Pre­mier's Sainte-Anne vi­sit high­lights mil­lion dol­lar deal

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

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.

In­vest­ment

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.

PHOTO PASCALE LÉ­VESQUE

Québec Pre­mier Jean Cha­rest was in Sainte-Anne-de-Bel­le­vue Mon­day to an­nounce up to $19 mil­lion in fun­ding for com­pa­ny MDA.

PHOTO PASCALE LÉ­VESQUE

The Sainte-Anne-de-Bel­le­vue’s com­pa­ny builds so­phis­ti­ca­ted sa­tel­lite sys­tems.

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