Garneau has 'mixed feelings' about Bombardier news

Garneau, the industry minister, did not immediately commit to helping the troubled company

OTTAWA – Transport Minister Marc Garneau says he has mixed feelings about Bombardier Inc.’s announcement of 7,000 job cuts, along with a deal to sell planes to Air Canada.

The minister sang the praises of the Bombardier’s new aircraft, but he did not immediately commit to helping the troubled company out of its financial difficulties.

Rather, he said the federal government wants Canada to maintain its competitive position in the global aerospace market.

Bombardier announced Wednesday it will cut 7,000 people from its global workforce, including 2,830 in Canada.

But at the same time, the aerospace manufacturer said it had a big new order from Air Canada to buy 45 CSeries 300 planes, with an option to buy up to 30 more.

Garneau said the federal government did not pressure Air Canada to buy the planes.

Related from The inside story behind the bungled Bombardier C Series

The federal government has been reviewing a request from Bombardier for financial aid to deal with the CSeries, the company’s new generation of commercial aircraft.

Bombardier repeated its request for federal aid on Wednesday.

Garneau said the government continues to ponder the request from Bombardier and that any federal investment would need to be made for solid reasons.

The Quebec government has already announced a $1-billion injection, but has made it clear that it expects Ottawa to match its investment.

The federal government is widely expected to show its intentions in its first budget in late March.