Aerospace is to Quebec what auto industry is to Ontario, and must be supported: Couillard


Bombardier management can count on the support of the Quebec government in seeking greater financial support from the federal government. The Montreal-based aerospace company received $1.3 billion from the Couillard government earlier this year and has asked for additional support from Ottawa to help it bring the CSeries jet program to completion.

The federal government reportedly demanded that Bombardier present a strong business case in order to get federal funding, and the company’s CEO says he has done so. Part of that case is the fact that Bombardier is central to the aerospace industry and its high-paying jobs in Quebec. Furthermore, government support is common in the aerospace industry, according to Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare. He cited Airbus as an example of a competitor that receives “much of their money” from the government.

Bombardier’s CS100 was given federal certification last week, clearing it for production and delivery, but the company has already said that 2016 will be a challenging year.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has more than a passing interest in the fate of the company. Couillard compares the aerospace industry in Quebec to Ontario’s auto industry. “The auto industry has been supported by governments to the tune of billions of dollars,” he said on the CTV program Power Play. “We expect the same attention be given to the aeronautical industry.”

Montreal is one of just three cities in the world where a plane can be fully assembled, Couillard pointed out. In his view, that status as an industry leader is too important to be lost. But that will require that the federal government provide cash to support the industry and the jobs, to get the “added value” in the province’s economy. He said that the entire industry, not only Bombardier, needed the support.

Montreal is home to more than 200 aerospace and defence firms, including CAE, the world’s leading manufacturer of flight simulators. The sector employs 42,000 workers, with sales of nearly $14 billion, 80 per cent of which is in exports. Quebec’s aerospace sector accounts for 70 per cent of all research and development spending in Canada, according to Aero Montreal.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Relief as Ontario company rescues closing Heinz plant
  • Industries, designers not doing enough to recycle metals: UN
  • Siemens Canada announces order for 270-MW wind project in Ontario
  • Windsor auto industry growing, needs skilled workers: report
  • Modest improvement in manufacturing sector continued in July: RBC
  • Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, first electric minivan, rolls out in Windsor
  • Canada's prosperity at risk from disruption, lack of skilled workforce: reports
  • Manufacturing continues to grow but exports decline, increasing Canada's trade deficit in February
  • Canada-US trade as it should be, but diversification desirable: report
  • Solar power companies report growth
  • Renewable energy now costs less than fossil fuels in some countries: report
  • Gas producers argue for use of LNG to power northern communities
  • Scientists create liquid fuel from solar energy
  • Bombardier delays delivery of CSeries jets
  • Magna International acquires German transmission giant
  • 3D printed hempcrete could revolutionize construction industry
  • 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, becoming more mainstream across many manufacturing sectors
  • Promise of more investment in auto industry but no specifics
  • World's oil suppliers in for a shock: IEA
  • GE Aviation opens new robotics facility in Quebec
Scroll to Top