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Columbia River Treaty: Local governments collaborate on community engagement and ducation

Contributor
By Contributor
January 12th, 2012

“The Columbia River Treaty has influenced the geography, economy and social fabric of this region since it was ratified in 1964. It’s critical that the people who live in the Columbia Basin understand the treaty-past, present and future-and that there are mechanisms for local views to be considered in any potential discussion about changes to the current treaty,” says committee Chair, Deb Kozak from Nelson.

Elected officials from local municipalities and regional districts have been appointed to the newly-formed Columbia River Treaty Local Governments’ Committee (the committee). The committee’s primary task is to engage with local governments and residents in the Columbia Basin around the future of the Columbia River Treaty (CRT).

The committee will work with Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) to help ensure Basin residents and elected officials increase their knowledge on the CRT. The committee will also bring regional views, values and interests with respect to the CRT to provincial and federal agencies. The committee intends to work collaboratively on this important issue with regional MLAs and elected officials in Victoria, as well as regional MPs.

“Local governments want to be actively and meaningfully engaged in decisions around the future of the CRT on behalf of residents,” says Kozak, adding, “The committee will work to create opportunities for dialogue and consultation.”

The CRT is an international agreement between Canada and the United States to coordinate flood control and optimize hydroelectric power generation on both sides of the border. Under the 1964 CRT, three dams were constructed in Canada, including Mica, Duncan and Hugh Keenleyside.  A fourth dam, Libby, was constructed in Montana. Its reservoir extends 67 kilometres into Canada.

The CRT has no official expiry date, but has a minimum length of 60 years, which is met in September 2024. Either Canada or the United States can terminate many of the provisions of the agreement effective any time after September 2024, provided written notice is filed at least 10 years in advance (2014). While no decision has been made by either Canada or the United States on the future of the current treaty, given the importance of the issues, and the approaching date of 2014, both countries are now conducting studies and exploring future options for the CRT.

The regional districts of Central Kootenay, Columbia Shuswap, East Kootenay and Kootenay Boudary each appointed two members to the committee. The Village of Valemount and the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Government each appointed one member.

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Committee Members

 

Name

Position

Role

 

Deb Kozak

 

Councillor Nelson

 

Chair

 

Karen Hamling

 

Mayor Nakusp

 

Vice-Chair

 

Hans Cunningham

 

Area G Director RDCK

 

member

 

Marguerite Rotvold

 

Chair RDKB

 

member

 

Mike Sosnowski

 

Area A Director RDEK

 

member

 

Wayne Stetski

 

Mayor Cranbrook

 

member

 

Linda Worley

 

Area B Director RDKB

 

member

 

Christina Benty

 

Mayor Golden

 

member

 

Loni Parker

 

Area B Director CSRD

 

member

 

Christine Latimer

 

Councillor Valemount

 

member

 

This post was syndicated from https://rosslandtelegraph.com
Categories: General

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