B.C. not blameless on Columbia River Treaty

"One thing I’ve learned over the years is that the U.S. was not necessarily the Big Bad Wolf we would like to make them out to be."

Re: U.S. ripping us off on water (B.C. Views, Trail Times Jan. 6).

I am a scholar of Columbia River Treaty history and live in the region where all the losses occurred. My own upcoming book about the treaty, A River Captured, represents a decade of research and travel across the Columbia Basin on both sides of the boundary. This is a big, complex story that deserves lots of attention.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that the U.S. was not necessarily the Big Bad Wolf we would like to make them out to be.

In fact, the U.S. formally asked Canada in the 1930s if this country had an interest in those salmon that would be blocked and it was Canada that said no. Had Canada’s response been different, we might have gotten that fish ladder and saved our unique Interior salmon runs.

There was considerably controversy over the treaty between its signing in 1961 and its ratification by Canada in 1964.

During that time, the agreement was on the edge of being tossed out, with Prime Minister Lester Pearson actively promoting the negotiation of a new treaty during his 1963 election campaign.

The U.S., as a result of their own shifting water policies, would have very likely cooperated with changing or scrapping that treaty. It was Canada’s federal bureaucrats who went into high gear to justify what had been signed and make sure it went through.

There is no question in my mind that Canada and B.C.’s government agencies played a very significant role in making the mess we got in 1964.

Eileen Delehanty PearkesNelson

Just Posted

IRM reports small sulphuric acid leak at Waneta reload

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

New farmers in Columbia Basin supported by land matching program

New and young farmers in the Basin are receiving support and services from a dedicated land matcher

Columbia Basin Trust offering business accelerator program

Trust seeking motivated companies for customized support and mentorship program

Trail military exercises provide crucial training

Exercise Sapper Crucible: ‘The nuts and bolts of what a soldier is’

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

WHL: Kootenay Ice drop Calgary Hitmen 5-3 in home opener

Youth take centre stage as Kootenay explodes for three second-period goals

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

B.C. VIEWS: Looking under the hood of ICBC’s war on crashes

Is our accident rate really soaring, or is it inefficiency?

Most Read