Confederation College to expand its aviation program, enhancing growth and competitiveness as the economy recovers

News release

The Government of Canada is providing $1 million to support Confederation College, helping Northern Ontario’s aerospace sector to rebound

April 11, 2022 – Thunder Bay, ON – Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology delivers post-secondary education and training to an average of 7,000 students each year. To help it recover from the impacts of the pandemic, the college will receive a non-repayable contribution of $1 million from FedNor. This support, granted through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI), will enable Confederation College to implement the Northwestern Ontario Aviation Expansion project.

Today’s funding announcement was made by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North.

To help meet the growing demand for qualified aviation professionals across the country and around the globe, this strategic initiative will enable Confederation College to strengthen and expand its Aviation Program to meet industry needs. Specifically, this targeted investment will support the acquisition of state-of-the-art multi-engine training simulators, five Cessna 172 trainer aircrafts, lab renovations and site improvements. Once fully implemented, this three-year initiative is expected to enhance program offerings, promote Indigenous participation in aviation, increase domestic and international enrolment by more than 70 students each year, while creating 10 full-time jobs in the Thunder Bay region.

Aerospace is a pillar of the economy and of innovation in Canada. It is one of the most research‑intensive and export-focused manufacturing industries, employing over 230,000 highly qualified people in regions across the country. The aerospace sector is essential to the economic development of communities and businesses from coast to coast to coast. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting businesses within Canada’s aerospace sector by helping them recover and seize opportunities to contribute to the country’s future growth.

Quotes

“Small and medium-sized aerospace businesses have a central role to play in our country’s economic recovery. This support is key for the hundreds of thousands of workers this sector employs and for the good jobs it generates, which strengthens our region and helps the industry remain competitive internationally.”

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North

“This investment in Confederation College will help ensure our aerospace industry is well positioned to emerge from the pandemic with the capacity to compete on the global stage. I am pleased this strategic initiative will help create 10 local jobs, increase Indigenous and international enrolment, while helping to meet the growing demand for qualified aviation professionals here at home and around the world.”

- Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River

“Confederation College is incredibly appreciative of the FedNor funding and the significant investment it is making in the ability of the College to meet the demands of an aviation industry that so many communities in Northern Ontario depend upon for the transportation of goods, services and people. The funding also enables the College to provide and expand state-of-the-art programming for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to be successful in aviation careers.”

- Kathleen Lynch, President of Confederation College

Quick facts

  • Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) with a national budget of $250 million over three years, the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) complements other measures announced in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. It is part of a global Government of Canada strategy that includes measures being implemented by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to boost the aerospace industry.

  • A total of $11.88 million has been allocated to FedNor to administer the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative in Northern Ontario over three years, ending March 31, 2024.

  • Located at the Thunder Bay International Airport, Confederation College’s Aviation program features a 59,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Aviation Centre of Excellence, which includes two large hangers, classrooms, shops and labs for three aviation programs.

Associated links

Contacts

Alison Murphy, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor
Alison.Murphy@sac-isc.gc.ca

Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
Media Relations

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