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Posted: August 19, 2018

CRT Minister optimistic after negotiating session

Negotiators representing the governments of Canada, British Columbia, and the United States met in Nelson on Aug. 15-16, to continue discussions about the future of the Columbia River Treaty (CRT).

Following the meetings, Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, said she is feeling optimistic.

“As discussions about the future of the Columbia River Treaty progress, it’s great to see negotiators from Canada, B.C. and the U.S. bringing the conversation to the Columbia Basin – in Nelson this week and then in Portland in October.

“Last month’s Pacific Northwest Economic Region summit gave legislators and stakeholders from both sides of the border a chance to see the treaty’s benefits and impacts first-hand, and it’s fitting that negotiation meetings are happening here in the Columbia Basin,” she stated.

“Although I can’t comment on the specifics of the negotiations, I am optimistic and know that collaboration between our two countries is the key to future success.

“Working together, I’m confident that we can create a better treaty and ensure it continues to maximize benefits for Canada and the U.S., while sharing them equitably.”

The Columbia River Treaty is a trans-boundary water-management agreement between the United States and Canada, ratified in 1964.

The treaty optimizes flood management and power generation, requiring coordinated operations of reservoirs and water flows for the Columbia River and Kootenay River on both sides of the border.

In March 2014, following extensive consultation with First Nations, community engagement and after conducting a number of technical studies, the Government of British Columbia announced its decision to continue the treaty and seek improvements within the existing framework. This decision is supported by the Government of Canada.

Negotiators will next meet in Portland, Ore. on Oct. 17-18.

Meanwhile, the three First Nations, including Ktunaxa Nation, remain on the outside looking in with the negotiations, thus far not invited to participate.

Lead image: Mica Dam, north of Revelstoke. e-KNOW file images


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