Year-end Review: Requested Observer Status for Columbia River Treaty Negotiations
Canada and the United States have begun negotiations to renew the Columbia River Treaty. The Government of Canada, through Global Affairs, is working closely with the Province of British Columbia, Columbia Basin First Nations, and local communities during the negotiations. As the treaty is primarily in the Federal riding of Kootenay-Columbia, I presented a formal request to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to be provided with observer status. While the Member of Parliament for this riding has not traditionally been an observer during the negotiations, I believe it would be advantageous for Kootenay-Columbians to have their voice included through their federally elected representative, as the outcome of these negotiations will impact everyone in our area. The purpose of this request is to bring your voice to the negotiations in the form of being a resource for the Global Affairs Canada representative during the negotiations. There are many facets to this treaty that include recreational protection, irrigation access for agriculture, and flood protection. For decades now salmon have been unable to access their traditional Columbia River spawning grounds. How amazing it would be if we can be a voice today for their future return!