Columbia River Treaty Negotiations Status

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What is this engagement about?

The Columbia River Treaty (Treaty) is an international water management agreement between Canada and the United States to manage cross-boundary river flows for flood control and hydroelectricity generation. The Treaty has no end date; however, either Canada or the US can unilaterally terminate most Treaty provisions as early as Sept. 16, 2024, provided at least 10 years notice of their intention to terminate is given.

In 2011, the Province of B.C. initiated a Columbia River Treaty Review process to evaluate future decision options, including possible continuation, amendment or termination of the Treaty. The Ministry of Energy and Mines, coordinating agency for the review, established a Columbia River Treaty Review Team to undertake analysis and provide recommendations to Cabinet in 2013.

The Treaty Review Team completed extensive public and First Nations engagement from 2012 – 2013, to ensure the interests and concerns of Columbia Basin Aboriginal peoples and residents informed the Province’s decision on the Treaty.  Basin residents were able to provide feedback throughout the engagement process, including on major documents such as the Draft Recommendation to Cabinet, Guiding Principles for potential future Treaty negotiations, and the Public Engagement Report. They were able to share their feedback in person at community events, and through email, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter.

The Province’s decision to continue the Treaty and seek improvements within the existing framework was announced in March 2014.

How can my contribution make a difference?

The Province released of a draft report that explores the potential benefits and impacts of a more stable Arrow Lakes Reservoir hydro operation. The Ministry of Energy and Mines commissioned this study in response to Columbia Basin communities and First Nations suggestions for an ecosystem option for Treaty operations in the Arrow Lakes Reservoir.

Feedback was invited by feedback form until October 31, 2016.

The public was also invited to learn more about, and discuss the results of this study at an open house in Faquier, BC.

Read the August 15, 2022 News Release

Read the January 23, 2023 Information Bulletin on informational webinars
More information on webinars and how to register.

Details of the Engagement:

Date: October 31, 2016

Status: Ongoing

Location: Kootenay

Category: Environmental Protection

Types: Online, Email, In-person

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