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Columbia River Treaty community discussions highlighted in 2019 report

The B.C. Government has compiled a new report to reflect all of the input received from Columbia Basin communities during their round of 2019 meetings on the Columbia River Treaty.

Between October and November 2019, public meetings were held in 12 communities including Cranbrook, Invermere, Jaffray, Creston, Golden, Nelson, Revelstoke, Valemount, Nakusp, Meadow Creek, and Fauquier.

Following the in-person engagement with communities, the Province has released the 2019 Columbia River Treaty Community Meetings Summary Report.

MORE: 2019 Columbia River Treaty Community Meetings Summary Report (B.C. Government)

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The B.C. Government said the public meetings served two purposes. First, to update communities about the current status of the Columbia River Treaty negotiations and the current projects underway to address community interests. Second, the meetings were held to give residents a chance to meet Canada’s negotiating team, including the First Nations who were part of negotiations in 2019.

Nelson’s full community meeting is available to watch, as well as several resources.

“The document captures the presentations, feedback and discussions that took place in each community,” said the B.C. Government. “In addition to presentations by the negotiating team, each meeting had representatives from the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc and Syilx/Okanagan Nations provide details about work they are leading to address Columbia Basin ecosystem health and explore reintroducing salmon to the Upper Columbia River.”

Meanwhile, members from the Columbia River Treaty Local Governments’ Committee shared updated recommendations for a modernized treaty, which they will be submitting to both B.C. and Canada’s governments.

The in-person public meetings were concluded with B.C.’s Columbia River Treaty Team outlining several community projects that were in development. Those projects were to address treaty-related issues raised by Columbia Basin residents over the years since the first Columbia River Treaty was signed by Canada and the United States. The Columbia River Treaty Heritage Project was included in those discussions. The B.C. Government said the project is a proposed touring route that aims to acknowledge what was lost in the B.C. Columbia Basin due to the treaty dams that were constructed and operated.

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