Madam Speaker, I am pleased to respond to comments made by the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot regarding aerospace.
We all know and fully recognize that great Canadian industries have been disrupted.
We know that Canadian workers and businesses have all been facing economic uncertainty and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our government recognizes the importance of supporting the sectors that have been hardest hit by the current global pandemic, including, of course, the aerospace industry. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight our support to all sectors.
Our COVID-19 economic response plan includes broad measures to help Canadian businesses, small and large, weather this unprecedented storm. This includes the business credit availability program, the Canada emergency business account, the Canada emergency wage subsidy and, of course, the large employer emergency financing facility.
Let me be clear. Our government remains fully committed to supporting the aerospace sector and its workers in both the short term and the long term.
We have always gone to bat for Canada's aerospace workers, and we will keep doing so.
The aerospace industry in Quebec and across Canada is an extremely important industry for jobs, innovation and technology developments in Canada. In fact, as I am sure the member is fully aware, green aviation is an area where Canada is truly a global powerhouse. To be more specific, the two aircraft in the world that have environmental product designations are assembled right here in Canada.
We know that aerospace is one of the most innovative and export-driven industries in Canada. It contributed over $25 billion in gross domestic product and more than 210,000 jobs to the Canadian economy in 2018. The aerospace industry is also the number one research and development player among all Canadian manufacturing industries, with an R and D investment of $1.5 billion in 2018, representing, I might add, approximately a quarter of all manufacturing R and D undertaken in Canada. The industry is national in scope, with important aerospace clusters in each region of the country, comprised of maintenance work, suppliers or large manufacturers.
Canada, in other words, is an innovative global leader in the aerospace industry, and we know that Quebeckers, and indeed Canadians across the country, rightfully take enormous pride in this sector. Our government has provided significant funding since 2015 to support the aerospace and space industries through innovation programs, including of course the strategic innovation fund. These key investments are driving ongoing advancements in this sector as it transitions to be cleaner, more innovative and more competitive.
Our funding, in turn, has leveraged significant private sector investments to better position the aerospace industry in Canada. Throughout this process our government has engaged with industry partners and has been extremely proactive in promoting Canada's aerospace sector. We are working closely with our partners on various issues that have arisen since the onset of the pandemic. We appreciate this ongoing—