Targeted support from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions for regional transportation in Bas-Saint-Laurent region.
MONT-JOLI, QC, July 23, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)
Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of goods and the connectivity of Canadians across the country. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting local communities and businesses from coast to coast to coast.
The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, supports access to air transportation and regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables existing air connections to be maintained and ensures regional airports remain operational and are able to continue contributing to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.
Enhancing facilities to re-establish routes and add new ones
With this in mind, Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), today announced $7,177,500 in financial support for the Régie intermunicipale de l’aéroport régional de Mont-Joli, whose operations have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. This non-repayable contribution will enable the organization to expand and improve its airport facilities, acquire equipment to ensure users’ health and safety, especially within the context of a pandemic, and hire a new employee to implement solutions to meet the air transportation needs of Bas-Saint-Laurent communities. This project will also lead to the creation of two jobs.
Founded in 2002, the Régie intermunicipale de l’aéroport régional de Mont-Joli is a municipal organization that operates and administers airport infrastructure and makes improvements deemed useful for the only Bas-Saint-Laurent regional airport. Open to air traffic year-round and with the four RCMs of the eastern part of the region as members (La Matanie, La Matapédia, La Mitis and Rimouski-Neigette), the airport plays a prominent role in the region’s economic development as it welcomes regular flights, charter flights, business planes and the air ambulance.
Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses right across Canada. It is essential to connect Canadians living in rural and remote communities to urban centres, deliver Canadian goods to the global market and welcome international visitors to all parts of the country, when it is safe to do so.
“The Mont-Joli airport is a hub for the region, enabling airline companies to transport workers to other Quebec regions and welcome tourists. It is essential to the growth of the Bas-Saint-Laurent region and, like with all our regional transportation ecosystems, its operations have been hit hard by the pandemic. By improving its airport facilities, the Régie intermunicipale de l’aéroport de Mont-Joli is helping maintain access by air to the regional communities it serves, which is key to its economy.”
Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)
“It is important to protect our regional air transportation networks for the thousands of tourists who use them, the thousands of workers this sector employs and the many businesses and communities that depend on them. Air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth, and supporting it is part of our plan to build back a stronger, more resilient economy.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED
“Thanks to this financial contribution, we are witnessing the start of a new era for the airport and we are positioning ourselves concretely as a regional transportation hub for all of eastern Quebec. The funds announced today represent investments that will quickly translate into economic development opportunities; into contracts for regional businesses; into jobs for workers in the Bas–Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie regions, and even into New Brunswick; as well as into increased activities for mining companies. In short, this is truly a major strategic investment that will benefit the entire population of eastern Quebec.”
Bruno Paradis, President, Régie intermunicipale de l’aéroport de Mont-Joli
- The RATI, administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), has a national budget of $206 million.
- The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as SMEs and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
- The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.
- The funding granted to the Régie intermunicipale de l’aéroport régional de Mont-Joli through the Regional Air Transportation Initiative is conditional on the signing of a contribution agreement between the organization and CED.