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Military deal guarantees StandardAero jobs

Published by CME Manitoba on February 03, 2017

This article appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on  February 3, 2017

OTTAWA — Winnipeg’s Standard­Aero facility will get a four-year, $45-million contract to overhaul engines for the Canadian military.

Winnipeg Liberal MP Doug Eyolfson made the announcement at Standard­Aero’s Sargent Avenue facility Friday afternoon.

"It’s very good news for the local economy," Eyolfson said.

However, it’s not clear how many new jobs will be created. Eyolfson said it helps ensure existing jobs continue, but the company wasn’t clear how many new jobs might result.

The contract will see Winnipeg workers repairing T56 engines for Canada’s fleet of CP-140 Auroras, which are maritime patrol planes, and CC-130H Hercules.

The Hercules, which Canada began replenishing in 2010, are used for troop transport, search-and-rescue missions, air-to-air refuelling, aircrew training and tactical airlifts.

Canada has 18 Auroras and 13 Hercules. There are some Hercules based at 17 Wing in Winnipeg, but the Auroras are located in British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

Another $45-million, 51-month contract was given to Magellan Aerospace in Mississauga, Ont., for engine maintenance on Canada’s CF-18 Hornets.

The contracts are for an initial period of four years and three months. The $45-million price tag is flexible and can be adjusted each year depending on need and budgets. The contract can be renewed at the end of the 51 months, possibly as long as the life span of the planes.

They are the first contracts the Canadian military has issued with that flexibility.

Both StandardAero and Magellan are required to invest the value of the contracts into the economy, creating jobs at their Canadian facilities.

Eyolfson said it doesn’t make sense not to be flexible. He added that if needs are greater, the company might get more work.

The announcement comes as the federal government is trying to make amends with Manitoba’s aerospace industry following legislation that eliminated the requirement for Air Canada to keep high-paying, heavy-maintenance jobs in the city.

Eyolfson, whose Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley riding is home to many of Manitoba’s aerospace companies, has received the brunt of the local criticism, particularly because he initially said he would vote against the legislation, but changed his mind when his vote would have meant the bill would pass or fail.

He said he has heard from some people who are upset with the government for its aerospace decisions, but he said it’s not a large number.

In addition to the announcement, the government contract for heavy maintenance on new search-and-rescue planes will bring an estimated 100 new jobs to the city after the first planes are delivered in 2019.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has also said Winnipeg stands to benefit from plans to buy new fighter jets and refurbish CF-18s to keep them airworthy.

No specifics of that plan have been released.





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