Speaking in Montreal on Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government will invest $440 million to support projects and create jobs in the aerospace industry.
With the Quebec government contributing as well, the total investment comes to $693 million.
Trudeau said the funding will allow Bell Textron Canada, CAE, and Pratt & Whitney Canada “to continue to innovate, and to break into new markets.”
He added that the investment “will also secure the industry’s long-term future in Canada by developing green aviation projects, and more clean technologies.”
The investment is expected to create or support 12,000 jobs and 6,200 student internships.
Trudeau highlighted the importance of the industry in Quebec, saying that the province “is one of the few places capable of designing an aircraft from A to Z, in addition to making it fly and certifying it.”
At the same time, Trudeau announced the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, aimed at supporting the economic recovery of small and medium-sized firms in the sector across Canada.
This initiative, which is ready to receive applications starting immediately, represents an additional spending of $250 million over three years, $92.5 million of which is earmarked for Quebec.
Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly emphasized that the aerospace industry was hit hard during the pandemic and that small and medium-sized firms need help getting back on their feet.
“The goal of this fund is to encourage them to become more competitive … by innovating, by becoming more digital and greener, and by ensuring that they will be able to take risks in the future.”
Speaking at the news conference, Quebec Premier François Legault said that this news will result in not just new jobs, but jobs that pay well.
Legault emphasized that he sees no reason why Quebec should not be as wealthy as its neighbour, Ontario, and that increasing the number of employment opportunities where people can make $70,000 or $80,000 a year will help close the gap.
He said of the jobs which will be created, 1,000 of them will be based in Quebec and have an average salary in that range.
The premier said that some of the money will go toward helping Pratt & Whitney continue development on its turboprop hybrid engine. Other projects that will see a portion of this money include developing top-notch flight simulators and hybrid electric helicopters.
François-Philippe Champagne, federal minister of innovation, science and industry, said that the announcement signals the government’s support of “the green transformation of the aerospace industry.”
“I believe that it’s a historic moment for the industry in Canada,” Champagne said, adding that the promised jobs are guaranteed for the next decade.