Parks Canada

Parks Canada

July 12, 2010 12:07 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates the National Historical Significance of the Site of the Canadian Car & Foundry Company

Second World War aircraft production facility celebrated

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today celebrated the national historic significance of the Canadian Car & Foundry site, the location of Canada's largest manufacturer of aircraft during the Second World War.

"I am happy to not only designate the Canadian Car & Foundry site as a national historic site of Canada, but also to recognize the wartime contributions made by the men and women that worked here," said Minister Prentice. "By manufacturing more than 2,300 quality fighters, they expanded the Allied force's air strength, and therefore contributed to its success."

Now owned by Bombardier Transportation, the Canadian Car & Foundry Company was Canada's largest manufacturer of combat planes during the Second World War. During that time thousands of workers expertly contributed to the country's wartime efforts, mainly by constructing 1,451 Hawker Hurricanes for the British Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force, and 835 Curtiss Helldivers for the American Navy.

The aircraft production facility is representative of the wartime contributions made by thousands of Canadian women. By stepping forward to replace the men that were at war, Canadian women demonstrated that they could effectively do non-traditional jobs such as riveting and welding. They set the stage for assuming a more substantial role in the nation's postwar economy.

"Our government is proud to honour the contributions of the women who worked at the Canadian Car & Foundry Company," added Minister Prentice. "This designation will help to ensure that their important contributions, to Canadian society during and after the Second World War, are appreciated and remembered by future generations. "

"Bombardier is proud to continue the long standing manufacturing tradition in Thunder Bay, one that was led for years here by the Canadian Car & Foundry Company," stated Claude Gingras, Bombardier Transportation General Manager for Thunder Bay. "For decades, Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay has delivered high-quality work with the help of our highly qualified and dedicated workforce, continuing the footsteps of the thousands of men and women who worked at Can-Car and contributed to Canada's war effort during World War II. This designation is an honour for our nation's transportation industry. "

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national historic significance of places, people and events that have marked Canada's history. Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that make up the rich tapestry of Canada's cultural heritage and which offers visitors the opportunity for real and inspiring discoveries.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

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