Saanich councillor and Capital Regional Director, Vic Derman, has died at the age of 72.

A cause of death has not been released, but members of council say Derman had been battling a sickness for weeks.

The flag at Saanich Municipal Hall was flying at half-mast on Sunday.

The district’s mayor says Derman will be remembered as a passionate and devoted public servant.

“He was a long-serving member and integral part of Saanich council, and his accomplishments were plentiful,” Richard Atwell said. “Vic was more than just a colleague – he was an inspiration.”

The district’s former mayor, Frank Leonard, says Derman was a leader around climate change for decades.

“He rode his bike before it was trendy. He was advocating for climate change initiatives before it was trendy,” Leonard said. “I’d say his biggest impact was our official community plan […] everything in Saanich, all our policies were geared around sustainability and that’s because of Vic Derman.”

In a Facebook post council member, Colin Plant, says he was shocked to hear the news.

“He was a man of service his entire life and wanted to see the world become a better place. He talked the talk and walked the walk,” Plant wrote. “He will be missed on every level.”

Derman was first elected to Saanich council in 2002 and served on the CRD board since 2005.