WAVERLEY: Finance Minister Bill Morneau may not have come bearing a cheque, but what he came away with from his visit to Cheema Aquatic Club was what their future expansion plans look like, ones that would likely involve federal infrastructure funding.

Morneau took a tour of the Waverley-based facility with MP Darrell Samson as he paid a visit to Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook on Aug. 13.

“What I’m trying to do is get out across the country, first and foremost to understand economically what’s going on across Canada,” said Morneau in explaining his visit to the riding. “But also to recognize we need to be out talking to constituents, understanding their individual concerns so we can craft not only good policy, but a good campaign.”

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and MP Darrell Samson stand alongside four girls before they head out on the water to do some K4 practicing on Aug. 13 at Cheema in Waverley. (Healey photo)

He was impressed to see so many young children involved in the camp at Cheema.

“It’s great to see so many kids engaged not only here kayaking, but in physical fitness,” he said. “It’s really encouraging.”

Samson said it was great to have Morneau make a summer stop by in his riding.

“It’s extremely important that we have him here because every time I’m speaking to him in Ottawa about all the great things happening here, and where we need more support,” he said, “once he’s here on the ground and sees what is happening then he has a better idea and can make decisions using that.”

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and MP Darrell Samson stand with two of the Canada Summer Job students at Sack-a-Wa Canoe Club. (Healey photo)

Morneau said the Liberals will be focused in their messaging in the lead-up to the federal election in October, looking for a second mandate from Canadians.

“We’re going to be focused on making sure Canadians can deal with challenges and affordability,” said Morneau. “We know it’s great to see the young people out here today, but it costs money. We’ve done a lot of work with families, but there’s always going to be more to do.”

Having paid a visit to Cheema may give them an upper hand when the time comes that a funding proposal crosses Morneau’s desk too. Samson termed the visit like a person going to the bank, they must have a conversation with the banker first.

“The first step in considering anything is understanding, so seeing how significant this facility is for so many young people is really helpful,” said Morneau.

Besides the Cheema tour, Morneau joined Samson and staff at Kaisers Subs on Sackville Drive in Lower Sackville; a stop by Sack-A-WA Canoe Club to check out their clubhouse development progress, which received federal support; and a visit to Eastern Passage to end the day.

Kaisers Subs in Lower Sackville was a must stop for MP Darrell Samson with Finance Minister Bill Morneau in town on Aug. 13. (Healey photo)
MP Samson and Finance Minister Bill Morneau hear about Cheema’s expansion plans. (Healey photo)

MAIN PHOTO: Finance Minister Bill Morneau and MP Darrell Samson get a look at the boat storage area at Cheema in Waverley from Commodore Chris Brown during his visit on Aug. 13. (Healey photo)