OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - November 18, 2014) - The Canadian Aerospace Summit opened in Ottawa today with a ceremony recognizing the leadership and contributions of the government of British Columbia to the overall competitiveness of the aerospace industry in B.C. and Canada. The Honourable Michael de Jong, British Columbia's Minister of Finance, accepted the award on behalf of the government. 

"Not only does the aerospace industry employ thousands of British Columbians, but it also generates billions of dollars in economic activity each year, and those numbers are increasing," said Minister de Jong. "Our government's partnership with AIAC will help to build a unified voice for the aerospace industry within B.C., and also nationally. In collaboration with AIAC, we look forward to helping the aerospace industry continue to thrive and contribute to our province's jobs and economy over the coming years."

British Columbia has committed $5 million over five years to developing the growth and competitiveness of B.C.'s aerospace industry. Earlier this year, it announced that AIAC Pacific, the B.C.-based arm of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), would be responsible for implementing the first $1 million of funding by completing an economic impact analysis and capabilities study, supporting the B.C.-based Aerospace, Defence and Securities Expo, aligning provincial activities with major national initiatives, and working strategically to grow B.C. aerospace.

"We are pleased to welcome Minister de Jong to the Canadian Aerospace Summit and highlight the commitment of his government for our industry," said Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC. "This partnership with the B.C. provincial government is groundbreaking for our industry, and will be essential for propelling the growth of a unified aerospace industry in British Columbia."

The Canadian Aerospace Summit, an annual conference and trade show hosted by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), is Canada's premiere aerospace event. Along with Minister de Jong, speakers include Industry Minister James Moore, Public Works Minister Diane Finley, and representatives from NASA, the US Departments of Defense and Commerce, Wall Street, major OEMs, and aviation journalism.

AIAC is the national association representing Canada's aerospace manufacturing and services sector. As the world's fifth-largest aerospace industry, Canada's aerospace sector generates more than $27 billion, exports 80% of its output, and dedicates over 20% of its activity to research and development (R&D). Aerospace is responsible for the employment of 170,000 Canadians. AIAC represents the interests of over 700 aerospace companies across Canada.

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