Canada’s Chief Negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty

Sylvain Fabi (BBA, Bishop’s University, 1988) joined the Trade Commissioner Service of External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1992. At Headquarters, he worked as desk officer for Scandinavia and then Russia in the Europe Branch (1992 to 1995); as trade policy officer in the Market Access Division (1998 to 1999); as deputy director, Overseas Operations Division (1999 to 2001); as senior departmental adviser to the minister of international trade (2009 to 2010); and as director for bilateral relations with South America and the Caribbean (2010 to 2013). From 2013 until 2015, he was executive director of the North America Policy and Relations Division. Mr. Fabi’s assignments abroad include trade commissioner at the embassy in Moscow (1995 to 1998), commercial counsellor at the embassy in Havana (2001 to 2005) and commercial counsellor at the embassy in Santiago (2005 to 2009). Mr. Fabi served as high commissioner in Jamaica and the Bahamas (2015 to 2017). He became executive director, U.S. Transboundary Affairs Division, in 2017.


B.C.’s lead on the Canadian Columbia River Treaty negotiation delegation

Kathy Eichenberger is the Executive Director, Columbia River Treaty, Electricity and Alternative Energy Division, B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. Since October 2011, she has been responsible for leading all aspects of the Columbia River Treaty review, including technical, legal, environmental and economic studies, as well as Indigenous and public engagement.  Kathy also leads a provincial team that prepares for and supports negotiations with Canada and the United States, and is the B.C. lead on the Canadian negotiation delegation.

From 2007 to 2011, Kathy was Executive Director, Environmental Assessment Office. Her role was to lead the assessment of major projects throughout the province to determine environmental, social and economic impacts; benefits of proposed projects in the energy, water management and mining sectors; and make recommendations on whether projects should be granted provincial approval.

Previous to her position in the Environmental Assessment Office, Kathy worked for 10 years in the Ministry of Environment, Kootenay and Okanagan regions, starting as Hydraulic Engineer for watershed restoration programs and flood response, to Regional Director, Environmental Protection, in charge of air and water quality monitoring, industrial and municipal waste management, contaminated sites, pesticide regulation, and regional flood response. Living in the Canadian Columbia Basin has given Kathy a deep understanding and appreciation of issues connected to the Columbia River, as well as longstanding relationships with communities, agencies and local governments in the region that have positively contributed to the provincial Columbia River Treaty review.