MONTREAL (Reuters) - Quebec said on Wednesday it would consider contributing further to Bombardier Inc’s (BBDb.TO) CSeries jet, after making a $1.3 billion investment in the troubled program last year, Canadian media reported.
Quebec’s Transportation Minister Jacques Daoust said in the province’s provincial parliament that he would be willing to help Bombardier once again if the Canadian government failed to invest in the Canadian plane and train manufacturer by March 31.
“If by March 31 the federal government isn’t there, the Quebec government will have a decision to make. But we have always supported Bombardier. It is a jewel of our economy and we will make sure it continues that way,” said Daoust who was quoted by the French-language Journal de Montreal.
Bombardier accounts for about 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in Quebec, with average salaries almost double the provincial average, according to provincial data.
Daoust agreed to invest $1 billion in the 100-160 seat CSeries jets in October when he was Quebec’s economy minister.. The CSeries is expected to enter service this year, after years of delays and snowballing costs.
Canada’s Liberal government is now considering whether to invest in the program, which has not had a new order in more than a year.
On Jan. 27, shares of Canadian train and plane maker Bombardier closed below C$1 for the first time since 1991, putting the company at risk of being pushed out of major Canadian indices.
Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Cynthia Osterman