Eric's CPAWS Story

by Eric Hébert-Daly

When I started as the National Executive Director for CPAWS in April 2009, I had been working in partisan politics for 17 years. My arrival coincided with the announcement of one of CPAWS’ major successes – the significant expansion of the Nahanni National Park Reserve. Within two months of my arrival, I found myself shaking hands and congratulating a government with which I had been opposed only a few months earlier. It was an important transition for me – and reminded me of what a great organization I had the privilege of leading.

CPAWS works comfortably with all decision-makers. We’re critical when we need to be and we’re not afraid to recognize progress regardless of the political stripe of the government when the time comes. Being colour-blind to partisanship also allows us to not make assumptions about where a political party might be coming from. Generally, conservation issues tend to cross party lines more frequently than most issues, which allows us opportunities that don’t usually get mired in grand-standing and wedge politics. It’s a great place to be.

Whenever I get a chance to walk through a park or protected area that CPAWS helped to create, I feel an immense sense of pride on behalf of all those who came before me to help conserve these places. I can’t help but think of those who will enjoy them for generations to come. I am honoured to continue to create these places with my colleagues across Canada and with the support of members from coast-to-coast-to-coast.