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Speeches

WestCaRD – West Canitest R & D Inc.

January 27, 2012
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Notes for an address by

The Honourable Lynne Yelich
Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

Federal Funding Announcement

Corresponding Document: News Release | Photo Gallery

Check Against Delivery

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to begin by acknowledging the other speakers here today: Ross Hornby from GE Canada; Kim Olson from StandardAero; and Vic Gerden from WestCaRD. I would also like to acknowledge my colleague, the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister of Manitoba.

Our Government recognizes that Canada’s economic competitiveness increasingly depends on knowledge and innovation, and that by driving innovation in our advanced technology sectors, we can help generate high-value jobs and economic growth in our communities.

Canada’s aerospace sector, for example, is an integral part of our economy and is among the leaders in research and development in the country. With all four western provinces being home to internationally-recognized aerospace companies, it is also a sector that is of significant interest to me and my department, Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Here in the West, the industry supports the employment of approximately 27,000 people and generates over $4.5 billion in annual revenues covering a wide range of both civil and defense aerospace activities1. By enabling this key sector to continue to succeed and thrive in a globally competitive environment, we can help ensure it remains at the forefront of contributing to a stronger and more diverse western Canadian economy.

That is why I am pleased to announce today that our Government, through WD, is investing $5 million in support of the West Canitest R & D Inc. (WestCaRD) project. This investment will allow WestCaRD to purchase specialized equipment related to smart sensor technology; high speed data systems; noise and emissions reduction; structural ceramic composites; and improved aerospace testing certification.

This equipment, which will be located at the Research Development Test Centre at the Winnipeg International Airport, will support WestCaRD in working with Manitoba companies on industrial research projects to develop new materials and processes. I had the pleasure of visiting the test site this morning and was impressed with its leading-edge capabilities, much like the testing site that I visited in Thompson in October, 2010. What a way to make the cold work to your advantage!

I know that this project will involve work with the Glacier/EnviroTREC facility in Thompson to maximize opportunities that broaden Manitoba’s environmental testing capabilities as well as solidify Manitoba as the preferred region for ice testing – both nationally and internationally.

Moreover, WestCaRD will have the potential to benefit other stakeholders in the Manitoba aerospace industry, including Red River College; The University of Manitoba; Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.; EnviroTREC; The Composites Innovation Centre; Boeing Canada; and Magellan Aerospace.

I would also like to extend my thanks to GE Canada and StandardAero for partnering with WestCaRD on this initiative. Through this collaborative effort to support this world-class facility, we have taken an important step towards strengthening and deepening the aerospace cluster in Manitoba.

Our Government is supporting initiatives like WestCaRD because they will create opportunities for Manitoba companies to create jobs and foster economic growth.

Our Government continues to make targeted investments to promote and encourage the commercialization of new technologies that result from research and development.

Projects like this are vital to building a stronger West for a stronger Canada.

Thank you. Merci beaucoup.

_________________

1 The Strategic and Economic Impact of the Canadian Aerospace Industry, Deloitte (October 2010). Available online at: http://aiac.ca/uploadedFiles/AIAC_ExecSummary%20-%20Final%20_2_.pdf

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