November 30th, 2020- As air travel assistance is pushed to the next budget, the aerospace sector is not on the federal government’s list of sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Two unacceptable situations that could lead to further job losses and jeopardize the survival of the aerospace sector in Canada.
“After almost 10 months of crisis, still nothing,” says David Chartrand, Quebec coordinator of the Machinists’ Union. Meanwhile, more and more workers in the air transport sector are suffering. Although, the federal government had repeatedly indicated that it recognized the urgency of the situation and that a plan was coming. This tells me that they are currently unable to negotiate a relief plan with the airlines. »
On the aerospace side, the industry is not on the federal government’s list of sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.
“Across Canada there is recognition that aerospace is a pillar of the Canadian economy and a highly important strategic sector,” says Chartrand. Even before the pandemic, it was clear that without a pan-Canadian aerospace policy, the survival of the industry would be compromised. This is even more true with the COVID-19 pandemic. Only, the Trudeau government doesn’t seem to understand that. »
According to a study by the consulting firm Roland Berger, on the future of aerospace in Canada, the lack of a pan-Canadian strategy for the aerospace sector could result in the loss of 18,000 to 20,000 jobs in the short term (2 to 4 years) and 45,000 to 50,000 jobs over the medium term (5 to 8 years). The lack of a plan, according to Roland Berger’s study, would lead to the loss of the sector’s capacity and a reduction in the annual value of exports ranging from 12 to 18 billion.
“To revitalize our economy and secure funding for the social safety net and public services that allow us to get through times of crisis, such as the one we are experiencing right now, we need a strong and innovative economy with good jobs,” says Chartrand. That is what aerospace and air transport could represent, provided the Trudeau government has the political will to invest in it in the right way. It must be noted that some of the federal government’s actions are to be welcomed, as it has pledged to extend the emergency wage subsidy, improve its assistance to families and maintain its public health efforts to combat the pandemic.