Monday, May 15, 2006

Montana comes begging? I think not!

Edmonton Sun Monday May 15-06 (no link available)
“Montana goes hat in hand to Alberta for help” reads the headline.
"The Canal could collapse any day we need assistance in funding for repairs" says state Lt. Governor John Bohlinger.
Alberta Minister of Agriculture Doug Horner simply said he did not wish to rule out discussing the idea in Canada. Horner is surprised.

The details:

Signed by treaty with Canada in 1921 the water flow from the St. Mary’s Glacier in Montana flows by way of the St. Mary’s irrigation Canal through Montana and Alberta into Saskatchewan where the residual is returned to Montana by way of the Milk River.

This treaty was a means to provide more eastern Montana cities and towns with water. The cost was the agreement where Canada would get to keep 75% of the water entering Canada! This has much to do with the topographical lay of the canal.

Climate change and glacier melt down caused a heads up in Montana. The end of the Glaciers are in sight!

There has been much discussion about Montana challenging this agreement in court on the grounds there was not a proper meeting of minds at the time of signature. That is to say, the people in Montana of that day did not have any idea what they were giving away when they signed.

Alberta, under Mr. Cardinal’s watchful eye has signed up people on land strips nothing more that piles of rock on the canal. Then, Alberta changed all the rules so that only those people who actually owned these rock piles could vote in any action at the water meetings. No such thing as beyond the shore stake holders here!

This isn’t a surprise to anyone; just another chip moved in the play.

It is my guess the deal is already done; Canada with Alberta paying the most. Things like this are usually set up when the deal is finished giving both sides a chance for public display and posture.

John Clark
cyberclark@shaw.ca
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