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Jean Charest asks Ottawa for aid for the aerospace industry

Charest said the Canadian aerospace industry could "help Canada overcome the huge deficits to come" and that the sector should therefore be given priority for government aid.
Charest said the Canadian aerospace industry could "help Canada overcome the huge deficits to come" and that the sector should therefore be given priority for government aid. Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Calling the economic situation in Canada “worrying,” former Quebec Premier Jean Charest pleaded with the federal government to prioritize help for certain economic sectors — such as aerospace — to ensure a post-coronavirus economic recovery.

Charest, a representative for the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, made the announcement by videoconference Thursday, accompanied by several representatives from the industry.

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Charest said the economic portrait released on Wednesday by the minister of finance, Bill Morneau, highlights the “serious financial situation” Canada is facing.

He said the Canadian aerospace industry could “help Canada overcome the huge deficits to come” and that the sector should therefore be given priority for government aid.

“Canada’s inaction has real consequences,” Charest said.

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He added that the country will not be able to retain some 215,000 well-paying jobs, especially in Quebec, if the federal government does not intervene and help the industry.

—with files from Global News’ Alessia Maratta