A first-time member of the Cataraqui Conservation Full Authority Board, Paul Proderick is also a first-time municipal councillor, representing Ward 3 in Loyalist Township, after being elected in 2022.
A resident of Amherstview since the late 1970s, according to his official biography, “Paul grew up in the family business Amherstview Golf Club and pursued an Arts Degree in Geography at Carleton University upon graduation from Ernestown Secondary School. A Degree in Education from the University of Ottawa led to a three-decade career in education with the Algonquin & Lakeshore CDSB. During this time, he also completed a master’s degree in Education at The State University of New York.”
Before choosing to run for council, Paul served on a number of municipal and community committees, including the Planning Committee of the former Ernestown Township, two terms on the Loyalist Township Recreation Committee and a term on the township Renewable Energy Fund Grant Review Committee.
What follows is a conversation with Paul regarding his involvement on the Full Authority Board:
Q: Before coming to be on the board, what did you know about Cataraqui Conservation and the work that we do?
PP: As an educator for almost 30 years I had the opportunity to participate in the programming offered by Cataraqui Conservation. Many students who might not have the chance to develop an appreciation of nature and all the possibilities in it were given a chance through the programming. As parents we took advantage of the programs offered throughout the years whenever we had the chance.
Q: You are a member of Loyalist Township Council, why did you decide to throw your hat into the municipal political ring?
PP: I’ve always had an interest in politics and ran for council in 2018 and was unsuccessful. Last election I was successful. I believe my previous career prepared me well for this position. I believe I have something to add to our community.
Q: Why did you decide to join the board of Cataraqui Conservation?
PP: My interest in Cataraqui Conservation was stemmed by my previous experiences with the association. I felt I could share my background especially in the programming area. The communities served by the authority have a unique relationship within the area. The urban/rural divide allows families opportunities to see many aspects of community. The authority provides families who may live in the more urban areas of the region to experience the beauty of the nature around us that we often take for granted.
Q: What do you see as the role and responsibilities of a municipal council rep on the Full Authority Board?
PP: As a municipal rep I see my role is to represent the townships interests that elected me while at the same time balancing the needs and goals of the conservation authority.
Q: During your short time on the board thus far, what have you learned about the mandate and mission of Cataraqui Conservation?
PP: One thing I have learned about the mission of the authority is the importance of providing programs to serve those in the various community who may not have the means or opportunities to enjoy the programs provided by Cataraqui Conservation. In my short time I’ve learned the authority is more than programming for the public. Maintaining protected lands, operating conservation areas, boat ramps, water control, planting trees, monitoring water quality and the reviewing of planning applications are services provided by the authority that many may not be aware of.
Q: Why did you decide to take on a leadership position on the Authority Board (running for vice-chair)?
PP: I was encouraged by others to take on the role as vice-chair and allowed my name to stand. I look forward to the opportunity to extend my understanding of the authority and support its mandate.
Q: What do you see is the role of the vice-chairperson of the Cataraqui Conservation Full Authority Board?
PP: The role of the vice-chair in my view is to assist the needs of the chair and to be available to the staff of Cataraqui Conservation in any way I can while supporting the authority’s goals. I look forward to the challenges ahead!
Q: What skills, traits, do you bring to the table as a board member and vice-chair of the organization?
PP: I have acquired numerous skills which have prepare me for this role. Interpersonal skills, budgeting, chairing committees and my experiences in human resources are just a few of the areas that I can offer to the authority.