2021 Public Engagement
Columbia River Treaty Virtual Town Hall
February 25, 2021
Thank you to all who attended the Columbia River Treaty Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Over 200 people joined the session from Canada and the U.S., raising a broad range of questions for the panel of speakers. People were curious to know more about the status of Canada-U.S. negotiations and Indigenous Nations’ and Tribal participation, efforts to reintroduce salmon to the Upper Columbia River, if and how concerns about reservoir level fluctuations are being addressed, how the Treaty’s impacts on people and the environment are being considered and many other topics.
A recording of the Town Hall is now available on the Province of BC’s YouTube Channel.
A summary report addressing all the questions raised will be available in the near future.
We need your feedback!
If you attended the Town Hall, please take a moment to send us your feedback through this survey. You can also email any comments to us at email@example.com. This will help us shape future sessions to make sure we’re sharing information that matters to you.
- Introductions, webinar instructions and brief description of the Columbia River Treaty
- Opening remarks from Katrine Conroy, B.C. Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty
- Indigenous welcome from Nathan Matthew, Secwepemc Nation
- Panelists and Questions
- Canada-U.S. negotiations update: Sylvain Fabi, Canada’s Chief Negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty
- B.C.’s perspectives on negotiations and updates on domestic activities: Kathy Eichenberger, B.C.’s lead on the Canadian Columbia River Treaty Negotiation Delegation
- Indigenous Nations perspectives on negotiations and Indigenous participation: Nathan Matthew, Secwepemc Nation; Jay Johnson, Syilx/Okanagan Nation; and Bill Green, Ktunaxa Nation, all representatives on the Canadian Negotiation Delegation.
- Ecosystem function and salmon restoration update: Bill Green, Ktunaxa Nation and Jay Johnson, Syilx/Okanagan Nation
- Columbia River Treaty Local Governments Committee update: Linda Worley, Chair, Local Governments Committee
- Socio-economic values integration into Columbia River Treaty operating scenarios: Cindy Pearce, Executive Director, Local Governments Committee
- Final Questions
Those who are new to the Columbia River Treaty, or are keen to learn more, are encouraged to browse the resources linked below.
- 2019 Community Meetings Summary Report – summarizes what the Columbia River Treaty is, the lead-up to Canada-U.S. negotiations, progress accomplished as of 2019 in efforts to explore modernizing the Treaty, and a summary of public input and key issues for communities impacted by the Treaty.
- Columbia River Treaty Newsletters – provide updates on the Treaty and related activities.
- About the Treaty – details the Treaty’s history, structure, impacts and benefits.
- Ecosystem Function presentation from the 2019 Community Meetings – describes Indigenous Nations-led work to enhance Columbia Basin ecosystems, as of September 2019.
- Columbia River Treaty Local Governments Committee Updated Recommendations – details the Committee’s recommendations on the future of the Treaty and related domestic issues. Click the “Our Recommendations” tab on their website to view.
Koocanusa Weir Feasibility Study and Virtual Town Hall
January 8, 2021
The B.C. government has released an independent report outlining preliminary costs, benefits and impacts related to the feasibility of building a weir/dam across Koocanusa Reservoir. The report was commissioned by the Province in response to calls from some local residents to construct a weir across Koocanusa Reservoir, which spans the B.C.-Montana border south of Jaffray. The suggestion came as a result of ongoing concerns about summer changes to Koocanusa water levels and their impact on recreation on the Canadian side of the reservoir. Water levels rise and fall as a result of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ operations at Libby Dam on the U.S. side of the border.
View and/or download the report: Lake Koocanusa: High Level Assessment of a Proposed Dam
Feedback on the report was accepted until midnight on February 12, 2021. The Province is now assessing feedback prior to further considering the water control structure.
The Province held a Virtual Town Hall on Jan. 12, 2021 to share the results of this study and to seek feedback. Materials from that session will be posted below as they are finalized.
A summary report of the Town Hall and feedback received will be published on this website in due course.