Head of aerospace group says federal help needed if Canada to remain competitive

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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LONGUEUIL, Que. Industry Minister Tony Clement says Canadas aerospace industry is in good shape and doesnt need federal financial aid right now.

In aerospace, we have a good solid industry that will be here in the future, he told reporters during a visit to the Canadian Space Agency on Monday.

LONGUEUIL, Que. Industry Minister Tony Clement says Canadas aerospace industry is in good shape and doesnt need federal financial aid right now.

In aerospace, we have a good solid industry that will be here in the future, he told reporters during a visit to the Canadian Space Agency on Monday.

It will continue to have our support in our tax measures and in our investments.

Clement added that the current economic crisis may prompt a review of the state of the industry in the future.

Were constantly reassessing the situation with the economy, but Im confident were on the right track when it comes to aerospace.

But Claude Lajeunesse, the president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, says federal help is needed in order to remain competitive.

If we dont want the industry to have major problems in two, three, four of five years, and not be ready to compete with other countries where they are supporting their industry to the fullest, something needs to be done now, he said in an interview.

Lajeunesse expressed disappointment Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not delivered on an election campaign promise to pump $200 million into the industry.

Were very concerned that this money was not confirmed in the budget, he added.

The money would have been used for aerospace and defence research.

Clement visited the space agency near Montreal to discuss the governments commitment to science and technology.

The Harper government is providing $110 million over three years so the agency can continue its research and development in space robotics.

Agency president Steve MacLean says the amount of money set aside in Ottawas so-called economic action plan is exactly what he had asked for.



Organizations: Canadian Space Agency, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada

Geographic location: Canada, Montreal, Ottawas

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