A document has been released capturing what local communities think should be in a modernized Columbia River Treaty.

It’s the result of ten public meetings held this year including in Castlegar, Nakusp, Nelson, and Meadow Creek, seeking residents’ input on key issues they felt should be considered in the negotiations.

“When the Columbia River Treaty was created more than half a century ago, governments didn’t consult the people in the Columbia Basin,” said Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy, the minister responsible for the treaty.

“Our government today wants to hear how local residents think the treaty could be improved. We’re committed to engaging with the people most affected by the treaty and to taking their views to the negotiating table. B.C. is also committed to continuing our sustained engagement with indigenous nations, and we are working closely with Canada and indigenous nations to ensure that our common interests are addressed in a modernized treaty.”

The report provides details on the discussions at each community meeting. Among the topics raised were treaty impacts to Columbia Basin ecosystems, agriculture and tourism, increased support for the most affected communities, Indigenous Nations’ involvement in the treaty negotiation process, the need for greater youth engagement on the treaty, re-introduction of salmon to the Canadian portion of the Columbia River, and equitable sharing of benefits between Canada and the U.S.

The next round of treaty negotiation meetings will take place Feb. 27 and 28, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

To view the report, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/columbiarivertreaty/2018-community-meetings/