Today, former Deputy Prime Minister and Quebec Premier Jean Charest hosted the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada’s (AIAC) Vision 2025 aerospace engagement day in Montréal, meeting with 300 industry leaders, government officials and educators to begin charting a course for the future of aerospace in Canada.
“Global competition has never been fiercer, and we’re at a turning point where Canada must step up to compete, or risk being left behind,” said Mr. Charest. “Québec has more than 40,000 jobs and 200 companies in the aerospace industry. We need to make sure that we’re looking forward, and safeguarding good jobs here, and across Canada.”
Mr. Charest’s comments, delivered at a luncheon that also included a speech from Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, were met with enthusiasm and a standing ovation from Montreal’s business community. The day’s program also included an Industry 4.0 roundtable and meetings with industry leaders and government.
“The aerospace industry is vital to Québec and Canada’s economy. We must support it by having a clear vision and providing the necessary needs. It was incredibly valuable to hear the insights, expertise and opinions on how we can come together and ensure a strong, vital aerospace sector that will propel Canada’s economy now and, in the future,” added Mr. Charest.
Mr. Charest began engagement days in Toronto earlier this week, and will be continuing his leadership of Vision 2025 engagement across Canada. Upcoming dates include:
Vancouver – January 10
Halifax – January 17
Winnipeg – January 28
While Canada’s aerospace sector ranks fifth globally and contributed nearly $25 billion to the national economy and almost 190,000 jobs in 2017 alone, a comprehensive strategy to guide the country’s investment in the sector has not been proposed for decades. Vision 2025 will culminate in a report and recommendations that reflect input gathered from the Charest-led discussions in cities with strong aerospace presence, and will provide recommendations to spur growth in the aerospace sector.
“We’re grateful to have an industry champion like Jean Charest lead us with Vision 2025,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC. “We know that Canadian aerospace is at a critical juncture, and we need a long-term strategy and investment to keep Canada at the forefront of the global aerospace sector.”
Highlights of Quebec’s aerospace industry1:
More than 40,000 jobs in close to 200 businesses
$1 billion is invested annually in R&D, 70% of the Canadian total
Innovation involves more than 13,000 engineers and scientists in the aerospace sector
The aerospace industry ranks first in Québec’s R&D manufacturing sector
More details on Vision 2025 are available at www.aiac.ca/vision2025 (English) or www.aiac.ca/fr/vision2025 (French).