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Quebec opposition parties critical of Ottawa’s aid response to Bombardier

Quebec opposition parties criticize Bombardier deal
WATCH ABOVE: Quebec opposition parties erupted in criticism over the federal government’s announcement that it is investing in Bombardier, saying the province will be taking all the risk. Global's Raquel Fletcher explains.

The federal response to Bombardier‘s request for financial assistance is yet another sign of Ottawa giving short shrift to Quebec, Parti Québécois (PQ) Leader Jean-François Lisée said Wednesday.

In a familiar refrain, Lisée bemoaned that the $372.5 million Ottawa has offered the Quebec-based aerospace giant in interest-free loans is chump change when compared to the money the federal government has given Ontario’s automobile industry.

READ MORE: Liberal government props up Bombardier with $372 million in loans

Lisée’s conclusion: that Quebec is always the big loser in the federal system and that its interests would be better served by independence.

“What’s the point of being in this country?” he asked.

“We’re not in the right country.”

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READ MORE: Brazil WTO trade complaint against Canada without merit, Bombardier says

The federal money for Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) will be handed out in instalments over four years to support the Global 7000 and CSeries aircraft projects.

WATCH BELOW: Navdeep Bains announces $372 million in loans to Bombardier 

Navdeep Bains announces $372 million in loans to Bombardier
Navdeep Bains announces $372 million in loans to Bombardier

Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said the money will preserve thousands of high-paying technology jobs in Ontario where the Global will be assembled and in Quebec where it is completed and the CSeries is built.

READ MORE: Bombardier signs deal to operate Montreal’s AMT network

“Two-thirds of the jobs are in Quebec,” Bains said Wednesday in Ottawa, adding that customization and research and development for the Global 7000 are done in Dorval, Que.

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Those numbers have not been confirmed by the company.

WATCH BELOW: Navdeep Bains confident Bombardier will repay $372 million in loans

Navdeep Bains confident Bombardier will repay $372 million in loans
Navdeep Bains confident Bombardier will repay $372 million in loans

But Lisée argued that most of the loans would go to the Global 7000 business aircraft program, thus benefiting Ontario to the detriment of Quebec.

Quebec injected US$1 billion into the CSeries in exchange for a 49.5 per cent stake in the program and had called on Ottawa to make a substantial investment.

READ MORE: Bombardier still looking for federal cash despite improving financial position

The federal loan fell short of what Bombardier had been seeking since late 2015 – nearly three times that much to help its CSeries program, which was struck by delays and cost overruns prior to entering commercial service last year.

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Bombardier CEO elated about Canada’s government’s investments in aerospace
Bombardier CEO elated about Canada’s government’s investments in aerospace

François Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), said the federal response falls short of expectations and should prompt the Quebec government to review terms of its own deal with Bombardier.

“[Premier] Philippe Couillard has to renegotiate his agreement with Bombardier to reduce the risks assumed by all Quebecers,” Legault said.

Lisée also called it a failure on Couillard’s part to find a willing federal partner to spread the risk.

READ MORE: Bombardier delivers first CSeries CS300 aircraft to Latvian carrier

“[Tuesday], he had his answer: he is alone in taking this risk,” Lisée said.
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“Couillard’s aim was to get the federal government to share the risk and he failed. He failed. Why? Did he fail because it’s an impossible task in the federal political culture to help a Quebec company like Bombardier? It may be so.”

WATCH: Karl Moore, an associate professor at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, shares his thoughts on Bombardier’s federal loan

Bailout fallout
Bailout fallout