Clement strikes a chord in Kamloops

Head of federal treasury board hints at new infrastructure program

Wearing Ray Bans and a purple golf shirt, federal Treasury Board president Tony Clement made some whistle stops in Kamloops and area Wednesday.

One of those stops was Lee's Music, where Riversong guitar builder Mike Miltimore showed the minister his laser-cut creations and even strummed a chord or two with him.

Clement got a hands-on guitar-making lesson, gluing some bridge plates on the inside of a front. He signed inside beside his handiwork.

Miltimore picked up a guitar-in-progress and showed him the perfect join on the side.

"I love it," replied Clement, who has been taking guitar lessons off the Internet and can pick his way through some tunes by Green Day and The Ramones.

His stop was part of a summer tour to get out west and beyond Vancouver.

What he might have to offer coming down the pipe could be music to Mayor Peter Milobar's ears.

When asked about what's brewing in Ottawa that might trickle down into Kamloops in the near future, Clement said the federal government is looking to spend again on infrastructure and regional development programs.

That spending will be done with balancing the budget in mind, he cautioned.

"We're on a stay-the-course mode," he said.

A new infrastructure program would have to include equal partnerships from municipal and provincial governments, he said.

A couple of years ago, municipalities said to hold off for a bit because they were financially tight after a flurry of spending programs, Clement said.

It's being considered again, but there has to be consultation first, he said.

Clement also had lunch with Milobar and was slated to talk to business owners and ski-industry entrepreneurs at Sun Peaks later in the day.

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