Derman leaves a legacy of service to community

Tributes flow in for longtime Saanich councillor Vic Derman who died at the age of 72

Saanich has lost a passionate advocate for the environment and tireless champion for the community. Vic Derman leaves behind a legacy of service following his death Friday at the age of 72.

Tributes have been flowing in for Derman from citizens across the region and politicians of every stripe, describing him as a person of great integrity, vision and intellectual curiosity, who cared about the environment, affordable housing and climate change in Saanich and beyond.

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell described Derman as a “passionate steward and advocate for the environment” who had devoted his retirement to serving Saanich. “He was a long-serving member and integral part of Saanich council, and his accomplishments were plentiful,” said Atwell. “Vic was more than just a colleague – he was an inspiration.”

And while the tributes were plentiful and laudatory, they still might not do justice to Derman’s achievements. Service to the community has been a hallmark of Derman’s character for most of his adult life. He has served on Saanich council for the past 15 years, and before that served his immediate community on the executive of the North Quadra Community Association.

Derman’s desire to make things better extended beyond Saanich’s municipal boundaries. He was a visionary on the Capital Regional District board, chairing the Integrated Resource Management task force that looked for ways to recover resources from the proposed sewage treatment plant by transforming the waste into energy.

The lifelong Saanich resident’s dedication to imparting knowledge on those around him likely developed through his career as a school teacher. One former student called him an “amazingly influential and innovative teacher.”

Derman’s death removes a passionate voice on behalf of the community and its residents from around the council table, but there is little doubt that the community is a better place because it was heard. And it was his desire to make life better for those around him that drove Derman through all his decades of public service.