Montreal

Quebec still optimistic for CSeries despite Bombardier job cuts

The Quebec government defended its billion-dollar investment in Bombardier on Friday, after the plane and train-maker announced it was cutting 1,500 jobs in the province.

Couillard said he's sorry about job loses, but remains proud of his government's $1 billion investment

Bombardier said the latest round of job cuts is designed to save about $300 million US a year (How Hwee Young/EPA)

The Quebec government defended its billion-dollar investment in Bombardier on Friday, after the plane and train-maker announced it was cutting 1,500 jobs in the province. 

Bombardier said it plans to cut a total of 2,000 jobs across Canada, and 7,500 jobs globally, by the end of 2017. The company expects the cuts to save it $300 million US per year.

Bombardier's research and development arm will not be affected by the cuts, which are concentrated in its transportation and aerospace divisions.   

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said he was sorry to hear about the job loses but remains proud of his government's decision to invest $1 billion US in Bombardier's ambitious CSeries jet project. 

"Employment in the manufacturing of the CSeries continues to go up because it's a product of the future," Couillard said Friday.

"It confirms the legitimacy and certainty of the choice we made in the past to invest in the CSeries."

Federal investment coming soon?

The federal government is also in talks with Bombardier about a potential investment in the CSeries program. 

Though negotiations between the two sides have dragged on for months, federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said recently it was only a matter of time before Ottawa announces its commitment.

But he also said the investment would be contingent on the company keeping its head office and its research and development jobs in Canada.

Speaking on Friday, Bains reiterated that keeping Bombardier jobs in Canada is a priority for the government.

"As we move forward we want to focus on the jobs coming here to Canada, staying here in Canada," Bains said.

"We're focused on research and development here in Canada, keeping the head office here as well."

​Marc Garneau, the federal minister of transport, said the large-scale job losses Bombardier announced Friday are a necessary part of the streamlining process.

"It's always painful when layoffs have to be done and my sympathies go out to those who will be let go — hopefully temporarily," Garneau said.

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