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Columbia River Forum


									Columbia River Forum

   Columbia River Treaty
    A Federal Perspective

           David Burpee
     Natural Resources Canada
         November 9, 2005

          Federal Treaty Responsibilities
• Contracting party in relation to United States
• Appoints two members of the Permanent Engineering
  Board, one at the recommendation of B.C.
   – Reports annually to Parliament
   – Assists in reconciling differences between Entities
• Settlement of differences arising under the Treaty
   – International Joint Commission
   – Arbitration tribunal appointed by Canada and the United States
• Once Treaty comes to an end, legal regime prevailing
  prior to the Treaty, including the Boundary Waters
  Treaty, will again apply to the Basin

   Canada – British Columbia Agreements
• British Columbia (Owner of Resource)
   – Construct and operate Treaty reservoirs
   – Make land in BC available for Libby reservoir
   – Generally do all things …to ensure that Canada is not in default under
     the Treaty
• Canada (Contracting Party with US)
   – Transfer benefits of Treaty to British Columbia
   – Designate BC Hydro as the Canadian Entity
   – Do whatever is reasonably possible to ensure compliance with the
     Treaty by the United States
   – At BC’s request, present any claim deemed reasonable by Canada
     arising out of the Treaty against the United States
   – Establish whatever arbitration tribunal necessary to settle differences
     under the Treaty
• Canada and British Columbia will consult to avoid disputes and
  carry out the agreements (Liaison Committee)

           Addressing issues within Treaty

• Resolving differences between Canada and US
    – End of the initial 30-year sale of the Canadian Entitlement
        • Calculation of the downstream power benefits
        • Return of the Canadian Entitlement
    – Fisheries operations
• Rely primarily on Operating Entities to find mutually agreeable
• Permanent Engineering Board
    – Assist Entities in finding solution
    – Ensure consistency with Treaty
• Record of working through issues and finding solutions consistent
  with Treaty

        Addressing issues within Treaty (2)

• Treaty does provide some flexibility to the Operating Entities
    – Treaty requires that Assured Operating Plan optimize for power
      subject to flood control
    – Entities may agree on Detailed Operating Plans that may produce
      results more advantageous to both countries than the AOP
        • DOP considered to include “supplemental operating agreements”
    – Allows Entities some ability to address
        • Updated information
        • Other constraints not included in the AOP
    – Examples:
        • Provisional draft for whitefish protection
        • Libby – Canadian storage to improve recreation conditions

            Addressing issues within Treaty (3)

• Columbia River Treaty:
    – A power and flood control dinosaur?
    – A framework for cooperation, sharing of benefits, and resolving issues?
• Treaty provides Entities with some flexibility to adjust to demands
  and constraints within the basin
• The Entities have been remarkably successful in finding solutions
  within the Treaty
• Hypothesis:
    – Experience to date suggests that it is possible for those with interest in
      the basin, the Entities, and governments to address issues with the
      framework of the Treaty
    – Recognizing there are limits

            Getting Ready for 2014-2024

• Complex and varied issues and interests in Canada and in the
  United States: suggests early start
• Challenge to focus attention given this timeframe
   – Competing with near-term challenges, emerging issues, and limited
• One approach:
   – Develop knowledge base for all interested parties; not advocacy
   – Address near-term issues within Treaty and established processes
   – Identify, develop and recommend opportunities for improvements to
     existing process
   – Interested participants draw lessons for any reconsideration of the
     Treaty in long term


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