Government Updates

Looking for the full list of government COVID-19 programs and resources? Click here.

Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED)

Topic Description

Budget 2021

On April 19, 2021, the Federal Government released Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience and AIAC’s advocacy efforts proved successful.

Budget 2021 includes sector-specific support measures for Canada’s aerospace industry as part of the government’s economic recovery plan.

Click here for details.

ISED Payment Deferrals

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, AIAC has been aggressively lobbying both the political, and public service side, of the federal government to defer repayment obligations for the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI).

On March 31, AIAC informed members that the Minister has approved a 9-month deferral for:

  • Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI),
  • Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC),
  • Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF),
  • Program for Strategic Industrial Projects (PSIP).

This decision rightly recognizes the need to relieve some of the financial pressure our member companies are facing during these uncertain times.

We are told that in the coming months, ISED will work with affected companies to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule.

The deferral will cover repayments due to the Government between April 1 and December 31, 2020.

Read the letter from ISED

COVID19 Funding for Innovators

UPDATED [May 7]: Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) has dedicated funding to help combat current and future outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and other similar threats.

The program will help support the Government of Canada’s fight against COVID-19 by funding R&D and testing prototypes in real-life settings that can help protect Canadians.

Sign-up to the ISC newsfeed to get a notification when new funding opportunities launch.

Learn More

Plans for COVID-19 Research

On March 23, Prime Minister Trudeau announced $275 million for coronavirus research and medical countermeasures (potential vaccines and treatments), as part of the more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund.

Read the announcement

Interactive Business Benefits Finder

NEW [May 7]: Get connected with the right supports quickly!

The Interactive Business Benefits Finder through Innovation Canada is a new digital platform that brings together all of the latest COVID supports for businesses, as well as hundreds of other programs and services offered by federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Businesses answer a few quick questions and get access to:

  • Opportunities to find funding, wage subsidies, loans, tax credits and expert advice offered by government and some not-for-profits;
  • A tailored list of the right supports for their business, delivered in under 2 minutes;
  • The option to save favourite programs to review later;
  • An email notification feature to sign up to get emails whenever a program changes, an application deadline approaches, or a brand new program is introduced that meets their needs, including new COVID-19 supports.

Visit the website

Transport Canada

Topic Details

Transport Canada COVID-19 Resources for Industry

Are you looking for information and updates on transportation-related measures taken by Transport Canada in response to COVID-19?

UPDATED DAILY – the Transport Canada site contains a comprehensive list of regulatory exemptions, guidance and policy measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information for civil aviation is also provided to CARAC subscribers.

Visit the Transport Canada website

Transport Canada List of Aviation Essential Workers

Following concerted efforts from AIAC for the inclusion of Canada’s aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul workers in the essential aviation workers designation, AIAC President and CEO Jim Quick, received confirmation on March 30 from the Director General of Civil Aviation at Transport Canada.

Originally, the essential aviation list only included parts distributors and suppliers. The list now includes:

Parts manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and repair and overhaul organisations

Please click below to read the entire letter, and annex list, regarding the categories of employees included in the delivery of essential aviation transportation services.

Read the letter

AIAC thanks Transport Canada for their cooperation and prompt action.

For more information, please contact Mark Beauregard, AIAC’s Vice President for Regulatory Affairs.

Transport Canada Regulatory exemptions

AIAC continues its close collaboration with Transport Canada, other regulators and ICAO to encourage regulatory flexibility during the current crisis.

Of note, TCCA has updated in policies to allow on a case-by-case basis, flexibility for an air operator’s scheduled maintenance program. Please refer to TCCA IPB/BIP 2020-01.

AIAC expects that TCCA will publish additional alleviating measures for Canadian civil aviation stakeholders during the coming days.

For more information, please contact Mark Beauregard, AIAC’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs.

COVID-19 Mitigation Measures from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Given that many AIAC members have business relationships and dealings with the United States, below is a weblink the consolidates information on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) COVID-19 mitigation measures.

The FAA actions are similar to those being undertaken in Canada by Transport Canada.

Go to the FAA website

Public Services and Procurement Canada

Topic Description

Messages for government contractors and suppliers

In light of the situation with COVID-19, the Government has posted some updates relevant to the contractor and procurement community.

Updates for contractors          Procurement Updates

If you are a business or supplier with a question regarding procurement, there are several ways to contact PSPC depending on the nature of your question:


For information about emergency goods and services needed to support the Government of Canada’s action plan for COVID-19, please go to the Calling all suppliers – Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) web page.

Procurement specialists are assessing, categorizing and prioritizing submissions against the Government’s COVID-19 response needs and will contact suppliers who can meet identified requirements as they arise.

Please note that this does not mean every company that has submitted a response will be contacted.

To stay informed on the latest procurement-related newstenders and website updates are posted on the website

General Questions

For general questions about procurement or to find tender opportunities or register for a Procurement Business Number:

For a question specific to a tendering opportunity or an awarded contract, contact the contracting authority identified in the tender information or the contract.

Update on Saudi Arabia export permit process and LAV contract

The Canadian government has announced that it will be reviewing export permit applications on a case-by-case basis, ending a ban on new permits for shipments of controlled goods to Saudi Arabia imposed in the fall of 2018.

The announcement comes following the conclusion of a review of export permits to Saudi Arabia conducted by officials from Global Affairs Canada, including those related to a 2014 contract signed between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Crown corporation, for the sale of light armoured vehicles.

Read the announcement

Opportunity to Help Produce Parts for Ventilators

VentConnect (, a marketplace created by AdvaMed and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) in the US with assistance from Google, connects suppliers to ventilator manufacturers.  At least two large ventilator manufacturers are actively sourcing on VentConnect.

Suppliers complete a profile describing the types of parts they can manufacture, then VentConnect shares this with manufacturers, who send the supplier their needed parts lists. Contractual discussions take place directly between the supplier and the ventilator manufacturer.

Click here for some FAQs on the VentConnect website. Click here to read the announcement.

Topic Description

Joint Directive on Public Health Measures and Personal Protection

General J.H. Vance, Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff and Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defence, have issued a joint directive implementing personal health measures and the use of personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to preserve the health and security of the entire defence team and their families, while ensuring continued business continuity and readiness for operations.

This directive applies to all DND employees, all officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and any other persons granted access to defence establishments.

Read the directive (PDF)

CF Snowbirds launch Cross-Country Tour - Operation Inspiration

NEW [as of April 29]: Starting in Nova Scotia this weekend and working west throughout the week, the CF Snowbirds will cross the country to salute Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Locations, routes, & times will be released on their social media each day. Visit their Twitter account (@cfsnowbirds) and their website for more information.

Learn More

Other Government Announcements

Topic Description

Aerospace as an essential service

Federal Government Updates

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, AIAC has been aggressively lobbying both the political and public servant sides of the federal and provincial governments for a consistent, pan-Canadian approach to the designation of the aerospace, defence and space sectors as essential services in all of Canada’s provinces and territories. (Read our March 23 letter to the Prime Minister and Premiers.)

We’re happy to inform that on April 2, the Federal Government, through Public Safety Canada, issued such guidance.

AIAC has been working non-stop to ensure that aerospace is included and thanks to your support, aerospace is specifically mentioned for both manufacturing and MRO, and defence.  We will be lobbying all provinces to adopt this pan-Canadian approach.

Here is the list of essential services, specific to our industry:

  • Workers necessary for the manufacturing of inputs, materials and products needed for medical devices and drug supply chains, transportation, shipping, energy, communications, aerospace, shipbuilding, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, sanitation, water and wastewater treatment, banknotes, emergency services and defence and security;
  • Workers necessary for manufacturing, maintenance, and servicing in the defence and aerospace sectors;
  • Aircraft and ship Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), including refuelling as well as routine maintenance;
  • Workers in organizations that provide transportation services to businesses and individuals, including by air, water, road, and rail, including providing logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, including truck stops and tow operators;
  • Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers;
  • Air transportation employees, including pilots, flight attendants and flight crew, air traffic controllers, ramp personnel, aviation security, and aviation management;
  • Workers who support the maintenance and operation of cargo by air transportation, including flight crews, maintenance, airport operations, and other on-and off-airport facilities workers.

See the full list

Canada-US Border Updates

UPDATE [May 19]: Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that an agreement has been reached between Canada and the United States to keep the border closed to all non-essential travel for another month, until June 21, while cautioning that it could still be months before non-essential travel is allowed.

UPDATE [April 27]: The non-essential travel restrictions between Canada and the United States have been extended to May 21, 2020. Additionally, it is now the responsibility of all air travellers to bring & wear face coverings when travelling. They will not be provided at the airport. If you do not have one, you will not be permitted to continue your travels.

Implications for the aerospace industry

We understand that many of you have questions related to the ability of goods and services to enter Canada.  We reached out to Government and have received the following information:

The intent of the measures is to restrict leisure travel; the term ‘essential’ was used in the generic sense to distinguish business/commercial activity required for economic integrity reasons vs discretionary/tourism personal travel.

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) is capable of processing all commercial entries and essential travel.

The CBSA has expanded its services available to provide information for the air, land, rail or marine modes using an existing automated 1-800-461-9999 Border Information Service Line (BIS) that is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an automated, bilingual, interactive voice response system to provide basic information for travelers and businesses.

Should the automated answers provided through the Border Information Service Line not address the individual questions or concerns from the traveler or business, the caller may select an option (press “0”) to speak to a Border Information Service Line Officer.

Border Information Service Line Officers will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to specific questions from travelers and businesses related to their travel.

Essential Service Designation - Mexico

AIAC has been working to help resolve cross-jurisdictional supply chain issues resulting from differing essential service designations across Canada, and the world. On April 9 and April 17, we sent letters to the Mexican government on behalf of our members experiencing difficulties.

On May 12, the Mexican Health Council approved four agreements for the progressive lifting of containment measures relating to COVID-19, including one that recognizes the “manufacturing of transport equipment” (including aerospace, railway, shipping and automotive construction) as an essential activity.

Based on these agreements, aerospace companies can now start preparing their safety protocols to comply with all required sanitary measures to gradually reopen as of June 1.

Government Announces Waiving of Tarriffs on PPE

NEW [May 7]: Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced the government is waiving tariffs on certain medical goods, including PPE such as masks and gloves, to reduce the cost of importing these items for Canadian businesses, which face tariffs of up to 18 per cent in some instances.

Read the announcement