The federal government is injecting over $32.5 million into 14 Quebec aerospace businesses to jumpstart the sector as part of the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) program.
Pascale St-Onge, the minister of Sport and minister responsible for CED, announced the funding during a tour of the Groupe Meloche’s Salaberry-de-Valleyfield head office on July 7. She revealed that the local business, which specializes in developing and manufacturing aerostructure and aircraft engine components, will benefit from a $2.9 million investment.
St-Onge was accompanied during the announcement by Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke, and Salaberry-Suroît MP Claude DeBellefeuille was also present.
The funding, which is being provided through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI), will be used by Groupe Meloche Inc. for the acquisition and installation of digital production equipment as part of a project to adopt sustainable practices and enhance productivity. The total cost of the project is $3,988,666.
“This support has enabled the business to acquire the equipment it needs to develop a new range of components, and thereby work with our clients on the engine of the future,” said Hugue Meloche, the company president and CEO. While acknowledging the support, Meloche noted how funding from CED made it possible to concentrate on innovative projects during the pandemic that have allowed the business to grow in the aeronautics industry.
Groupe Meloche includes four other production and research and development sites outside Valleyfield in Beauharnois, Bromont, Montreal, and most recently in Hemmingford following the takeover of Hemmingford Aerospace in December 2022.
In a statement issued following the press conference, MP DeBellefeuille suggested the inclusion of the Valleyfield-based company among those receiving funding places Groupe Meloche as a leader in the Quebec aerospace industry. “Their expertise, capacity for innovation, and excellence are recognized both here and outside Quebec,” she exclaimed, while referring to the company as an ambassador for the Salaberry-Suroît region worldwide.
The Canadian government considers the aerospace sector to be a pillar of the economy and innovation. The industry contributed nearly $27 billion to the country’s GDP In 2022 and helped create 212,000 highly qualified jobs, in addition to generating nearly $18.7 billion in exports.
“This assistance is key to helping the industry stay competitive on the international stage,” said St-Onge. “Without a doubt, the success and spin-offs of these projects will be felt across Quebec and Canada,” she concluded. (SR)