ARTICLE: “Profile in Courage – Oak Bay’s Sustainable Funding Plan for Infrastructure Replacement” (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Winter 2022)

Note to Reader:

The Winter 2022 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter includes an article written by Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, in collaboration with the District of Oak Bay’s Daniel Horan, Director of Engineering & Public Works, and Christopher Paine, Director of Financial Services.

PROFILE IN COURAGE: Oak Bay’s Sustainable Funding Plan for Infrastructure Replacement

“The District of Oak Bay is leading by example with its inter-departmental approach to embedding a life-cycle lens, along with a sustainable service delivery culture, into a local government finance vision. Moreover, the Oak Bay experience is a powerful illustration of how the over-arching vision for Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan is influencing behaviour and outcomes at the local scale,” states Kim Stephens.

“Christopher Paine and Daniel Horan bring a fresh approach, energy, and innovative thinking to the sustainable infrastructure mission. The story of their collaboration is inspirational. Their enthusiasm is contagious!”

It takes courage to embrace an intergenerational ‘Finance Vision’

“To do what is right and necessary to bridge the infrastructure funding gap for constructed assets requires an intergenerational commitment. It takes courage on the part of a Council or Regional Board members to look beyond the short-term, understand what sustainable funding entails over the long-term, and direct staff to get on with the job,” continues Kim Stephens.

“Anybody who is going to hear or read about the Oak Bay story, the thing that they really must understand is the role of Council. There is a special type of courage that Council needs to have to say, “give us the naked truth”. There is not a lot of political up-side to shining a light on infrastructure challenges,” emphasizes Christopher Paine.

“Oak Bay Council did that, no holds barred. They wanted to know what the situation was. And so that clearly demonstrates a strong commitment to an asset management culture in Oak Bay which is growing day by day.”


To read the complete article, download a copy of “Profile in Courage – Oak Bay’s Sustainable Funding Plan for Infrastructure Replacement”.