Columbia River Treaty
Tom Fletcher’s article on the Columbia River Treaty, “U.S. Ripping off Canada on Water,” is a wakeup call; however Mr. Fletcher did not mention Forestry. Mog, a retired forester quickly pointed out BC’s biggest loss was forestry and jobs, along with other huge losses identified by Mr. Fletcher.
Regarding the last words in the article “Your move Uncle Sam”; Uncle Sam has the goose that laid the golden egg and the golden egg — why would he move? The US installed six power generators in the Grand Coulee Dam alone as soon as the treaty was signed.
In six years the US paid Canada:
• 2007-2008 — 246 million
• 2008-2009 — 231 million
• 2009-2010 — 168 million
• 2010-2011 — 136 million
• 2011-2012 — 110 million
• 2012-2013 — 89 million
Now is the US producing 1/3 the power? How about flood control and other benefits they receive? Prior to the treaty, flooding occurred annually from the Canadian border to the Pacific Ocean in the US. Flooding in Canada was miniscule in comparison. For example: Calgary flood damage was 6 ∏ billion and still counting, yet BC received only 89 million in 2012-2013. Flood damage savings in the US would be astronomical some years plus all the other benefits resulting from stable water levels.
What should BC do?
1. Notify the US we are terminating the agreement immediately and willing to renegotiate.
2. Christie Clark should appoint a negotiating team responsible for the treaty only ? hopefully a Danny Williams would be in charge. The treaty is the most important issue facing our province.
3. Negotiate annual set payments. Allowing the US to reduce payments the past six years speaks for itself.
If an agreement is not reached notify the US that not one foot of Canadian soil is to be flooded when the time is up. An example is the Libby Dam. Three Marinas should be compensated for losses as per taxes paid. Also release all water not required by BC Hydro keeping flood control commitments. Get the water control valves back to Canada.
As stated earlier: It’s time to wake up.
Canada’s recent wars
I was very surprised at Mr. Stetski’s recent letter regarding Canada and the world. He obviously has a poor memory or perhaps just a convenient one.
He mentions “Mr. Harper’s wars”. Let’s take a look at this for a second.
In 1999, Mr. Chretien’s Liberal government committed us to participating in a bombing campaign against Serbia over the Kosovo situation. This involved 18 CF18 fighter/bombers and the Armed Forces were especially proud that they had done 10 per cent of the allied bombing missions.
Now let’s look at Afghanistan (the big one). Mr. Chretien’s Liberal government first committed our troops there in 2002 and two years later committed them to the full combat role.
Whose wars, Mr. Stetski?
Perhaps he is thinking of our present role in Iraq. This involves six CF18 fighter/bombers and a handful of ground advisers.
In my fairly long life I have never felt the evil that this group who is overrunning that part of our world represents.
Maybe we should be increasing our involvement.
Incidentally, less than three months ago, we returned from a trip to Europe. We proudly wore our maple leaf pins and were treated just as warmly as when we first went years ago.
I would think someone of Mr. Stetski’s stature would be better informed, wouldn’t you?