What We Do
After the Canadian Negotiating Team was appointed in 2018, the Committee’s activities ramped up extensively as follows:
Canada and the U.S. continue to meet for further rounds of negotiations to
modernize the Columbia River Treaty – for updates see: the BC CRT News website. In 2018 we worked with the CRT Negotiating Team to establish a
Columbia River Treaty Negotiations Team - Local Governments Committee Communications and Engagement Protocol. Based on this Protocol, the
Committee receives verbal updates after each negotiating session. The Protocol
also states that the Negotiations Team will seek input from the Committee to
consider the LGC Treaty Recommendations in the negotiations and advice from
the Committee will be sought if negotiating outcomes appear not to be consistent
with the Committee’s Recommendations, including specific desired outcomes if
these were defined in the Committee’s Recommendations.
The CRT Negotiations Advisory Team, which includes the five governments
involved in negotiating a modernized Treaty – Canada, BC, Ktunaxa Nation,
Secwepemc Nation and Syilx-Okanagan Nation – has an initiative underway to
examine potential modernized domestic governance models for the Treaty. The
initiative explores both the role of Indigenous Nations in the context of the
commitment of the federal and provincial governments to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and involving Basin
communities in future decisions regarding Treaty operations planning. The
Committee has been preparing to engage in this critically important initiative.
In June 2022 the Committee committed to adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by integrating Indigenous reconciliation into the Committee’s actions. We strive to be in contact quarterly with representatives of the regional Indigenous Nations whom we recognize and support as active observers in the CRT negotiating process.
Since 2019 the Committee has led the integration of community social and economic interests for the Kootenay and Columbia River systems into river management scenario modelling within a modernized Treaty. Research has been completed to identify community interests that are impacted by reservoir levels and river flows and to compile available information on preferred levels for interests such as flooding, navigation, health, agriculture, recreation and tourism. The Committee and the Columbia Basin Regional Advisory Committee have provided advice throughout this initiative and the public was invited to provide input in the early winter of 2023. For more information see the Committee’s Socio-Economic Integration webpage.
In 2019 we updated and refined our 2013 Recommendations based on current
information on the issues from our research and what we heard from Basin
residents at the 2018 community meetings. Then we invited feedback on the draft
Recommendations during the 2019 community meetings. Updated
Recommendations were released at the beginning of 2021 - See Our Recommendations.
We compile, track and communicate regularly with the BC CRT Team on
community specific issues and potential solutions and advocate for actions as
Committee members continue to follow up with the BC CRT Team on
actions requested by community members at past community meetings and new issues that have been identified by community members.
The Committee met with BC Hydro representatives in 2022 to discuss improving
communications and engagement with Basin communities. The Committee
initiated these discussions with BC Hydro in 2019.
Oriented New Members
Following the municipal elections in 2022 and 2018, new committee members
were appointed to the Committee. The Committee supported the members in their
orientation so they are quickly able to fully engage in the complex topics being
considered in the negotiations and the ongoing domestic issues.
2018 to present
Spring drawdown in Kookanusa Reservoir
Image: Winter -Spring Drawdown in Kinbasket Reservoir, near Valemount