A few months ago I wrote a letter outlining why we need to support Bombardier’s C-Series jet. In it, I outlined how despite the detractions of a rigged Wall Street where Boeing carries a lot of weight and influence, and some voices in Bay Street who pretty much just parrot whatever their American masters tell them, everybody in the aviation industry agreed that the C-Series jet was one hell of a technological advancement, and the jet was actually outperforming the already-ambitious technical specifications Bombardier strove to achieve.
As of last week, the C-Series has carried its first paid-passenger scheduled flight for SwissAir, has landed an order for 125 aircraft from US giant Delta, 30-60 aircraft for Air Canada, as well as numerous other smaller orders. Bombardier is not yet fully cruising with a successful business plan, but it appears that for the most part, the C-Series will fly, it will work its way into the market, and Bombardier has managed to wiggle its way into what was once a global duopoly between the heavily subsidized super corporations of French Airbus and American Boeing.
In a related note, last week I was part of an embarrassing episode in which a local resource worker openly and loudly confronted a visiting Quebec tourist. He called Quebecers a bunch of freeloaders, and outlined how us Westerners are tired of working hard so Quebecers can do nothing and live off transfer payments. It has spurred me to really resent the attitude we have in the West. Where does this come from? This misplaced sense of self-importance? While Quebec is producing world-class aircraft, we in the “West” are selling raw resources for cheap, and then having the nerve to lecture?
I truly hope that the sad chapter in Canadian history that was “The West Wants In” can finally be closed. The idea that Canada can be an advanced economy with resource extraction leading the way is an economic joke. The failed policies of our last federal government to try to make Canada an “energy superpower” have fail spectacularly. One need only look at Alberta to see where having no advanced industry or manufacturing sector of note gets you. In other news, last month Ontario announced that its economy seems to be back on track for growth, and its manufacturing and tech sector are seeing reasonable growth. BC seems to have weathered fine for now, thanks to a diversified tech sector, booming tourism sector, as well as a real estate market that seems to be immune to global economic woes for now. If BC was as dependent on resource harvesting now as we were 30 years ago, we would be in the same boat as Alberta.
Can we please leave the petty childish days of “The West Wants In” behind us? And next time you see a fellow Canadian from the beautiful Province of Quebec, compliment them on the C-Series. I can tell you, as a Canadian I do not go around the world bragging about how good we are at raping raw resources. I am sure proud that our tiny nation can take on the likes of Boeing and Airbus, and manage to win.