Premier's Sainte-Anne visit highlights million dollar deal
Québec Premier Jean Charest was in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Monday to announce a $19 million investment in space and technology company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.
The funding infusion will help the specialized company that is a leader in space satellite and antenna technology compete in a highly competitive global industry, saidMDA Director General Marc Donato.
Donato also admitted that the company had fallen behind its competition on the world market in previous years, but said the government aid would help them catch up.
In all, the Québec government will give MDA $9 million in non-refundable investments, while offering them up to $9 million more in the form of an interest-free loan. The company can count on another $900,000 from Emploi-Québec, the Premier said, adding the money must go toward training MDA employees in the highly specialized space industry market. The move is expected to help some 200 Quebecers get jobs in the industry.
Mr. Charest, clad in a blue MDA lab coat, said the investment will help the company develop satellite systems throughout the world. "This is an incredible story for Québec and Quebecers," he noted.
The announcement was made during a well attended press conference held in a futuristic chamber.
To get there guests and reporters had to travel through a labyrinthine series of highly secureMDAlabs.
Clément Gignac, minister of economic development, innovation and exportation, was also present, as were Jacques-Cartier MP Geoffrey Kelley, and Sainte-Anne-deBellevue mayor Francis Deroo.
MDA, incorporated in 1969 by British Columbia entrepreneurs John MacDonald and Werner Dettwiler, is part of a global space market providing highly skilled satellite and antenna services.
The company has worked with NASA, creating and supplying five robotic arms, called Canadarms, for NASA shuttles. The first robotic arm was part of the Space Shuttle Columbia, in November 1981. One MDArobotic arm was destroyed during the Space Shuttle Challenger accident in 1986.
MDA employs over 3,200 people through offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
Québec Premier Jean Charest was in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Monday to announce up to $19 million in funding for company MDA.
The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue’s company builds sophisticated satellite systems.