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Quebec layoffs unfortunate but temporary

Dec. 7, 2009 – Quebec's economic development minister says aerospace layoffs are unfortunate but the temporary result of an economic downturn.


December 7, 2009
By Administrator

Dec. 7, 2009 – Quebec's economic development minister says aerospace layoffs are unfortunate but the temporary result of an economic downturn.

Clement Gignac said Monday he's confident the thousands of job losses over the past year in the province's aerospace sector will return in the coming years.

Unlike the automotive sector, aerospace orders are made years in advance of deliveries. So any slowdown now could still cause more layoffs.

Gignac said the key for manufacturers like Bombardier Inc., is to invest in innovation to design new products that will allow it to take advantage of an eventual economic recovery.

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CAE president and chief executive Marc Parent said innovation that has made Montreal among the world's top three aerospace clusters will ensure its future.

"Innovation is part of our DNA," he said, noting the pioneering efforts of Bombardier chairman Laurent Beaudoin and CAE founder Ken Patrick.

The aerospace sector invests about $660 million annually, he said.

The federal and Quebec governments announced Monday a $12 million grant for the aerospace technology centre at Montreal's Edouard-Montpetit College. The funding will be used to construct a new building and provide training to 1,200 aerospace students.

The Montreal region is host to Canada's largest aerospace cluster. It employs about 40,000 workers at 235 companies that have $12 billion in annual sales. About 80 per cent of the products are exported.