News / Winnipeg

Cool your jets: Bombardier dispute is bigger than Quebec, says Winnipeg mayor

Brian Bowman calls for 'cooler heads,' while highlighting Winnipeg's major role in the aerospace sector.

The Bombardier CS 300 performs its demonstration flight during the Paris Air Show, at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris on June 15, 2015.

Francois Mori / The Canadian Press

The Bombardier CS 300 performs its demonstration flight during the Paris Air Show, at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris on June 15, 2015.

There are plenty of Boeing planes, parts and employees in Winnipeg – and that shouldn't be overlooked as the aerospace industry trade dispute rages on.

That's according to Mayor Brian Bowman, who called for "cooler heads to prevail" on Thursday, after the U.S. Department of Commerce proposed a 219.6-per-cent tarif on Montreal-based Bombardier’s C-Series aircraft. The steep duty is in response to government subsidies that give the Canadian manufacturer a leg-up on American competitor Boeing.

Addressing comments from Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard—who, in defence of Bombardier, stated “not a bolt, not a part, (and), of course, not a plane from Boeing (should be) entering Canada" until the dispute is resolved—Brian Bowman said the premier “ignored the reality of the Canadian aerospace industry.”

Namely, that Quebec is not the only province affected by the dispute, as the third-largest aerospace centre in Canada, and the largest hub of aerospace workers in Western Canada, “is right here in Winnipeg.”

In a statement, Bowman said Winnipeg aerospace companies have exported more than $3 billion in product in the past decade alone.

“We want to see the industry succeed nationwide, we want to see a thriving industry in Quebec, we also want to see it thriving here in Winnipeg and across Canada,” he said Thursday.

Premier Brian Pallister echoed that sentiment, calling Couillard's comments "overheated rhetoric."

More on Metronews.ca