Mitsubishi Aircraft is setting up shop in Quebec with an aircraft design centre in Boisbriand near Montreal.
Quebec Premier François Legault and Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon made the announcement on Thursday alongside representatives from the Japanese manufacturer.
“This is exactly what we want to be doing,” said Legault, adding that the province needs to continue drawing more private investments to Quebec and creating more jobs.
The SpaceJet centre in the Laurentians will create 100 jobs in its first year and an additional 250 positions in the years to follow. Legault says the employment opportunities will be well paid.
The announcement comes a few months after Bombardier announced a deal to sell its regional jet program to the Japanese firm.
Alex Bellamy, the company’s chief development officer, says Quebec was an obvious choice for an expansion and that Mitsubishi wanted to jump on an opportunity to build its SpaceJet products. He says the province is the birthplace of commercial aviation in Canada.
“Quebec is home to great aerospace talent,” he said.
The province is also kicking in a $12-million interest-free loan for Mitshibushi to create the SpaceJet centre. However, it will be forgiven if the company provides high-paid employment for 250 workers over five years — which Legault describes as a “win-win” situation.
“We are open for business more than ever,” said Legault.
The loan allowed Mitsubishi to quickly settle in Boisbriand, according to Bellamy. He says Mitsubishi aims to seize on Quebec’s technical expertise to develop its SpaceJet program.
Mitsubishi will hold a recruitment fair on Sept. 21 in Montreal. Its next-generation Spacejet plane is set be launched in 2023.
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— With files from the Canadian Press