He was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, the son of Wyatt Dick and Constance Grace Harrison, and educated in Arnprior, Port Hope, at the University of Western Ontario and the University of New Brunswick. Dick was called to the Ontario bar in 1969. He served as assistant crown attorney for Carleton County from 1969 until 1972, when he entered private practice in Ottawa. In 1981, he was named Queen's Counsel.
Dick was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1972 general election as the Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Lanark—Renfrew—Carleton. In 1983, he became Deputy Opposition House Leader.
He was appointed a parliamentary secretary following the Tory victory in the 1984 general election under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. In 1986, Dick was promoted to Cabinet as Associate Minister of National Defence.
When Kim Campbell succeeded Mulroney as prime minister in June 1993, she retained Dick as Supply and Services minister, while adding an appointment as Minister of Public Works. However, in the subsequent 1993 election, Dick was defeated, losing to Liberal Ian Murray by over 18,000 votes.
At 53, and with having spent most of his adult life in politics, Dick found that his political experience counted for little in job interviews. After being turned down for executive or management level positions, Dick found entry-level work at a stock brokerage firm. Dick was successful and ultimately earned a six-figure salary. The story of Dick's life after politics is one of those profiled in the 2003 book The Dark Side: The Personal Price of a Political Life by Steve Paikin.
Dick died at home of a heart attack at the age of 77.
- Paul Dick – Parliament of Canada biography
- Lumley, Elizabeth (2003). Canadian Who's Who 2003. University of Toronto Press. p. 352. ISBN 0-8020-8865-1. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- "Paul Dick, longtime MP from Lanark area, dies same day as fellow Tory".
- "Finding aid to Paul W. Dick fonds, Library and Archives Canada" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-09-03.