Targeted support from CED for the Gaspé Peninsula’s regional transportation ecosystem
GASPÉ, QC, Aug. 3, 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 airports remain operational and are able to continue contributing to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.
Maintaining services and creating new routes
With this in mind, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED, today announced that the Government of Canada intends to provide Ville de Gaspé with a $4,275,000 non-repayable contribution for its airport, which plays a vital economic role in regional economic development, including tourism.
This project, representing a total investment of $4,750,011, will make it possible to maintain airport activities and introduce new flight routes to ensure regional connectivity for the Michel-Pouliot Airport, in addition to leading to the creation of five jobs. It includes the purchase and construction of aircraft hangars, repairs to a section of the parking lot, the acquisition of an aircraft deicing truck as well as the conceptualization of, and development of plans and specifications for, the new airport terminal–between now and the end of 2022.
Built in the 1950s and transferred to Ville de Gaspé by Transport Canada in 1988, the Michel-Pouliot Airport serves the Gaspésie region, mainly welcoming the travelling public and business people. It is vital to the surrounding communities and is the only airport on the Gaspé Peninsula to offer direct commercial flights to Québec and Montréal, as well as to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in addition to providing essential services since it is used for emergency and medical flights.
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.
“It is a priority of the Government of Canada to ensure communities prosper. That is why we are supporting Ville de Gaspé and its airport, which is vital to the economic development in the Gaspésie region. The airport has been hit hard by the pandemic, and our financial assistance will enable it to maintain its operations and improve its infrastructure. This is good news for everyone and I am delighted!”
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Member of Parliament for Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue
“It is important to protect our regional air transportation networks for the thousands tourists who travel through, 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—here in Gaspé among other places—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
This major investment in the Gaspé Michel-Pouliot Airport will make it possible to implement the second chapter of our airport development plan. Among other things, it will allow for the diversification of airport revenues to sustain and develop offerings for users and provide a solid foundation for the final phase of our plan—which is to upgrade the airport terminal. I would like to thank the federal government for believing in our potential and supporting our growth.
Daniel Côté, Mayor of Gaspé and Warden of the Côte-de-Gaspé RCM
- 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 funding announced today is conditional on the signing of a contribution agreement between CED and Ville de Gaspé.
- The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.