David Howe has stepped down as the Capital Regional District’s director for the southern Gulf Islands, citing personal reasons.
His alternate on the board, Paul Brent, will serve in Howe’s place until the October local government elections. Brent attended Wednesday’s regional district board meeting in place of Howe.
A byelection is not required if a director resigns after June 1 in an election year.
CRD vice-chair Rebecca Mersereau said Wednesday that Howe has been a “champion” for the interests of the southern Gulf Islands and an important voice on regional matters, serving as a finance committee chair and working on behalf of the board as a member of the core area wastewater treatment project board.
Howe, who was elected a decade ago, could not immediately be reached for comment.
During his time as a director, he served as a board representative on a number of committees, including the Capital Regional Housing Corporation and the Capital Region Hospital District.
He established the Southern Gulf Island Community Economic Sustainability Commission, which has focused on such areas as affordable housing, transportation and food and agriculture planning.
Mike Hicks, also an electoral area director who serves the Juan de Fuca area, said he will miss Howe on the board. “He was a great representative of the Gulf Islands. He was a great director on the CRD board, and he is just a great man.”
Howe was raised on the Saanich Peninsula and worked as an investment banker in the United States, Mexico and Europe before moving to Pender Island.
It was on Pender that he spent four years chopping wood for neighbours at no cost, which grew into what became the Greenangels Chopper Foundation, where Howe and other volunteers chopped wood for money that was then donated to needy causes. Eventually, about 35 islanders pitched in, raising about $100,000 during two years.
The group sent $15,000 to Mercy Ships, an international charity that operates hospital ships, and supported a host of local causes, from a school gardening project to a generator for the local community hall and transporting the family of a baby needing a kidney transplant to Edmonton.