Bains Says Canada to Weigh Bombardier Aid in ‘Timely Manner’

Canada’s new economic development minister is considering Quebec’s request to assist Bombardier Inc. and will soon discuss it with his provincial counterpart.

Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of innovation, science and economic development, said Thursday he would speak with Quebec’s economy minister, Jacques Daoust, in “a timely manner” and discuss the matter with his own department later in the day.

Bains declined to comment further when asked if he was open to subsidies for Bombardier. A day earlier, when asked about the struggling Montreal-based aerospace firm, Bains cited the government’s focus on growing the economy and creating jobs.

Quebec has already agreed to invest $1 billion in Bombardier’s CSeries program and called on the federal government to match the sum to reduce risk for the company. Quebec likens the situation to auto sector bailouts in 2009.

“We are going to ask them to support the aerospace industry in Quebec the same way they backed the auto industry in Ontario when times were difficult,” Daoust said last week.

Bombardier has “held regular talks with the federal government on a variety of subjects,” including program updates, “and we will continue to do this with the new Liberal government,” Isabelle Rondeau, a spokeswoman for the company, said by e-mail in response to a question on whether the plane-and train-maker had approached Ottawa for fresh funding. She offered no additional details.

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