OTTAWA — If Montreal-based aerospace manufacturer Bombardier Inc. needs federal money to aid its CSeries jet project, it’ll have to make a “strong business case,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a meeting of labour leaders Tuesday.
Trudeau was responding to questions at a closed-door Canadian Labour Congress gathering in Ottawa — the first time a sitting prime minister has addressed the country’s biggest labour body in more than 50 years.
He told the CLC’s Canadian council that his government won’t prop up a business on the basis of emotion or politics, sources inside the room disclosed.
Trudeau did, however, characterize Bombardier as a high-value manufacturer in the same league as the auto sector, which received government money to help it get through the 2008 recession.
“There’s no question that high-value manufacturing is going to be an extremely important part of Canada for years to come. Aerospace is a great example of that, as is the auto sector and others,” Trudeau told the gathering.
“How we can best invest and support that kind of manufacturing needs to be done responsibly and with our eyes open, and not just based on emotion or politics or symbols,” he said.
“There has to be a strong business case. We’re going to make sure that decision is taken based on what is in the best interest of Canadians, writ large.”
The Quebec government said last month it would invest $1 billion in the CSeries in return for a near 50 per cent stake in the project.