This one hurts.

A Canadian company plans to build an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Plattsburgh International Airport that is expected to employ up to 760 people.Gov. George Pataki was in Plattsburgh Monday to announce that Laurentian Aerospace Corp. plans to build a 262,000-square-foot, two-bay hangar complex, at a cost of $50 million, on the ramp at the airport. It is expected the facility would attract support industries and companies creating at least that many additional jobs. Laurentian Aerospace President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Gorbeil said the facility will be used for maintenance checks required every 15 months and others required every four years. They cost $500,000 and $1.5 million, respectively.

Gobeil has been the chairman of Export Development Canada’s Board of Directors since January 2002. He was a Liberal member of the Canadian National Assembly for the riding of Verdun from 1985 to 1989, including time as a cabinet minister.

I know our guys were trying to get some MRO jobs attracted here to Moncton. The NBCC/CCNB has been graduating qualified maintenance and repair technicians for decades and the majority of them have left to work in Montreal, Toronto and beyond.

These facilities do not have to be located on the ‘beaten track’.

I get a little weary every time I see Bombardier make another multi-million dollar investment in the US – and nada (oops, very little) in Atlantic Canada. This guy, Gobeil, chairman of EDC. Former politician.

Is Plattsburgh, New York that much better than Moncton? Or Saint John? Cripes, I say give them the SJ airport if they will create 760 aerospace jobs (and a similar amount out in the community as spinoffs).

For me that’s a great idea. Keep some commuter traffic from the SJ airport to Toronto maybe Boston – but give the rest of it to one of these large MRO operations.

Probably not going to happen. Our guys have no interest in attracting aerospace jobs – it would seem from the cough cough results – and Quebec’s aerospace industry is more interested in investing in the US (unless it’s Canadian government work that requires Canadian content).

Who’s the bonehead back in the 1970s that decided to stop industrial development in Atlantic Canada in favour of ‘small business’ development?

Look where that’s gotten us.