MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 21, 2013) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, wrapped up a successful two-day visit to the Paris Air Show that allowed him to meet with world aerospace industry leaders and announce funding to Quebec enterprises and organizations in the sector.

"Our Government is promoting the strengths and expertise of the Quebec and Canadian aerospace industry on the international stage in order to position our firms as premium suppliers of the primary aircraft platforms. We are supporting an industry that needs to remain solid, innovative, competitive and on the cutting edge of technological development," said Minister Lebel.

Aerospace is a key sector of the Canadian economy, and Quebec, which is responsible for nearly 70% of the research and development, 60% of the production and 50% of the jobs in the sector, is the nerve centre of the country's aerospace industry. Quebec ranks fifth in the world in terms of sales; in 2012 alone, the province's aerospace industry contributed more than $12 billion in annual sales in the country.

Minister Lebel took the opportunity while at the Paris Air Show to announce close to $8 million in government funding for 10 projects being carried out by Quebec enterprises and organizations in the sector. This support has been awarded through Canada Economic Development's Quebec Economic Development Program.

On top of these funding announcements, Minister Lebel, accompanied by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy's Junior Minister for Transport, Oceans and Fisheries, Frédéric Cuvillier, attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Centre d'Essais et de Services sur les Systèmes Autonomes (CESA), represented by the Bordeaux Technowest technopole, and Quebec's Unmanned Aerial System Center of Excellence (UAS CE). He also met with international contract givers and directors of the European Aviation Safety Agency and held discussions with representatives of the Canadian enterprises exhibiting at the show.

Moreover, Minister Lebel served as president of honour at the networking dinner organized by Aéro Montréal, which brought together many international aerospace industry leaders and Quebec business executives. He delivered a keynote address on Canada's aerospace sector, a source of national pride and a symbol of the country's technological success. The industry has distinguished itself on the world stage by virtue of its advances and innovativeness and is a major provider of quality jobs.

"Our Canadian and Quebec aerospace companies have the know-how that ranks them among the best in the world in terms of both design and manufacture. Our government is committed to promoting this sector and is working hard to create the kind of conditions that are conducive to investment and to research and development," Minister Lebel concluded.

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Contact Information:

Media Relations
Canada Economic Development

Marie-Josee Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Canada Economic Development