Fitzgibbon suggests a scenario “negative” for Flying Whales

Fitzgibbon évoque un scénario «négatif» pour Flying Whales

The minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon was discussed Tuesday a plan B in the case where the federal government would block its project for the development of an airship for the transport of goods.

Our Bureau of investigation reported Monday that the start-up of the quebec subsidiary of the Flying Whales was hampered for months.

The federal government has multiplied the time to assess the risks of industrial espionage, due to the presence of a financial partner chinese.

AVIC, a giant of aviation, is a minority shareholder of the French parent company, Flying Whales.

During a press conference on an issue of innovation, on Tuesday, Mr Fitzgibbon says he is ready to respond in the event Ottawa deems that the quebec subsidiary is a threat to the national security of canada.

“It is not in trouble,” said Mr. Fitzgibbon, thus responding to the liberal opposition.

The mna Carlos Leitao had argued on Monday that the minister would have had to wait for all green lights Ottawa before you commit about $ 30 million in Flying Whales. According to Mr. Leitao, the risks of industrial espionage are very real, due to the presence of AVIC.


Mr. Fitzgibbon has argued that the Quebec government could recover its implementation in the quebec subsidiary, with a value of 5 million euros (about 7.8 million dollars).

“The scenario that would be negative, it is that Canada does not give its approval to the license, in which case the 5 million euros it would take back the money, he said. It is not spent.”

In the case of the investment of 15 million euros (us $ 23.2 million) in the mother house of Flying Whales, in France, Mr. Fitzgibbon has not given any sign of wanting to retrieve his bet.

“This is a project that excites me even more than it excited me at the time”, he assured.

The minister hopes that Quebec continues to be a partner of the project of development of an airship that would carry goods.

“If there is no subsidiary which is created [in Quebec], we’ll do it directly in France,” he said, suggesting that it would have the same impact in Quebec.

In November, when announcing its financial participation, Mr. Fitzgibbon believed that his investment would generate benefits of an order equivalent in research and development. The project also sought, in a second time, the manufacture of aircraft in Quebec, as well as their exploitation.

Mr. Fitzgibbon has not given, Tuesday, of details on these aspects. He hoped for a response from Ottawa by the end of August.


Despite the concerns, the minister has repeated that there is no risk of industrial espionage within the quebec subsidiary, since AVIC is not a shareholder. However, he also acknowledged his considerable contribution to the start-up of the mother house of Flying Whales.

“AVIC has been very important for the establishment of this society in France, because the engineers from AVIC had a thorough knowledge of airships”, he explained.

Mr. Fitzgibbon has not formalized the possibility that a director of the quebec subsidiary may be a former employee of the chinese company.

“It doesn’t matter if they are not shareholders, this is not serious,” he said.

Flying Whales has not been able to rule out the hypothesis that a director of its quebec subsidiary, whose name appears in the register of companies of Quebec, is an ex-employee of AVIC.

In the United States, the federal government believes that AVIC is controlled by the chinese military.

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