Quebec government investing $250 million in aerospace
Quebec is giving $250 million to the province's aerospace industry.
Economic Development Minister Dominique Anglade and Premier Philippe Couillard made the announcement Monday morning at the National Aerotechnical School in St. Hubert.
The government has several goals with the investment, including attracting new workers to the field, and helping small- and medium-sized companies innovate and become top tier companies such as Pratt & Whitney, Bell Helicopter and Bombardier.
"If you look at the most significant, the most important project in Canada right now, objectively, it's the CSeries," said Premier Couillard, who reiterated Monday that the industry also needs Ottawa.
"I expect the federal government to dedicate as much energy and support in Quebec as what we saw with the auto sector a few years ago in Ontario."
There are nearly 200 aerospace companies in Quebec, the vast majority of them considered smaller firms.
“What we're trying to do is really make sure they become international,” said Anglade.
Couillard said he hopes the investment will generate more than $2.5 billion in spinoffs.
The Quebec government also hopes the field will be more successful at winning defence industry contracts, or moving into unmanned flight (or drones) for civil and industrial uses.
There are roughly 190 companies and 40,000 people working in aerospace in Quebec.
Quebec’s plan was well received by business owners who say they need a boost.
“You're competing against the French, the Chinese, and they get great support from their government, so we want the same support to compete worldwide,” said Gilles Labbe of Heroux Devtex.