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Canada and U.S. head to next round of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Representatives from both sides of the Canada/U.S. border will head to the negotiation table for another round of negotiations to discuss updating the Columbia River Treaty.

Cross-border negotiations to modernize the treaty have been ongoing since 2018.

“Canada and the United States will meet virtually for a one-day session on Dec. 9, 2021, to continue discussions about the future of the Columbia River Treaty,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty. “At the last round of negotiations in June 2020, Canada tabled a proposal outlining a framework for a modernized treaty, developed collaboratively by Canada, B.C. and Columbia Basin Indigenous Nations.”

Conroy said the main areas of focus are flood risk management, hydroelectric power and ecosystems.

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Canada has also presented the issue of increasing coordinated operation of Libby Dam and increasing flexibility for Canadian operations.

“The Canadian negotiating team, which includes Canada, B.C. and the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc and Syilx Okanagan Nations, has continued its co-operative efforts over the past year and a half, advancing work to strengthen Canadian positions and seek improvements in the basin,” said Conroy. “Input from local governments and residents continue to inform this work.”

“I am pleased to see these discussions moving forward and am confident that, as long as both Canada and the United States recognize the value in continuing to create and equitably share benefits between our two countries, we will be successful in modernizing the treaty.”

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