New helicopter showcases the talent of Quebec’s aerospace workers

News Release

Bell Helicopter’s new assembly line helps to secure more than 100 skilled jobs 

February 9, 2017 – Mirabel, Quebec – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada 

Quebecers working in the province’s world-class aerospace sector showcased their talents as Bell Helicopter unveiled the first completed model of its latest aircraft since the company established a new assembly program in Mirabel last year. 

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, took part in a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter from the production line. Christine St-Pierre, Quebec Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Laurentides region, also took part in the event on behalf of Dominique Anglade, Quebec Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy.  

More than 100 highly skilled jobs in Quebec were secured following the Texas-based helicopter manufacturer’s decision to assemble its new 505 helicopter in Mirabel.

The decision represents a vote of confidence in the highly skilled workers at the Mirabel plant who carry out flight testing, certification and final assembly of the new model. It also secures opportunities for future models of Bell’s commercial helicopters to be tested, certified and assembled at the Mirabel plant. That’s how workers in the aerospace sector will develop the skills that prepare them for the well-paying jobs of the future. 

This investment by a global company demonstrates that Canada is an ideal location for advanced manufacturing because of its highly skilled workforce and the culture of innovation that exists in this country’s aerospace industry. 

The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda will promote clean growth, quality jobs and higher living standards for the middle class. Investments in the aerospace sector, a major driver of innovation, are key elements of this plan.


“When looking for locations to make investments, companies such as Bell Helicopter look for the most innovative countries—the ones with the most skilled and creative people who can turn ideas into solutions. Our government’s support for innovation in the aerospace sector is a key part of our plan to drive economic growth to create a better Canada. That means better jobs, better opportunities and better living standards for all Canadians. Bell’s investments in this country will keep the aerospace industry globally competitive and ensure that well-paying middle-class jobs stay in Canada.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Throughout the years, the aerospace sector has capitalized on its efficient supply chain, highly skilled workforce and considerable capacity for innovation. The assembly of the Bell 505 in Mirabel shines a light on our world-class expertise. This project clearly demonstrates our know-how in the aerospace field. The Government of Quebec is proud to celebrate this launch, which aligns perfectly with the 2016-2026 Québec Aerospace Strategy.”

– Christine St-Pierre, Quebec Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Laurentides region

Quick Facts

  • Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., specializes in manufacturing commercial helicopters. The company has 900 employees in Canada, with a majority of them based in Mirabel.
  • Canada’s aerospace industry contributes more than $28 billion and 211,000 jobs to the Canadian economy.
  • Canadian aerospace manufacturing is the top investor in research and development across the country’s manufacturing industries.
  • Nearly 80 percent of made-in-Canada aerospace products are exported.
  • The Government of Canada has been a customer of Bell Helicopter since the 1990s and most recently in 2014.


Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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