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U.S. tables new proposal in Columbia River Treaty talks

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The U.S. has presented a new proposal in negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty.

Although details are scarce, the BC government says the offer, presented at a meeting on May 17, included “a framework for operations and addresses flood-risk management, hydropower co-ordination, ecosystem co-operation and Canadian operational flexibility.”

However, there is no word how Canadian negotiators feel about the plan.

Canada and the U.S. have so far met informally four times this year, on March 30, April 17, May 17 and May 24.

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According to a news release, the meetings were “to ask questions and seek clarification about issues related to each country’s initial proposals, which were tabled in 2020.”

The Canadian negotiating team includes representatives from Canada, B.C. and the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc and Syilx Okanagan Nations.

A public information session was held on May 16. The next public information session will take place on June 15, focusing on Indigenous-led ecosystem studies that are informing potential changes to the treaty.

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