Canada – Rocher-Percé RCM will receive over $560,000 from the federal government to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of goods and the connectivity of Canadians across the country. The pandemic has had a major impact on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting local communities and businesses from coast to coast to coast.

Launched in March 2021, the Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) supports access to air transportation and regional ecosystems. It allows existing air connections to be maintained and helps ensure that regional airports remain operational and are able to continue contributing to economic growth in the regions, while adapting to new post–COVID-19 realities and requirements.

New routes being considered to serve the Gaspésie region
With this in mind, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue, acting on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED, today announced that the Government of Canada intends to provide the Rocher-Percé RCM (regional county municipality) with a $563,195 non‑repayable contribution for its airport, which plays a key role in the region’s economic development, including tourism.

With a total investment of $938,659, this project will enable the development of solutions aimed at improving connectivity in the Gaspésie region, specifically through the introduction of new routes, to remain in service even in winter; it will also lead to the creation of three jobs. The project involves the acquisition of an aircraft de-icing and anti-icing truck and a wheel loader.

Founded in 1986, the Rocher-Percé airport is operated and maintained by the Rocher‑Percé RCM. Located in Grande-Rivière, 35 km from the town of Percé, the airport serves the entire RCM. It handles up to 600 aircraft movements and over 2,000 passengers annually. The airport has an air terminal, sells fuel, and provides storage and long-term parking services. Following a major investment in 2020, the airport now has a runway that can accommodate larger aircraft such as Boeing 737s.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses right across Canada. It is essential to connecting Canadians living in rural and remote communities with urban centres; delivering Canadian goods on global markets; and welcoming international visitors to all parts of the country, once it is safe to do so.

“The crisis of the past year has been difficult for all of us—and for our regional airports in particular. The Percé airport, which is key to the economic development of our beautiful Gaspé Peninsula, has definitely been hard hit. One of the Government of Canada’s priorities is to ensure the prosperity of communities. I am therefore delighted that we are supporting the Rocher-Percé RCM which, with the help of our financial assistance, will be able to maintain the operations of its airport and improve the airport’s infrastructure. This is excellent news for the people of the region.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue

“Our plan to rebuild a stronger and more resilient economy includes better air connectivity in all regions, and so we need to protect our regional air transportation systems. They are vital to healthy and inclusive economic growth; they employ thousands of workers, and many businesses and communities rely on them. Our government is there to support them during these difficult times—for us, it’s more than important, it’s fundamental.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

Quick facts

The RATI, administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), has a national budget of $206 million.
The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as SMEs and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
The funding announced today is conditional on the signing of a contribution agreement between CED and the Rocher-Percé RCM.
The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links

Regional Air Transportation Initiative in Quebec
Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Media Relations

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

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