The aerospace industry, particularly in Quebec, is eagerly awaiting decisions from the new Liberal government on whether it will support industry giant Bombardier with federal money and sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, which industry says offers “tremendous export potential.” Adam Taylor, a director at Ensight Canada’s international trade practice, told The Hill Times last week that the big decisions facing the government aren’t seen as issues that will define the new government in the province. “I don’t think these are make-or-break issues for the government,” he said. “I think they have lots of time to do lots of good things in every region of the country to drive their agenda forward.” Mr. Taylor, who worked in former International Trade minister Ed Fast’s office, said that anything the new government does early on will be based on what they feel they’ve been given a mandate to follow through on. But going forward they’ve got a long enough runway to do other things for the industry to offset or compliment these early decisions. The new government would be looking at the role it should play in the sector as well as how voters, stakeholders and the media would likely respond to its actions. With the Prime Minister from the province, Quebec is a “place of strength” for the government, and the Liberals will be able to sell whichever decision they reach on both files, Mr. Taylor said. The Liberals won 40 seats in Quebec in the Oct. 19 election, and Mr. Trudeau named six Cabinet ministers from the province. As of deadline, Bombardier is waiting on the federal government’s decision on whether or not it will chip in to help the financially-strapped Canadian aerospace company. Bombardier’s CSeries 100 to 149-seat aircraft line is facing major delays and costing billions more than projected. The company posted a $4.9-billion loss in the last quarter. CEO Alain Bellemare has addressed Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains directly with the company’s proposal. The amount requested is unknown, but after the Quebec government said it would provide $1.3-billion to help the company complete the planes, Jacques Daoust, Quebec’s minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports, said he expected the federal government to do the same. The province now holds a 49.5 per cent stake in the C-Series project. Last week, Bombardier sold 30 per cent of its rail business to the Quebec pension fund for $1.5-billion. Mr.Bains addressed the aerospace industry during a keynote speech at the Canadian Aerospace Summit last week at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. The minister made a passing mention of Montreal being a hub for the industry and focused on representing the industry at the Cabinet table. He said he wanted the government to remain a strong partner as they work to develop the industry’s skilled workforce and open up international markets. President of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, Jim Quick, told the summit that the industry would be a “cooperative, constructive partner” as the minister sets to work delivering on his mandate. Following his speech, Mr. Bains offered little detail to reporters about his plans for Bombardier. The government is looking at the proposed business case and would make a “responsible decision in the best interest of taxpayers,” he said. “We’re going to make sure we look for what the best value for Canadian dollars is. We’re going to make sure we focus on what’s good for the economy, will help grow the economy, create jobs, and so we’re looking at the business case to make sure we do our due diligence and do our homework,” he said. In Quebec, Bombardier looms large as one of the sector’s anchor companies, said Mr. Taylor, but the “Liberal governments of past have never shied away from making financial assistance contributions to companies.” They can present it, if they do opt to invest, as an economic driver for the sector, he said. As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, since forming government the Liberals haven’t had much to say on the fate of the deal agreed to by the last government during the election, saying only that they are reviewing it. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to “seriously evaluate” and allow for a “full and open public debate in Parliament to ensure Canadians are consulted on this historic trade agreement.” According to Aéro Montréal, a government-supported think tank that includes all the major decision makers in the Québec aerospace sector, the province’s aerospace cluster views the TPP as offering “tremendous export potential” for the industry. “Just like free trade agreements signed in the past, such a breakthrough would allow us to further consolidate our favourable position in the global supply chain and give us easier access to the very large and growing market covered by the TPP,” said Suzanne M. Benoît, president of Aéro Montréal, in a statement before the negotiations were finalized. Mr. Taylor said there likely won’t be a serious political impact from the Liberals’ TPP decision, since the Conservatives didn’t receive much of a bump when they announced the deal during the campaign. He said the merits of the deal will have to be evaluated over the long term to be fully comprehended. According to the Quebec government, the province’s aerospace sector includes more than 205 companies, 41,750 workers, and $13.8-billion in annual sales. The foundation of Quebec’s aerospace cluster is built upon four corners: Bombardier, Bell Helicopter, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and CAE. Aerospace is Quebec’s main export engine, according to AeroMontreal: more than 80 per cent of its products are sold in foreign markets, representing nearly 13 per cent of Quebec’s total manufacturing exports and 60 per cent of Canada’s aerospace industry exports.