by Province of British Columbia on Thursday Mar 30 2023
The 16th round of Canada-U.S. negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty took place on March 22 and 23, in Washington, D.C.
During this latest session, conversations between Canadian and American negotiators focused on strengthening co-operation to support aquatic life and biodiversity in the Columbia River Basin, ongoing studies regarding salmon reintroduction, flood-risk management, and the connection between hydropower operations and Canada’s desire for greater flexibility in how its treaty dams are operated.
As has been the case since 2019, the Canadian negotiation delegation included representatives of the Government of Canada, the Province of B.C. and the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc and Syilx Okanagan Nations. In addition to federal agencies, the American delegation included expert-advisors from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden issued a joint statement on March 24 acknowledging that “the Columbia River is a vital shared resource that underpins many lives and industries on both sides of the border,” and that Canada and the U.S. “will intensify their work over the coming months toward agreement on a modernized treaty regime that will support a healthy and prosperous Columbia River Basin.”
The two leaders stated that the focus will be on “flood-risk management, power generation, and environmental benefits that are shared equitably by both countries and the Indigenous Peoples and Tribal nations, communities, and stakeholders in this watershed.”
The next round of negotiations will be held on May 16 and 17 in British Columbia.
To learn more about the Columbia River Treaty, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/columbiarivertreaty/