Sid Parker was in Revelstoke last week to promote his new book, Damn it: It’s about water. Parker was born in Revelstoke in 1930 and grew up on a farm in the Big Eddy. He served as mayor of Revelstoke from 1970-1978 before going on to represent the riding of Kootenay East–Revelstoke in the House of Commons from 1980-1984 and 1988-1993 as a member of the NDP.
The book deals with Parker’s experiences dealing with the Columbia River Treaty during both his time as mayor and as an MP. He said he’s spent seven years working on the book and wanted to get it out before the 2014 deadline at which the signatories to the treaty can give notice they want to cancel or re-negotiate the treaty.
In Parker’s view, the treaty was a raw deal for the Kootenays, where hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land was flooded and communities were destroyed. Meanwhile, the United States benefitted from the construction of dams in Canada through better flood control, increased power generation along their stretch of the Columbia River, improved irrigation, and increased industry. The financial benefits to Canada weren’t worth the cost, he said, and the treaty lacked social, economic and environmental protection for Canadians.
Parker will be making a presentation to council on the CRT on Tuesday, May 26, at 1 p.m.