Columbia River Treaty public consultation meetings are being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo

Columbia River Treaty talks impacted by COVID-19 crisis

Public engagement sessions planned to be held this spring on the negotiations have been delayed

Work on the Columbia River Treaty negotiations has been altered momentarily due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In a statement, provincial Columbia River Treaty Team executive director Kathy Eichenberger said Canadian and U.S. officials have been working together remotely to advance the negotiations.

Eichenberger said public engagement sessions on the negotiations scheduled for this spring have been delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

READ MORE: Columbia River Treaty talks returned to Washington, D.C. last week

“Our thanks to all of you who are navigating this challenging time with patience and understanding,” said Eichenberger.

“We also deeply appreciate the resolve of our Indigenous Nations and federal government partners to keep moving forward with the treaty modernization process.”

Eichenberger said people can still get updates on the negotiations on the B.C. Columbia River Treaty website and social media pages. Eichenberger said her team is also still responding to email and phone inquiries during the COVID-19 crisis.

Last month, Canadian and U.S. officials held negotiations in Washington, D.C. to explore how to modernize the Columbia River Treaty.

The Columbia River Treaty was ratified by Canada and the United States in 1964 to help build dams and reduce flood risks for communities along the Columbia River.


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connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

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