The leadership and contributions of the government of British Columbia to the overall competitiveness of the aerospace industry in B.C. and Canada were recognized at the Canadian Aerospace Summit in Ottawa. The Honourable Michael de Jong, British Columbia’s Minister of Finance, accepted the award on behalf of the government. In photo, from left to right: Dave Curtis, President & CEO, Viking Air Ltd., and Chair, AIAC; Barry Kohler, President, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, and Past Chair, AIAC; David Schellenberg, Chair, AIAC Pacific; Hon. Mike de Jong, Minister of Finance, Province of B.C.; Jim Quick, President & CEO, AIAC
The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) recently opened an office in B.C. in “an effort to more directly link the province’s companies with national initiatives,” says Vanguard, the forum for Canada’s security and defence community.
B.C. government reaffirms commitment to grow economy and strengthen communities; B.C. aerospace industry spotlighted as world leadersOctober 9, 2014
British Columbia’s burgeoning aerospace industry and its ability to create well-paying jobs for a prosperous B.C. future is among the highlights of the three-year update for the Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan reaffirming the provincial government’s commitment to grow the economy and strengthen communities. More than a plan Premier Christy Clark said the update is much more than a checklist of the plan’s progress, but an opportunity for new commitments to help create long-term, well-paying jobs that also strengthen B.C. families. “I am proud of what we’ve accomplished. We have a near-record 2.3 million people working in B.C. and there was $3.9 billion in economic growth last year. The full report of our progress is online at bcjobsplan.ca.” said Clark. Among the eight sector updates is Manufacturing Innovation, highlighting progress in the B.C. aerospace industry, which the provincial government boosted last year by committing $5 million over five years to “unify and grow” it. B.C. aerospace industry in government spotlight In the update, the government shone the spotlight on the aerospace industry, saying “with our close proximity to the Pacific Northwest aerospace cluster, British Columbia’s aerospace manufacturers are positioned to be world leaders. “Companies like Cascade Aerospace, CHC Helicopter, Kelowna Flightcraft, Viking Air, ASCO Aerospace, MDA Corporation and many others are building B.C.’s reputation in this industry.” Already the B.C. aerospace manufacturing and services sector generates $1.2 billion in revenues annually and employs more than 10,000 British Columbians. Serving as the voice of the industry in B.C. is AIAC Pacific, based in Abbotsford and part of the larger Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour at the time of the first $1 million commitment to AIAC’s Pacific Partnership Program stated it was “money well spent. The growth will have a significant effect on the province’s economy . . . and that is one of the main goals we set as part of the B.C. Jobs Plan.” B.C.’s competitive business environment ready for investors, one million job openings The update report indicated that the government has acted to ensure that B.C. has one of the most competitive business environments for investment and that British Columbians are prepared for the expected one million job openings encompassing all employment sectors over the next decade. “Our economic success isn’t measured on a monthly basis; success is measured in terms of outcomes over time,” said the report. David Schellenberg, chair of AIAC Pacific, said the government’s investment in the aerospace industry will not only help accelerate global growth opportunities, but will also provide tremendous benefits to the economy. KPMG is now conducting a comprehensive economic impact analysis of the B.C. aerospace industry as part of five specific AIAC Pacific activities that include expanding international trade opportunities and building strategies for developing new technologies and heightening competitiveness.