SME Universe | A larger hangar for larger carriers at Airmedic

Airmedic thinks big – four times bigger, to be precise.

Posted at 11:00 a.m.

Marc Tison

Marc Tison
The Press

As the company specializing in assistance and air medical transport celebrates its 10and anniversary, its CEO, Sophie Larochelle, announced the construction at Saint-Hubert airport of a new head office with a larger hangar.

The 71,500 sq. ft. complex⁠2 will open the door to an expansion of the aircraft and activities of the company, which is thinking of passenger transport.

The investment amounts to 18 million dollars. Construction will begin next June, likely to end in the spring of 2023.

“We were a little more cramped. There were two or three of us per office, we had to do a bit of Tetris with our devices in the hangar,” notes Sophie Larochelle.

“It was more difficult to add a new device, or to decide that we want to do the maintenance ourselves in-house. There was no room for equipment and tools. »

The area of ​​the new 40,000 sq. ft. hangar⁠2 is four times that of the current hangar, inaugurated barely six years ago, in 2016.

Airmedic then only had two planes and two helicopters. A sign of its gaining altitude, its fleet now has six helicopters and eight planes, including a first twin-engine acquired in July 2021. Founded in 2012 in Saguenay, the company now employs 175 people and has 5 bases of operations.

Big carriers, big projects

Featuring a gymnasium, training room and rooftop terrace with views of the airstrip, the new headquarters will be “a place more suited to [la] reality” of the company, emphasizes Sophie Larochelle. The size of the doors of the new hangar “allows for larger carriers, which are linked to [les] growth projects.

In fact, they open up to large promising projects.

“We plan to diversify and have a more complete air offer,” describes the CEO.

With larger aircraft, Airmedic wants to expand its activities to business aviation or regional transport, within what “would be a bit like a sister company”.

These projects, which could land in a horizon of three to five years, would act as a magnet for attracting and retaining staff.

“To be able to offer a longer-term career plan to people who join us – I am thinking especially of pilots and nurses – it is precisely a matter of having a diversification in our offer, indicates- she. They start on smaller planes, do medical transport, and then they start flying on bigger planes. There are also some who want to go into passenger transport. This allows us to offer them a long-term career in our companies. »

Nurses will also benefit from the increase in repatriation activities for Quebec patients abroad, which Airmedic has undertaken with its first twin-engine Pilatus PC-24 jet. The next acquisitions of devices will probably be intended for this use.

“There are several nurses who want to fly internationally,” she says. This is another aspect that allows us to attract them or keep them with us. »

In short, “it’s bubbling! “, she says, laughing.

Designed by Atelier-H Architecture, the new head office will incorporate elements that will pay tribute to the First Nations. “We still have 65% of our missions that are done with the First Nations,” she says. It will be important for us that they are represented in our new hangar. »

The company does not plan to dispose of its current buildings, to which the CEO reserves a destination that she does not yet want to specify.

Pelican makes a nest in camping gear

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GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Four-Person Camp Kitchen Set

The manufacturer of kayaks and other paddle boats Pelican International has just touched a whole new shore, that of camping and outdoor equipment. The Laval company has acquired a majority stake in GSI Outdoors, a company in Spokane, Washington, which has been developing and distributing stoves and utensils for outdoor cooking for more than 35 years. This is still unexplored territory for Pelican, whose recent acquisitions have rather consolidated its position in light boats and nautical accessories. “The integration of GSI Outdoors into our fold allows us to diversify our activities and make a remarkable entry into a sector that has shown sustained growth for several years and with very interesting potential for the years to come,” said Danick. Lavoie, president and CEO of Pelican International, in the press release. The family business founded in 1970 by Gérard Élie initially specialized in pedal boats, boats that now occupy only the barest portion of its catalog.

The first sod of the Vertdure Group

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Jean-Philippe Grenier, Vice President Finance, Benoit Lamoureux Vice President Development, Philippe Tremblay, President, Stéphane Bourque, Vice President Operations

This initial groundbreaking announced by the Vertdure Group is not intended for its first spring lawn maintenance: it symbolically marks the beginning of the construction of its new head office. The work, at a cost of 3 million, was launched at the beginning of May in the Lebourgneuf sector, in Quebec. The event marks at the same time the 35and anniversary of the company specializing in lawn maintenance. Founded in 1987, Vertdure has spread its rhizomes throughout Quebec and the Ottawa region and now has 30 branches. Its head office is currently housed in an enlarged house, located in the Limoilou sector. “The need was increasingly felt to have larger and more comfortable spaces for our employees and, at the same time, to centralize our activities with the other companies of the Vertdure Group”, explained Benoit Lamoureux, Vice -president of business development, in a press release. The leaders of Groupe Vertdure also founded the V Extermination chain, which has about twenty franchises in Quebec. The president of Groupe Vertdure, Philippe Tremblay, took over the family shovel from the hands of his father Jean Tremblay, founder of the company, in October 2019.

An application for flood risks

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Portion of E-NUNDATION summary report in one page, for beneficial ownership (redacted)

Some buyers of flood-prone homes will undoubtedly be overflowing with gratitude: a new application, launched by the firm Geosapiens, makes it possible to assess the risk of flooding of a property. Unique in Canada according to the company, the web application E-NUNDATION offers a qualitative, quantitative and mapping risk assessment for a specific property. It is aimed at real estate professionals, who will be able to better advise their clients, but also at potential buyers who, before diving in, will obtain a risk assessment of the property they are looking for. The summary report is free, but the detailed report, for a fee, provides personalized recommendations to protect the property in question in the event of flooding. E-NUNDATION was developed in response to the observation that it was difficult to know the risk of flooding quickly and reliably for a given address. It is based on a technology developed in collaboration with the National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS). Geosapiens was founded in 2017 by an INRS research team experienced in modeling climate risks. You can test for free E-NUNDATION and receive a summary report (detailed report for $95).


For 2023, the average business contribution rate to the Occupational Health and Safety Fund (FSST) has been set at $1.50 per $100 of payroll, down 0.17 $ compared to 2022. This is a low since the introduction of the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases in 1985. This decrease represents savings of $335 million for Quebec businesses, which will only be better off.

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SME Universe | A larger hangar for larger carriers at Airmedic

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