Quebec needs to take care of Bombardier: Philippe Couillard

WATCH ABOVE: Debate about Bombardier.

Quebec’s premier says the province needs to take care of Bombardier because of its unique importance to the province.

Philippe Couillard is urging Quebecers to support the transportation company, which has recently faced a strong public backlash over planned hikes to executive pay.

READ MORE: Bombardier says Pierre Beaudoin stepping down as executive chair

Couillard made the comments Monday after visiting a Bombardier plant in Haifa, Israel.

READ MORE: Protests continue in Montreal over Bombardier CEO pay scandal

The Quebec government gave Bombardier roughly $1 billion US in 2016 while the federal government has announced a $372.5 million loan package for the firm’s CSeries and Global 7000 aircraft programs.

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READ MORE: Caisse votes against Bombardier compensation, abstains from supporting Beaudoin

The plane and train maker eventually postponed the executive pay raises and its chairman of the board stepped down amidst public outcry.

Couillard said Quebecers have the right to criticize the company but should recognize its significance.