunities for all Sooke residents to contribute to, participate in, and benefit from, a healthy community and Low Carbon Resilient economy. Specific strategies and actions with timelines are included, to provide guidance on implementation, and to ensure that implementation begins following Council adoption of the Strategy.

  • Comment on the DRAFT Community Economic Development Strategy

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    Between now and October 18, 2021, you are invited to leave comments in the Guest Book about the DRAFT Community Economic Development (CED) Strategy.

    As you review, consider:

    • Which proposed actions do you feel are a high priority?
    • Is there anything missing that you think should be included?
    • Do you feel the proposed actions are achievable?

    Thank you again for your participation, and for your commitment and excitement about the future of our community!

  • District invites participation in developing a Community Economic Development Strategy

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    The District invites public participation as it develops a Community Economic Development strategy.

    “Community Economic Development is about working together as a community towards a diverse local economy that helps all of Sooke thrive!” shares Sue Welke, District of Sooke Community Economic Development Officer. “Council’s commitment to take action on climate change will drive community economic development in Sooke. We are striving for Low Carbon Resilience, and the achievement of social, economic and environmental co-benefits for all Sooke citizens,” Welke adds.

    Through letstalk.sooke.ca/ced citizens can complete a five-minute survey to let us know about their local spending habits, and share what would make it easier to spend more money locally and what types of businesses/services are missing in Sooke. Public input will help inform how we grow a strong and vibrant local economy. There is a survey available for not-for-profit organizations as well.

    On Thursday, July 22, the District’s Community Economic Development Committee will drop by businesses and offices in Sooke for a short discussion about opportunities and challenges.

    Home-based businesses and businesses that do not operate a storefront, or have an office, interested in participating in a short telephone interview about business opportunities and challenges are invited to email Sue Welke swelke@sooke.ca.

    For those without computer access, print surveys are available at the Sooke Municipal Hall (2205 Otter Point Road) or the survey can be completed over the phone by calling 250.642.1634.

    This phase of consultation will run until August 20, 2021. A draft Strategy will be shared with the public this fall, before being presented to Council later in the year.

    Learn more and participate:

Page last updated: 22 Mar 2023, 12:00 PM