Canada government will not unveil Bombardier decision before budget

Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:29pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Liberal government on Monday made clear it will not announce whether it plans to help struggling plane maker Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO: Quote) before the March 22 federal budget.

The province of Quebec - where the firm has its headquarters - unveiled a $1 billion investment in the company's CSeries passenger jet last October and wants Ottawa to do the same to help protect thousands of well-paid jobs.

Montreal's La Presse newspaper last month ran an interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and quoted him as saying an announcement on aid would be made before the budget.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who has direct responsibility for the matter, said on Monday this was not the case.

"We want to make sure we're very thoughtful and doing our homework. Of course, any decision we make is not attached to the budget cycle," he told reporters in Toronto, saying his officials were making progress.

"We've been very engaged with the company, we've been making sure we're doing our due diligence ... it is a very complex issue," he added.

Quebec wants the federal government to agree to a separate board for the new CSeries jet program, eroding the influence of the company's founding family, two sources familiar with the matter said late last month.

Asked about the idea, Bains replied: "All options are part of the business case evaluation that we're looking at."   Continued...

A Bombardier C-Series aircraft is displayed at the Singapore Airshow at Changi Exhibition Center February 18, 2016.  REUTERS/Edgar Su