Minister Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West, released a March 1 statement on the latest round of Columbia River Treaty meetings. Brenda Haley shared this photo of Saturday’s blue skies along the Columbia River near Trail.

Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in U.S. capital

Next round of Columbia River Treaty negotiation meetings will take place in Victoria next month

Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, has issued a statement after this week’s treaty negotiation meetings in Washington, D.C. wrapped up.

Discussions about the future of the Columbia River Treaty were launched in 2018 with four sets of negotiation meetings between Canada (including B.C.) and the United States. Negotiators from both countries returned to Washington, D.C., this week to resume the talks.

“During this round of meetings, negotiators built on the discussions they have had over the past year,” Conroy said in a March 1 news release.

“They were able to advance conversations about potential paths forward on flood-risk management and hydro power co-ordination. This involved frank conversations about operations and benefits on both sides of the border,” she added.

“Negotiators also discussed how they would approach these topics, and others, in future negotiation meetings.”

As discussions progress, Canada and B.C. remain strongly committed to our sustained engagement with Indigenous Nations and have been working collaboratively with Columbia Basin Indigenous Nations to prepare for each negotiation session, Conroy said.

“Canada and B.C. are also committed to ensuring that communities in the Columbia Basin are kept informed and given a chance to make their voices heard, while talks with the United States are ongoing. Last year, B.C. conducted a series of 10 community meetings to hear what residents feel are priority issues. We will return to the basin to seek further input when there is progress to share. I encourage all those who have questions or comments about the treaty to reach out to the B.C. treaty team directly.”

The next round of Columbia River Treaty negotiation meetings will take place in Victoria on April 10 and 11.

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