Reservoir behind Mica Dam, one of dams constructed under terms of the Columbia River Treaty. (Bonneville Power Ad)

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

B.C. Minister Katrine Conroy says she’s feeling optimistic following two days of negotiations on the Columbia River Treaty with U.S. officials.

Both federal and provincial representatives met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the more than 50-year-old trans-boundary water agreement.

The first meetings were held in Washington, DC at the end of May. The next is taking place in Portland in October.

“Although I can’t comment on the specifics of the negotiations, I am optimistic and know that collaboration between our two countries is the key to future success,” Conroy said in a statement Thursday.

READ MORE: Talks to begin with Trump administration on Columbia River Treaty renewal

READ MORE: B.C., U.S. negotiators want big changes to Columbia River Treaty

At the time when the agreement was signed back in 1964, the U.S. agreed to pay Canada $64 million over 60 years to adjust reservoir levels of 15.5 million acre-feet of water behind Canada’s Duncan, Mica and Hugh Keenleyside dams in order to control American flooding and power generation. B.C. also currently receives a payment of approximately $250 million worth of electricity each year.

The treaty resulted in the displacement of many Arrow Lakes communities.

Black Press Media is set to sit down with Conroy to discuss this week’s meetings Friday. Stay tuned for more.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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