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NDP leader Thomas Mulcair speaks to reporters during a federal election campaign stop in Brossard, Que., on September 4, 2015.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is promising to boost the aerospace industry, a sector that has seen hundreds of layoffs this year.

Mulcair said Tuesday he would set up a $160-million, four-year fund to help small– and medium-sized aerospace companies adopt new technology and increase production in an effort to better compete globally.

The plan would require firms to show a plan to create jobs and provide professional training to workers.

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Mulcair also committed to setting aside $40-million over four years in the Canadian Space Agency's space technology development program to help companies commercialize new technologies.

He said he would also lead trade delegations to help promote Canada's aerospace industry.

"Canadian aerospace innovators and manufacturers need a prime minister in Ottawa who will be a champion for the them on the world stage – and I will be that champion," said Mulcair, who was campaigning in Montreal, a hub for the aerospace sector that hosts the headquarters of companies including Bombardier and CAE.

"The NDP is determined to fix the mess caused by the Conservatives."

In May, Bombardier announced it was laying off 1,750 employees in Montreal, Toronto and Ireland, while CAE said last month it was cutting 350.

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