These last four years -- COVID-interrupted and yet still productive and reliably busy thanks to Zoom -- have involved a full body/mind immersion into the world of local governance, I've found it to be a frankly thrilling and unique life experience, mentally exhausting at times yet I never undervalue how incredibly fortunate I've been to have had this opportunity to listen, learn and contribute what I can to Sooke's evolution as one of the 36 individuals who so far have served as councillors since incorporation in 1999.
My daytimer has been been packed with regular public and in-camera meetings, planning sessions, workshops, regional and provincial conferences, meetings with constituents and all the myriad responsibilities involved with my council appointments. In my case these extra-curricular duties have involved:
* Capital Regional District, Alternate Director (2018/22)
* Vancouver Island Regional Library Board of Trustees(2018/22)
* Sooke Climate Action Committee, Council Liaison (2021/22)
* Sooke Homelessness Coalition, Co-Chair (2021/22)
* Sooke Age-Friendly Committee, Council Liaison (2018/22)
* Greater Victoria Family Court & Youth Justice Committee,Appointee (2018/22)
* T'Sou-ke Housing Solutions Lab, Participant (2021/22)
* Lot A Northeast Quadrant Task Force, Chair (2019)
* SEAPARC Commission, Alternative Director (2018/22)
All told these last four years I attended 250+ formal meetings, including regular council (91), Committee of the Whole (27) and CRD (41) meetings.I have read and wrestled with literally tens of thousands of agenda pages. I remain curious, energized and engaged at the prospect of still more life-long learning. (I've also remained involved with the Sooke Multi-Belief Initiative and the EMCS Society these past four years.)
I was born in Alliston, Ont. in 1956 to a career military father and homemaker mother. We moved from one posting to the next (including London, England circa Beatlemania) before settling in Ottawa in the late '60s. I met my wife Carolyn when we were both in Carleton University's journalism program, and we've been together ever since while living and working (with no children and various beloved cats) in Toronto, on Salt Spring Island and in Vancouver. We lucked upon our Whiffin Spit home one glorious spring afternoon in May, 2003 and have grown to love the peace, the forested setting, the prevailing winds, the hot-and-cold running wildlife and the ready access to the Spit. My favourite haunts locally include the Stick in the Mud Coffeehouse, the splendid new public library, the equally smart new thrift shop and, in what would be an utter shock to my younger self, municipal council chambers for what I have often called "the best Monday night entertainment in town."
Prior to my now decade long interest in local governance, I spent more than 30 years as a staff and freelance writer with a focus on music industry journalism and tourism marketing. Shifting into semi-retirement, I became active in local volunteerism. I was president of Transition Sooke for five years before stepping down to run for council a second time in 2018. I was the two-term/four-year president of the Edward Milne Community School Society. Following a fascinating life challenge during the 2014 election, i was appointed for two-year stints to the District's Climate Change Action Committee (as chairperson) and its Community Centre Advisory Committee.
With Transition Sooke, I was part of a grassroots team of caring, progressive locals who wished to rekindle a sustainable, resilient, common sense and connected community. Sooke has traditionally been all of those things and remains so to an impressive degree. Yet to keep these values thriving, we created working groups (Zero Waste Sooke and the Sooke Multi-Belief Initiative), hosted speaker and film nights, organized rewarding open-space community dialogues, and presented special events -- the Sooke Region Ecohome Tour, the Sooke Repair Cafes and theSooke Region Earth Day Celebrations included. I also led delegations to council regarding single-use plastic reduction, alternative energy initiatives, a bear-smart garbage bylaw and oil tanker traffic in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
- Transition Sooke: President (2014/18)
- Core team member of Zero Waste Sooke and Wild Wise Sooke (2015/18) and the Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative (2017/22)
- Edward Milne Community School Society: President (2015/18); Past-President, EMCSS member (2018/22)
- Sooke Farmland Trust Society: Board member (2013/17)
- Team member with Sooke for the Peace Valley, Dogwood BC's Sooke chapter and Save Our Coast Sooke (2016/18)
- District of Sooke appointments: Climate Change Action Committee chair (2015/16), Community Centre
Advisory Committee (2015/16), Community Grants Committee (2012), Economic Development (2011)
- Campaign Manager for Alanda Carver, JDF Electoral Area campaign (2011)
- Social media content provider for Transition Sooke, Sooke Region Food CHI, Awareness Film Night, Sooke Yoga & Wellness,
EMCS Society Programs, Zero Waste Sooke and Wild Wise Sooke.
- My website
- Bachelor of Journalism, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1979
- More than three decades as a staff and freelance writer/editor in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Sooke
- Staff positions with Transport Canada, the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors, Global Television Network
and the Performing Rights Organization of Canada (now SOCAN)
- Senior editor of The Record, Canada's music industry weekly business magazine
- Freelance contributor to Vancouver, Western Living, EAT and Westworld magazines
- Contract copywriter with BC Tourism, Tourism Vancouver Island, Oceanside Tourism and Vancouver Island North
- Other clients have included Pharmasave National, the University of British Columbia Sustainability Office, the Pacific Music Industry Association, True North Records, BMG Music Canada and Carol Marks-George Publicity.