Canada Doing ‘Due Diligence’ as Bombardier Requests Assistance

Canada’s Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said he’s analyzing a pitch by Bombardier Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare for federal assistance with its C Series jet program.

Bains said he’s already spoken to Bellemare on the subject and any decision will take into consideration the value to taxpayers, and the economic impact of the investment. Parliament resumes sitting Dec. 3, after a lengthy break for Canada’s Oct. 19 election.

“We had an engagement and a conversation and they were able to make their case,” Bains said in Ottawa after a speech at an aerospace summit. “We’re looking at the business case to make sure we do our due diligence and do our homework.”

That includes an assessment of “what’s good for the economy,” he said.

Federal support would complement Quebec’s Oct. 29 plan to pitch in $1 billion to shore up the troubled C Series program. The plane, running more than two years late and $2 billion over budget, and has become a cash drain on Montreal-based Bombardier, which has said it will need an additional $2 billion during the next five years.

Quebec Economy Minister Jacques Daoust told Bloomberg News Friday he’s optimistic Canada will join the province in providing financing for the program.

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