• Ontario hasn't been approached by planemaker, premier says
  • Province remains non-committal in helping Bombardier

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne urged the federal government to join Quebec in supporting Bombardier Inc., calling it an “important” Canadian manufacturer that needs to survive.

“I certainly think that Bombardier is a very important company," Wynne said Monday in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office. “We need it as a national entity to survive."

Wynne said she would be encouraging the federal government to support the Montreal-based planemaker, which she said hasn’t "directly" approached Ontario’s provincial government to ask for assistance.

Canada’s federal government is “still engaged" with Bombardier about its aid request for the C Series jet program, Navdeep Bains, the minister of innovation, science and economic development, said last week. Quebec’s provincial government has pledged $1 billion in aid for Bombardier and called on its federal counterpart to match the investment. Quebec’s deal, which has yet to close, comes with a commitment by the company to keep C Series operations in the province for at least 20 years.

"Bombardier is one of those companies that does have the capacity" to expand, Wynne said. "It may need a bit of support through a transition, but it’s an important institution."

Wynne wouldn’t say if Ontario would help support Bombardier if it failed to get federal assistance. Bombardier’s aerospace facilities employ about 3,700 people in Ontario.

"That’s not something that’s under consideration at this point," she said.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Monday he hopes Canada will invest in Bombardier as soon as possible.

Bombardier rejected an initial investment proposal from the Canadian government to shore up the struggling planemaker’s finances as the two sides remain at odds over corporate governance and other issues, people familiar with the talks said last week.

The federal government is seeking to change corporate governance and loosen the founding family’s grip on the company in a bid to head-off future bailout requests, the officials said. Barring a major breakthrough, a deal before Bombardier’s annual meeting on April 29 is unlikely, they said.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE