Without the help of Ottawa, Investissement Québec wonders about the recovery

While other countries have stretched billions and various support programs to help the aeronautics sector, the CEO. Investissement Québec is impatiently waiting for Ottawa to make the same kind of gesture, because the sums needed to weather the pandemic and survive its consequences are considerable.

Invited to say how IQ considers the role it can play in the face of sectors in crisis when the federal government has still not announced a plan, Guy LeBlanc, who took part in a talk at the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday of Metropolitan Montreal, spoke of “a certain frustration and a lot of impatience”.

“When you look at what the French government and the American government have put in place… Investissement Québec cannot release sums of 10 billion, for example, to help a sector in times of crisis,” said Mr. LeBlanc, a former high-ranking official of PriceWaterhouseCoopers who has headed the financial arm of the Quebec government for a year and a half.

“Like all players in the sector, and I spoke to Suzanne Benoît [p.-d.g. de la grappe Aéro Montréal] until recently, we are waiting for the federal program to help the sector, ”added Mr. LeBlanc. Quebec’s aerospace industry as a whole, which does not include carriers, has lost 4,000 of its 43,400 jobs since the pandemic, recently indicated Mr.me Benoit at Duty.

Foot calls

Airlines, unions and the aviation industry, including the manufacturer Airbus, have recently increased the pressure on Ottawa to put in place a tailor-made assistance plan to allow the sector to weather a crisis that does not show. no sign of respite. “Tens of thousands of employees have been affected, flight capacity in the market has been reduced by about 85% and billions of dollars in planes are parked,” the National Airlines Council wrote last week. from Canada.

In interview at Duty Three weeks ago, the head of Airbus operations in Canada argued that targeted federal assistance, beyond general programs, would also support the constellation of upstream suppliers to carriers. “I’m not necessarily talking about financial aid. The aviation industry is “on the front lines” of the impacts of the crisis. You don’t just have to look at the airline, whether it’s Air Canada, WestJet, Porter, etc. Behind, there is the entire ecosystem of industrial aeronautics and services, which is a gem, “said Philippe Balducchi. In its Speech from the Throne, the Trudeau government confined itself to saying that additional measures are coming for the travel and tourism sectors.

Tens of thousands of employees have been affected, market flight capacity has been reduced by approximately 85% and billions of dollars in planes are parked

Investissement Québec’s game plan, according to Mr. LeBlanc, consists in particular in helping companies with consolidation, so that small players, for example, become more solid to withstand “a little more critical” periods. “It’s also about helping companies with acquisitions, or research and development, or automation. This is the kind of money available at IQ to help the industry. This is a priority area for us. It hurts to see such an important sector in Quebec being in difficulty right now. “

In the United States, an initial aid of US $ 25 billion was offered to the airline industry in the spring for the period up to September 30. The industry is now looking for a second buoy of the same order of magnitude, but talks between Republicans and Democrats have not resulted in a deal.

In France, the plan presented in June, which relies on loans, investments and guarantees, established a sum of 15 billion euros for the aeronautics and aerospace sectors. “The consequences for companies in the French aeronautics sector, which represents 300,000 jobs and 58 billion euros in turnover, are direct. Current forecasts for air transport do not anticipate a return to pre-crisis levels before 2023, “the Ministry of the Economy said on June 12.

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