Lifetime Member – Debra Oakman (inducted in 2017)

Derek Richmond (Director & CAVI Past-Chair) and Kim Stephens (Executive Director) co-presented a framed copy of the “letter of recognition” attesting to Debra’s Lifetime Membership in the Partnership.

Debra Oakman – A Champion for Water & Watershed Sustainability in the Comox Valley

Debra Oakman career within regional government commenced in 1994. Her dedication and hard work moved her through the Comox Strathcona Regional District from deputy treasurer to manager of financial services and general manager of corporate services.

In 2008 Debra Oakman became the first Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) when it was created as a result of splitting the Comox Strathcona Regional District into two entities. She was instrumental in ensuring the interests of the region were considered during the restructure in 2008.

Debra Oakman led the organization and region for a decade and worked with the CVRD Board to ensure a succession plan was in place for a new CAO to lead the organization into the next decade.


Comox Valley experience has informed the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative

The Comox Valley Regional District is a member of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. The Partnership is the hub for a “convening for action” network in the local government setting, and is responsible for delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan program through partnerships and collaboration.

The program includes the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI). The IREI involves five regional districts representing 75% of BC’s population.

“An early participant in the Action Plan program, CVRD was the Partnership’s sponsor regional district when the IREI was launched in 2012. The support of the CVRD Board was secured with the assistance of Debra Oakman,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director.

Derek Richmond speaking to the CVRD Board about Debra Oakman's contribution to the success of the Partnership

Derek Richmond speaking to the CVRD Board about Debra Oakman’s contribution to the success of the Partnership

“Her involvement with the work of the Partnership dates back to 2008 when the regional district was created in its current form,” added Derek Richmond, a Partnership Director who is resident in the Comox Valley. “Over the years, Debra has provided the Partnership with her insight and suggestions at key decision points.

“The Partnership presented Debra with a framed Lifetime Membership in order to honour her and draw attention to her high-level contribution to the success of the Action Plan in general and IREI in particular. Both are guided by the 4Cs – communicate, cooperate, coordinate, collaborate.”

To Learn More:

Download a PDF copy of the Presentation of Lifetime Membership to Debra Oakman.



CAVI timeline_July-2015_rev2


Beyond the Guidebook 2015:
Time-Line for Comox Valley shows how “regional team approach” has evolved over past decade

Three regional strategies provide both a policy framework and a backdrop for inter-governmental collaboration in the Comox Valley:

  • Nature Without Borders (2008)
  • Regional Growth Strategy (2010)
  • Regional Sustainability Strategy (2010)

“Adoption of the regional strategies has resulted in much for municipal staffs to absorb and digest about doing business differently, while at the same time they are tasked with keeping the wheels of government rolling to meet ongoing commitments,” stated Kevin Lagan, former Director of Operational Services for the City of Courtenay. Kevin Lagan (120p)

“Because water sustainability is achieved through implementation of green infrastructure practices, the Comox Valley-CAVI Regional Team convenes for action around this paradigm: Water is the finite resource; however, management of development is the control.”

To Learn More:

Beyond-Guidebook-2015_final_bold border_Nov_240pCLICK HERE to download a pdf copy of Figure 28 from Beyond the Guidebook 2015. This is complete with a colour-coding legend.

The Comox Valley chapter in Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is 12 pages and is organized in six sections. To download a PDF copy and read the complete story, click on Comox Valley-CAVI Regional Team.

To download a copy of the entire 158-page Beyond the Guidebook 2015, click on the link below:



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