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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2012EMNG0039-001732

Nov. 7, 2012

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas
and Minister Responsible for Housing

 

 

B.C. to host Columbia River Treaty consultations

 

VICTORIA – Residents of the Columbia River Basin are encouraged to help shape the future of the long-term Columbia River Treaty through a series of eight workshops between Nov.14 and 29, 2012.

 

The upcoming workshops will provide the public with the opportunity for input into the future of the Columbia River Treaty, a trans-boundary, water-management agreement between the United States and Canada. This is the second round of public workshops on the Columbia River Treaty – the first were held in spring 2012.

 

Under the Canada-British Columbia Agreement (1963), Canada is required to obtain the B.C. government’s consent before terminating or amending the Columbia River Treaty. Either Canada or the United States can unilaterally terminate the treaty on or after Sept. 16, 2024, with at least ten years’ notice.

 

Quotes:

 

Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas –

“Public input is crucial to our government during the review process. We want to hear from Columbia River Basin residents before making any decision about the future of the treaty.”

 

Bill Bennett, MLA Kootenay East –

“Our government is committed to hearing from Columbia Basin residents on the future of the Columbia River Treaty. During the spring sessions, you told us that environmental issues and more economic development opportunities are important to people living in the Basin. This November, we want to hear from you again. Your input will ensure that Basin perspectives, values and interests are considered.”

 

Deb Kozak, chair, CRT Local Governments' Committee –

“Decisions about the Columbia River Treaty are important to the well-being of Basin residents. The CRT Local Governments' Committee encourages residents to come out to these sessions to learn about the information the Province is collecting for the Review and express their views.”

 

A backgrounder follows.

 

Contact:

 

Sandra Steilo

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing

250 952-0617

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

BACKGROUNDER

 

 

 

Columbia River Treaty Review

 

About the Columbia River Treaty

·         The Columbia River Treaty is an internationally respected water management agreement between Canada and the United States.

·         The Columbia River Treaty was conceived to provide storage reservoirs to capture spring run-off to prevent catastrophic flooding on both sides of the border and to optimize power generation along the Columbia River and the Kootenay River.

·         Over the years, agreements under the Columbia River Treaty have addressed additional values such as managing water flows for fish and for recreation.

·         The Columbia River Treaty has no end date. However, the treaty can be unilaterally terminated on or after Sept. 16, 2024, provided that either Canada or the United States has given at least ten years’ notice of their intention to terminate.

·         Government agencies in both Canada and the United States are reviewing the benefits and future options of the Columbia River Treaty after 2024 to inform decisions that may be made in advance of September 2014.

 

Columbia River Treaty Review

·         The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Columbia River Treaty Review Team is leading the B.C. government’s review of the Columbia River Treaty.

·         The team will conduct economic, environmental, social, legal and hydrological analyses in order to make a decision on whether to continue, amend or terminate the Columbia River Treaty.

·         As part of the review, the government of B.C. will consult with First Nations and residents of the Columbia River Basin to ensure regional perspectives, values, and interests shape the future of the Columbia River Treaty.

·         The B.C. government will provide feedback on how the input received was considered.

 

There are a number of ways for Basin residents to become involved in the Columbia River Treaty Review:

o   Subscribe to the Columbia River Treaty Review e-newsletter at www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/enews-subscribe.html

o   Columbia River Treaty Review website: www.gov.bc.ca/columbiarivertreaty

o   Evening consultation workshops are planned for the following locations and dates:


§  Jaffray, Nov.14

§  Creston, Nov. 15

§  Revelstoke, Nov.20

§  Golden, Nov.21

§  Valemount, Nov. 22

§  Nelson, Nov.27

§  Trail, Nov.28

§  Nakusp, Nov.29


 

Contact:

 

Sandra Steilo

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing

250 952-0617

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect