Minister’s statement on Columbia River Treaty negotiations
Letter to the Editor
The Canadian negotiating team continues to work constructively with the U.S. to find agreement on a modernized Columbia River Treaty that addresses the interests of Indigenous Nations and communities in B.C.’s Columbia Basin.
The progress we’ve seen during the past year gives us reason to be optimistic. In the past 12 months, Canada and the U.S. held three rounds of negotiations, as well as technical meetings. Through this work, negotiators found common ground in areas like ecosystem co-operation and increased flexibility for how Canada operates its treaty dams, and further advanced discussions on hydropower co-ordination and flood-risk management.
There are still challenging conversations to be had, but negotiating teams from both sides of the border are working hard to get closer to a consensus.
Canada and the U.S. have exchanged several proposals that make clear their respective priorities for a modernized treaty; however, I want to stress that before any agreement is finalized, we will engage with residents and stakeholders in the Columbia Basin about the proposed framework.
The 15th round of negotiations is scheduled to be held on Jan. 25 and 26, in Vancouver, B.C.
The progress that has been made, as well as the recent comments by the U.S. State Department, suggest that together we can design a treaty that reflects the needs of the Columbia Basin, today and in the future.
Although there is no deadline for these negotiations, B.C., Canada and Indigenous Nations remain committed to reaching a fair agreement that shares benefits equitably between countries.
B.C. Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty