Next round of Columbia River Treaty talks set for Nelson next week

Kootenay West MLA represents B.C. in meetings

The West Kootenay will host the second round of meetings on Columbia River Treaty next week.

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy, who is representing B.C. in the talks between Canada and the U.S., told the Trail Times that the meetings will be held in Nelson.

“The next negotiation meetings between B.C., Canada and the United States will take place Aug. 15 and 16 in Nelson, followed by meetings on Oct. 17 and 18 in Portland, Oregon,” said Conroy in an email reply.

“After that, we expect further meetings will be announced. We expect the negotiations will take time – likely over the next year or two.”

Conroy wouldn’t go into the details of the upcoming meetings.

“I can’t comment on the specifics of the negotiations, but I am optimistic and glad to see Canada and B.C. at the negotiating table with the U.S., working together towards the future of the Columbia River Treaty.

“As I’ve said before, collaboration between our two countries is the key to future success, and the fundamental principle of the Columbia River Treaty must continue to be maximizing benefits for Canada and the U.S. and sharing them equitably.”

The first meetings were held in Washington, D.C. at the end of May. Conroy shared her thoughts on the opening talks at a public meeting in Castlegar in June.

“The first couple of days are just presenting value statements, describing where we are going. So far the talks have been very congenial on both sides of the border,” Conroy told John Boivin of the Castlegar News.

“But it is give-and-take, and they are pushing on issues like our downstream benefits. They feel they pay too much for power, and we feel they have to pay for flood control. If they don’t have it there could be devastating consequences for the Americans downstream.”

The Columbia River Treaty, which was signed by both countries and ratified in 1964, is a water management agreement. At the time, the U.S. agreed to pay Canada $64 million over 60 years to adjust reservoir levels of 15.5 million acre-feet of water behind Canada’s Duncan, Mica and Hugh Keenleyside dams in order to control American flooding and power generation. B.C. also currently receives a payment of approximately $250 million worth of electricity each year.

Conroy told the reporters in June coming to a new agreement is going to take time.

“I think this is an ongoing process, will take a few years, this is not something that can be done overnight or over a few meetings,” she said. “It’s going to be back and forth, ensuring the proper information is shared. I think it will take a while.”

Just Posted

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

How to stay safe in the Nakusp backcountry: BCSARA

The B.C. Search and Rescue Association recommends planning, training and taking the essentials

Skier caught in backcountry avalanche near Rossland

‘The man was lucky he had the ‘A-Team’ of ski patrol people able to respond as quickly as they did,’ says Rossland rescue spokesperson

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read