Statement from MP Irene Mathyssen on Diamond Aircraft Layoffs
March 28th, 2011 - 6:59pm
LONDON –Diamond Aircraft announced today the temporary lay-off of 213 employees at its London Ontario facility. The job cuts affect mostly D-JET program employees, temporarily suspending D-JET program.
I have been in touch with Minister Clement’s Office, and with Mayor Fontana’s office today, in addition to speaking to Diamond Aircraft President Peter Maurer.
The Mayor, Mr. Maurer, and I are all disappointed and frustrated that this situation has reached the point where this action had to be taken. Diamond Aircraft deferred these cost cutting measures as long as possible, while awaiting a positive response to the request for a federal government loan.
When I spoke with the Minister’s office today, I was informed that a decision has still not been made on the loan request, although the decision is now weeks overdue.
I remain hopeful that the Minister will see the value of not only the D-JET program and the value of the jobs at Diamond Aircraft to this community, but also in the R&D and technology developments that make D-JET possible and are the foundation of future developments long into the future. .
Mr. Maurer has assured me that Diamond would be in a position to immediately recall their workforce if a positive decision is made.
The D-JET program is over 60% complete and Diamond has secured all but the $ 35 million loan requested from the federal governement. The federal government loan is key, because the other financing commitments are contingent on it.
I have been supporting Diamond's D-JET Project since 2007 and supported the initial research and development request; however, my relationship with Diamond goes back to 1992 when as the MPP for the riding, I helped bring Diamond to London.
Diamond has a long history in our community, and I will continue to do what I can to help get these workers back on the job as soon as possible.