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Joint Funding to Premier Aviation to Create 325 New Jobs in Trois-Rivieres in Quebec

The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, today joined Clément Gignac, Quebec Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Julie Boulet, Quebec Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, and Danielle St-Amand, Member of the National Assembly for Trois-Rivières, in announcing that the Trois-Rivières company Premier Aviation has been awarded nearly $9 million in joint government funding toward a $17 million investment project. Also on hand for this announcement was Jean-Paul Diamond, Member of the National Assembly for Maskinongé.

The funding will include a $3.5 million repayable contribution from Canada Economic Development, granted through the Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies adopted by the Government of Canada last June.

"This measure makes it possible to support promising projects like the one being carried out by Premier Aviation. This assistance will enable the dynamic firm to pursue its growth and contribute to the economic diversification of the Mauricie region," commented Minister of State Denis Lebel.

The Government of Quebec will invest $5.5 million in the Premier Aviation project, $3 million of it in the form of a non-repayable contribution. "In this time of economic recovery, it is important to support enterprises with solid competitive advantages that can help diversify our regional economies. Premier Aviation will be able to capitalize on the dynamism of Quebec's aerospace sector to successfully carry out its project, which will result in positive economic spinoffs for Quebec as a whole. In return, the company will create 325 new permanent jobs and consolidate 225 existing positions over a five-year period," explained Minister Clément Gignac.

"The Mauricie region has gained a standing in the aviation sector in recent years and is seeking to attract Quebec and foreign investment to the area, notably to Trois-Rivières. Premier Aviation's expansion project is therefore of the utmost strategic importance to the region. That is why Emploi-Québec has provided more than $650,000 in funding to the firm through the Fonds de développement du marché du travail since 2002, as well as being on the verge of signing an agreement within the framework of large-scale projects," added Minister Julie Boulet.

"Since 2002, this enterprise has been a proud economic partner of the Mauricie region. Beyond its obvious contribution to the regional economy, Premier Aviation is also helping to train the region's up-and-coming generation. This project will help strengthen and secure the growth of a sector that generates well-paying employment while promoting the economic diversification of Trois-Rivières," stated MNA Danielle St-Amand.

"Premier Aviation has been investing heavily in Trois-Rivières and now ranks as eastern Canada's leading Boeing 737 overhaul center, as well as one of the top two in the country. The City of Trois-Rivières welcomes this important economic announcement," noted Trois-Rivières Mayor Yves Lévesque.

Premier Aviation's reputation for service quality and reliable delivery has enabled the company to remain competitive and distinguish itself as an industry leader in Canada and the north-eastern United States. "We are anxious to start this new expansion project, an initiative that will allow us to stay competitive and continue on our quest for excellence," concluded Ronnie Di Bartolo, Premier Aviation's President and Chief Executive Officer.

About Premier Aviation

Based at Trois-Rivières Airport, Premier Aviation specializes in the painting and heavy maintenance of airplane bodies. Posting annual sales of some $17 million, the firm serves a clientele composed of aviation companies. In order to meet the needs of its main customer, West Jet, Premier Aviation is planning to build a new hangar, make its painting workshop more accessible and accommodate a greater number of planes at one time, which requires long-term as well as short-term work. The company also intends to expand its facilities by adding new workshops and office space.

About the contribution from the federal government

The Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies is aimed at helping communities affected by the crisis in the forest sector diversify their economies to secure their growth and create and maintain jobs. This measure is also intended to support small and medium-sized enterprises in these communities in their efforts to improve their performance.

About the Strategic Support for Investment Program

The Strategic Support for Investment Program (PASI), administered by Investissement Québec, seeks to promote investments aimed at consolidating sectors in which Quebec has competitive advantages and creating products that are notable for their innovativeness and market potential.

The entire $5.5 million contribution from the Government of Quebec, including the $2.5 million in repayable funding and $3 million in non-repayable assistance, has been granted through the PASI.

For more information on Quebec Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade programs and services, visit www.mdeie.gouv.qc.ca/programmes.

To receive Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade media advisories as they are issued, subscribe to the following RSS feed: www.mdeie.gouv.qc.ca/rss.

Canada Economic Development is online at www.dec-ced.gc.ca. Subscribe to the Agency's press releases at http://www.dec-ced.gc.ca/eng/media-room/mailing-list/list.html to keep up with the latest news.

Aussi disponible en français : www.dec-ced.gc.ca.





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