Christian and Trudeau talk Stuart Wood, rail crossings and homelessness

Calling his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “excellent,” Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian noted he added one item to the agenda on Wednesday.

“I threw in a chat about Stuart Wood and the importance of a grant from Heritage Canada to make that cultural centre a reality,” Christian said.

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The city and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc are exploring the idea of a joint cultural centre at the Stuart Wood site, which previously housed an elementary school in downtown Kamloops. Christian said he also told Trudeau the project is “truly in the spirit of reconciliation and a project the City of Kamloops and TTS are very proud of.”

On Wednesday, Christian also had the ear of the PM on issues related to infrastructure, homelessness and railway relationships. He said Trudeau was well-briefed.

Christian said the city has 55 trains a day and 25 level crossings and noted the increasing length and decreasing speed of trains is starting to adversely affect commerce and safety in the city.

“The PM indicated that is a reality that is only going to get worse, and that he agrees the solution that that should not be shouldered entirely by the citizens of Kamloops and that Transport Canada should be looking at that in terms of infrastructure for things like overpasses,” Christian said.

The mayor said Trudeau congratulated the city on making issues related to climate change, such as storm sewer infrastructure, a priority.

Asked if the meeting resulted in any federal dollars, Christian wouldn’t speculate.

“You don’t go in and expect to come out with a cheque,” he said. “But you do go in and you expect to plant the seed.”

Christian gave Trudeau a Tournament Capital gym bag and water bottle for he and wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.

“Every chance I get to advocate on behalf of Kamloops, I’ll take,” Christian said.

© Kamloops This Week


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