Mayor St-Amour accepts SNC chairman post
Le maire François St-Amour (à droite) remplacera Doug Thompson à la présidence du conseil d’administration de la Conservation de la Nation Sud. M. St-Amour a été nommé au poste lors de l’assemblée générale annuelle de l’agence, le 17 février. The mayor for The Nation Municipality will helm the board of directors for the South Nation Conservation Authority for the next two years.
Mayor François St-Amour was acclaimed without opposition or competition to the chairman’s position at the South Nation Conservation Authority’s (SNC) annual general meeting in Finch, Feb. 17. AlfredPlantagenet Township Mayor Fernand Dicaire was also acclaimed as the SNC board’s vice-chairman for the next two years.
“I do believe in the SNC,” said St-Amour during his acceptance speech. “It does a lot of good. 2017 is going to be a very eventful year, loaded with activities.”
St-Amour observed that the coming year should present “lots of opportunities” for the SNC to meet its mandate for conservation, research, and working with local landowners and municipalities on flood management, environmental protection, and enhancement of local recreation opportunities.
Dicaire noted that the SNC has “a great staff” of employees, experts in their fields, and able to work with area residents.
Doug Thompson, who became pastpresident of the SNC board at the close of the meeting, reflected on the 16 years he has sat on the board of directors, including his past two years as chairman and also on the 70th anniversary of the creation of the SNC.
“Since that time (70 years ago) the South Nation has become one of the leading conservation authorities throughout the province,” Thompson said. “We are blessed with an incredible staff and dedicated volunteers.”
During a later interview, St-Amour noted that one of his immediate goals as chairmanelect is “to oversee a good transition” in the changeover from Dennis O’Grady to Angela Coleman as SNC’s general manager. O’Grady steps down as general manager for the regional conservation agency when his official retirement takes effect later this spring. Coleman, a longtime SNC senior executive, was named as the new general manager last autumn and she is working with O’Grady to familiarize herself with her expanded range of responsibilities.
St-Amour also expects the expertise of SNC staff to prove valuable for the agency in finding and getting grants and other sources of funding aid, for both existing projects and new ones dealing with conservation work and recreation enhancement.
He also expects the SNC will be working “very closely”, during the next two years, with the agricultural community of the South Nation River watershed région, to deal with the issue of maintaining and improving the forest cover for the region, which helps both protect wetland and other natural habitats, and also aids in soil conservation and recreation.
Recent SNC studies show that the watershed’s forest overall forest cover has slipped below the percentage deemed acceptable for sustainable support of wildlife habitats for an area of its size. Part of the reason is land development for residential housing and also expansion of existing agricultural areas. St-Amour, who operates a working farm in The Nation Municipality, expects successful results for SNC in resolving the situation through its partnership with the regional farming sector.
“They (farmers) know all about the problem,” St-Amour said. “There are things that can be done without infringing on anyone’s property rights.”