Kamloops didn't get any promises for school funding at the Union of B.C. Municipalities but it did get a commitment for Royal Inland Hospital's expansion plans.
Mayor Peter Milobar said the first and second phases of RIH's master site plan are now embedded in the province's capital plan.
The first phase, which includes a parkade and clinical building, had already received Premier Christy Clark's blessing earlier this year. But the second phase, which involves a surgical tower building, was not included in the books until now.
Milobar said that news, which came up at a meeting this week with Health Minister Margaret McDiarmid, was an unexpected surprise for Kamloops council members.
"We didn't have an inkling on that," he said.
"The fact we have phases one and two in the provincial capital plan is a good thing."
By making the provincial capital plan list, the project no longer needs Victoria's OK, just a time when there's enough money to put it forward.
"Once it's in, it's a question of when, not if," said the mayor.
"It's a critical first step we needed done. It gives us certainty. It's a very important step in the redevelopment of that site."
Milobar credited Kamloops MLAs Kevin Krueger and Terry Lake with getting the RIH master site plan moving forward.
"Obviously Kevin and Terry have been doing a lot of work," he said.
Krueger said the fact the second phase is included in the financial plan doesn't mean it will be accelerated. What it does mean is a commitment on the province's part.
"In the meeting (with McDiarmid), people were worried phase two might be postponed. The minister promised everything in the capital plan will be built," he said.
The $80-million first phase, being cost shared with the Thompson Regional Hospital District, is in the business-case stage, which is expected to be finished in early 2013. Construction is expected to start late next year.
Krueger said all the construction doesn't have to be done before the second part gets started, but it depends on what other projects are on the list and a number of other factors.