Minister of Industry Announces Support for Aerospace and Defence Project (00663)

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Speaking Points

The Honourable Tony Clement, PC, MP
Minister of Industry

CMC Electronics Inc.

Saint-Laurent, Quebec
January 13, 2009

(Check Against Delivery)

Bonjour et merci.

Thank you, Christian, for the kind introduction.

It is a pleasure to be here today, in Saint-Laurent, at CMC Electronics Inc. (CMC).

Since the government took office in January 2006, we have implemented programs and carried through policies designed to advance long-term competitiveness and prosperity for Canadian industries.

In 2007, we launched the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, or SADI. SADI supports private sector industrial research and development (R&D) in Canadian aerospace, defence, space and security companies, and it is part of the government's Science and Technology Strategy.

Through this initiative, the government offers repayable contributions to aerospace and defence (A&D) companies to encourage Canadian companies to undertake strategic R&D.

In the context of the current global economic slowdown, these investments in the manufacturing sector are necessary to help keep our companies competitive.

The government is doing its part to ensure the long-term prosperity of Canadian industries. Through sound economic management, tax relief and strategic investments, we will ensure that we come through this period stronger than before.

Canada's A&D industry is a world leader — employing 82 000 highly skilled Canadians and boasting annual revenues of $22.7 billion. In Quebec alone, the industry has sales of approximately $12 billion and employs 42 000 aerospace workers.

To make sure they remain on the leading edge of such a competitive industry, Canadian aerospace companies collectively invest more than $1 billion every year in R&D activities.

Investments in R&D are vital to creating a competitive, knowledge-based economy. Our future economic prosperity as a nation is generated through the advancement of ideas and innovations.

CMC is a company that acknowledges this necessity. It is on the cutting edge of developing high-tech electronic products for the aviation market.

The government is committed to setting the right conditions for business innovation. That is why I am pleased to announce a $52.3-million repayable investment in CMC for the development of innovative and cost-effective cockpit technologies for next-generation business jets, helicopters and transport aircraft.

This project will improve the efficiency and reliability of cockpit components by developing a complete cockpit system. Using open architecture, CMC will make cockpit components easily adaptable to both changing technologies and varied aircraft platforms.

This means that companies can upgrade or change equipment at any time without having to go back to the supplier. In the past, this has not been the case. This innovative process is creating a much more efficient piece of equipment.

The government's investment will help CMC build on Canadian strengths and become a major player in the field of avionics integration. This type of innovation will help this Canadian company stay on the leading edge of the A&D industries for years to come.

This investment is being made through SADI.

By investing in strategic R&D projects, the government is helping to leverage private sector investment in R&D. This is a great example of how the Government of Canada supports companies in turning Canadian ideas into innovative products.

In order for Canada to be prosperous, we must continue building a dynamic economy that will create opportunities and better jobs for Canadians in the future.

This particular investment will help CMC create and maintain jobs for Canadian engineers and professionals, and develop a highly skilled workforce. The company will also use this project to increase its number of Canadian suppliers, creating benefits for the other A&D companies. This is great news for Canadians.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish CMC continued success. We look forward to the benefits this investment will bring to members of the community, the industry and the growth of Canada's economy for years to come.

Thank you.