La Baie, Quebec, July 19, 2021 – 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 communities and local 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 the continuation of existing air routes and ensures airports remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.
Redesigning and expanding the airport terminal to improve connectivity for the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region
With this in mind, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Quebec Lieutenant, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Honoré-Mercier, today announced $4 million in financial support to the City of Saguenay for its regional airport on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED.
This non-repayable contribution will make it possible to upgrade the airport facilities and acquire the specialized equipment needed to improve common areas in this regional airport, while leading to the creation of 38 jobs.
The Saguenay-Bagotville airport is one of the main gateways to the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region and is a vital regional development tool since it helps to boost tourism and connectivity. Prior to the pandemic, it could be touted as the busiest regional airport in Canada in terms of flights to sun destinations and had up to 20 daily routes to Montréal.
Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses right across Canada. It is essential to connecting Canadians living in rural and remote communities to urban centres, delivering Canadian goods to the global market and welcoming international visitors to all parts of the country, when it is safe to do so.
“The Saguenay-Bagotville airport is vital to economic development and families in the region. It was hard hit by the pandemic and we are here to relaunch it as well as even improve air access to the region. We are also relaunching our aviation and aeronautics sectors because thousands of good jobs in Quebec depend on them. Our economic recovery plan focusses on innovation and we will be there to ensure that the benefits are felt by people living in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.”
The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Quebec Lieutenant, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Honoré-Mercier
“It is important to protect our regional air transportation networks for the thousands of tourists who travel through, the thousands workers employed by this sector and the many businesses and communities that depend on it. We know that air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth, and supporting it 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
- 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 RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.