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Deutsche Lufthansa’s Swiss unit is slated to take initial deliveries in the first half of 2016 and be the first C Series operator. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Deutsche Lufthansa’s Swiss unit is slated to take initial deliveries in the first half of 2016 and be the first C Series operator. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Bombardier an ‘anchor’ for Canada, Trudeau briefing memo says Add to ...

Bombardier Inc. is a key Canadian company in a global aerospace industry that often relies on public support, officials told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a briefing on whether his new government should meet a request for financial aid.

“Bombardier is a key anchor firm for Canada’s aerospace industry,” said the three-page memo government officials prepared for the transition after Trudeau’s Oct. 19 election victory. Bloomberg News obtained the file through a freedom of information request.

“In an increasingly competitive global economy with significant levels of government support for strategic sectors, aerospace is often seen as a ‘pay to play’ industry,” the officials said.

The Montreal-based company is seeking aid for its C Series aircraft, and Quebec’s provincial government has suggested Trudeau match the financial support it has already offered. Trudeau said Dec. 11 that he was “waiting for more information” before making a decision.

Part of the Bombardier memo written by staff at the Privy Council Office was blanked out under exemptions to the federal information law, and what is visible doesn’t show any final recommendation for the government. The document also said the aircraft’s test program “is advancing steadily after a slow start” and that firm orders for the model are lagging the company’s target of 300.

Canadian regulators certified the C Series on Dec. 18, and Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare said at the time he saw good progress in talks with the federal government. An after- hours request for comment sent to a Bombardier spokeswoman Monday wasn’t immediately returned.

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