MONTREAL -- Deeming the economic situation in Canada to be worrying, former Quebec premier Jean Charest is pleading for the federal government to prioritize helping certain economic sectors - such as aerospace - to ensure a post-COVID economic recovery.

Charest, a representative for the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, made his pitch via videoconference Thursday, accompanied by several representatives from the aerospace industry, airlines and airports.

In his opinion, the economic portrait released Wednesday by the Finance Minister Bill Morneau highlights the "serious financial situation'' that Canada is facing.

He said that the Canadian aerospace industry could "help Canada overcome the huge deficits to come'' and that we must therefore prioritize the sector by setting up a sector-specific plan.

Charest says that "Canada's inaction has real consequences" and that the country will not be able to retain some 215,000 well-paying jobs, especially in Quebec, if the federal government does not intervene in favour of the industry.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020.