Remarks announcing new investments to strengthen Canada’s aerospace sector
I am very happy to be back here with Premier Legault.
François, it’s always a pleasure seeing you for important announcements like these.
Partnerships like these are wonderful.
It’s nice to keep seeing people in person more often.
This morning I visited a vaccination centre in St. Michel, here in Montréal.
Of course, everything was very well organized.
I met with young people from the neighbourhood and we spoke about the importance of getting vaccinated.
In Quebec, more than 82% of the eligible population has received their first dose and more than 47% of the eligible population has received a second dose.
Thanks to everyone for this incredible effort. We know we have to keep working together.
Don’t let up! We are moving in the right direction but we still need everyone’s help.
I’m also very happy to be here today with Ministers Champagne and Joly, who are working very hard for the aerospace industry and for our regions.
And I would also like to welcome Quebec's Minister of Finance and Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Éric Girard; the President of Aéro Montréal, Suzanne Benoît; the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc; the President of AIAC, Mike Mueller; the President of Pratt & Whitney Canada, Maria Della Posta; the President of CAE, Marc Parent; and the President of Bell Textron Canada, Steeve Lavoie.
Thanks to all of you for being here today.
The first airplane was designed in Quebec 110 years ago by Percival Reid, in a garage on Sainte‑Catherine Street in Montréal.
Since then, much has changed in the aerospace industry—and on Sainte‑Catherine Street—but the desire to explore and innovate has remained the same.
It's also a story of great pride.
Thanks to our expertise, Montréal is one of the three major aerospace centres in the world.
Quebec is one of the few places where an aircraft can be designed from A to Z, flown and certified.
The greenest commercial airplane in the world—the Airbus A220—is a Quebec aircraft.
But we must continue to solidify our place as a world leader in aerospace.
Global competition is fierce as to who will develop the next cleaner aircraft, or the next technology that will revolutionize the sector.
And of course, when we talk about aerospace, we are also talking about helicopters, engines, flight simulators—in short, we are talking about a whole ecosystem.
It is very clear to us: the future of aerospace is here.
So we are going to provide the right tools to get there.
Today, I am announcing that the federal government will invest up to $440 million to support innovative projects and create jobs in the aerospace industry.
Along with the contribution of the Government of Quebec, this is a joint investment of up to $693 million.
This funding will enable Bell Textron Canada, CAE and Pratt & Whitney Canada to continue to innovate and break into new markets.
These projects are expected to create and maintain more than 12,000 well-paying jobs, while providing co-op placements for more than 6,200 students.
Today, we're investing to create good, well-paying jobs for our recovery.
This investment will also secure the industry's long-term future in Canada by developing green aviation projects and more clean technologies.
Some of these technologies will take decades to develop.
So there's absolutely no time to waste—and that's why we're here today.
We know that the aerospace sector has been hit hard by the consequences of the pandemic.
This is the case for the big companies, but also for the smaller players.
To the SMEs, I would like to say that you have not been forgotten.
You are at the heart of our communities.
You are there for the industry and for our regions.
And we will be there for you.
The strength of the Canadian ecosystem is that we can count on companies that are looking to improve devices for the future, sometimes very small companies that have a major impact.
This can be done, for example, by improving aerodynamics, by changing configurations, or by proposing lighter structures and more efficient systems.
So today, the Regional Aerospace Recovery Initiative is being launched to help SMEs in the sector become greener, more productive and increase their sales.
This initiative represents an additional federal investment of $250 million over three years, including almost $100 million in Quebec.
And the program is ready to receive applications today.
Minister Joly will have more details in a few moments.
But the important thing is that you know that we are taking the major steps towards recovery, for our regions, for our SMEs and for our future.
Today, we're launching the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative to support the recovery and the future of small and medium-sized firms in the sector right across the country.
Whether it’s projects to lower your carbon footprint, or support for AI solutions to better manage your inventory, we're here to help your business innovate.
And the program is ready to receive applications today.
I think the key word today is innovation.
Every time we've gone through difficult times in our country, we've picked ourselves up, we've rolled up our sleeves, and we've kept innovating.
And that's how we're going to get through this crisis, how we're going to make sure that our recovery is strong for everyone.
Again, I want to thank Premier Legault and the Quebec government, with whom we worked very closely.
François, I know how important a role innovation and new technologies play in your vision for Quebec.
We both share the common goal of continuing to create well-paying jobs for Quebecers, and today's investments will make a real difference.
I can tell you that in our government, everyone is moving in the right direction.
And by continuing to work together, we will make the future better for everyone.
Before I finish today, I would like to say a few words about the situation in Cuba.
We’re deeply concerned by the violent crackdown on protests by the Cuban regime.
We condemn the arrests and repression by the authorities of peaceful demonstrators.
Cubans have the right to express themselves, and to have their voices heard.
We stand, as we always will, with the people of Cuba who want—and deserve—democracy, freedom, and respect.
And, of course, we are also following the situation in Haiti very closely.
Minister Garneau met this week with interim Prime Minister Joseph.
He also discussed the issue with Secretary of State Blinken.
He reiterated Canada's continued commitment, which includes helping the country address current security and governance challenges.
All parties in Haiti must engage in dialogue, and there is a call for the country to hold elections by the end of the year to ensure democracy, peace and stability.
Canada remains one of the largest contributors of development assistance to Haiti with approximately $89 million per year, and we will continue to support the Haitian people on the ground.
Thank you very much.