Government of Canada announces support for British Columbia’s aerospace sector

News release

Over $7.5M to support B.C.'s aerospace sector

Announcement made by the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan in address to attendees of the 2022 Aerospace, Defence & Security Expo

August 3, 2022 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Pacific Economic Development Canada

British Columbia is one of the largest aerospace clusters in Canada with over 200 companies operating in the sector. Each year, the Aerospace, Defence and Security Expo (ADSE) brings together industry stakeholders to network and capitalize on opportunities in domestic and international markets.

That is why the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) addressed ADSE attendees at a lunchtime session today where he announced over $7.5 million under the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) for three B.C. organizations: Avcorp Industries, Inc., the University of Victoria, and Chinook Helicopters, Inc. The funding announced today will help the three organizations to innovate, commercialize technologies, and improve global competitiveness while creating 110 jobs in B.C.’s aerospace sector.

During his remarks, Minister Sajjan reaffirmed his support for ADSE and underscored the importance of Canada’s aerospace and defense sectors to the B.C. economy. PacifiCan provides funding to the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) to deliver ADSE and support western Canada’s aerospace and defense industries at home and abroad.

PacifiCan is the dedicated federal regional economic development agency for British Columbia and plays a key role in supporting the aerospace industry. This includes working with local stakeholders to leverage economic opportunities associated with federal defence procurements under the Government of Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs) policy.

Projects being funded

Organization: Chinook Helicopters (1982), Inc.
Project description: Develop and commercialize a Virtual Reality Training and Simulation system
Funding: $1,171,800

Organization: Avcorp Industries Inc.
Project description: Adopt digital technologies to create efficiencies and enhance productivity
Funding: $4,862,250

Organization: University of Victoria
Project description: Develop Hybrid Electric Propulsion Systems
Funding: $1,500,000

Total funding: $7,534,050


“PacifiCan is committed to building an inclusive and dynamic economy that ensures that all areas receive the support they need to prosper. My agency has long been a committed advocate of a thriving B.C. aerospace sector and we will continue to work with this industry to promote growth, innovation and an increased presence on the competitive global stage.”
–The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“Canada’s aerospace sector remains the most innovative industry and a key driver of our nation’s economy providing nearly 200,000 jobs in every region of Canada. These projects, and the support of the Government of Canada, will ensure our aerospace industry continues to contribute to the economic recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. We look forward to continued collaboration as we set a course for a long-term vision and plan for decades to come.”
–Mike Mueller, President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) will help the Canadian aerospace sector emerge from the pandemic with the capacity to compete on the global stage. With a total budget of $250 million over three years (until March 31, 2024), this initiative is being delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs). 

  • ARRI was developed to help Canadian companies emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with the capacity to compete on the global stage. In British Columbia, ARRI is delivered by PacifiCan.

  • Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) is the regional development agency focused on British Columbia’s evolving economy. PacifiCan leads in building a strong, competitive Canadian economy by supporting business, innovation and community economic development unique to British Columbia.

  • For over 50 years, the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada has worked with its members to develop what is today the fifth-largest national aerospace industry in the world.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development

Ben Letts
Senior Communications Advisor
Pacific Economic Development Canada

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