One of oldest aerospace companies on P.E.I. now closed

Colin MacLean
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Wiebel Aerospace in the Summerside Industrial Park.

Former employees at troubled Summerside company Wiebel Aerospace holding out hope of being rehired

Wiebel Aerospace, located on Greenwood Drive inSummerside, closed its doors on Nov. 13, putting the remaining staff, between 12 and 15 people, out of work. At its peak, Wiebel employed more than 50 people creating custom machine parts for various industries.

The company’s closure is not well known in the community because the now former staff remain hopeful someone will purchase the business and reopen it, allowing them to go back to work. They fear that by talking publically about the closure they won’t be considered for rehiring.

Wiebel set up in Summerside in the late 1990s and was one of the first companies attracted to the aerospace hub set up in the wake of the closure of CFB Summerside, now Slemon Park.

Sources told the Journal Pioneer that work at Wiebel had been waning over the past year to the point where, by the end, employees were on a work sharing program.

Work-sharing is a federal program administered by Service Canada where a company’s staff work for part of the week, but receive employment insurance to top up their pay for the rest of the week. It’s a system designed to help struggling companies avoid eliminating jobs altogether.  

Wiebel and its sister company Testori America, which is based in Slemon Park, were both purchased by TMC Avion Inc. in 2011. Almost immediately after the sale TMC Avion became involved in several lawsuits and countersuits related to the sale.

TMC Avion was granted creditor protection in January of 2014 after P.E.I. Westside Funding called in the company’s debt.

P.E.I. Westside Funding bought $12.1 million of TMC Avion’s outstanding loans from the P.E.I. government for $5 million in 2013.

The Journal Pioneer has been unable to reach TMC Avion’s representatives for comment on the closure.

Organizations: Journal Pioneer, Service Canada

Geographic location: Greenwood Drive, Slemon Park, Summerside

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Recent comments

  • Same Old Song
    December 06, 2015 - 17:31

    If Mayor Martin takes just a few more trips to Mississauga or Paris on tax payer dollars, we'll be just fine. Typical politician. They get elected and don't listen to anyone. Fool me once, shame on me. But we will remember the empty promises.

  • upset and hurt
    December 06, 2015 - 15:35

    WOW !! insider i was a long term employee with this company and have not heard of buying parts from Canadian tire! must have been before my time,and as for Lindo, as much of a hard and aggressive person that he was i never feared for my job as much as i have with the company that purchased us ! in a very short time they put this company out of business they do not even know any of the employees that were left there , they do not care about anyone of us , just wish someone with the desire to run an aerospace company would step up and make this place great again and show these people that it can still be done

  • same story
    December 06, 2015 - 10:07

    How can a mayor create jobs?

  • Insider
    December 06, 2015 - 09:35

    This loss was brought to you by the actions of Lindo Lapegna, Mike Hall, and Robert Morrisey. I guess Wiebel won't be buying screws or bolts from Canadian Tire and sending them out to be hardened any more to be used on aircraft.

    • William
      December 06, 2015 - 20:02

      To the insider! Be very careful what you say about buying bolts from CTC and sending them out to get hardened and selling them in place of aircraft bolts. This is not true. Also, The company was much better run it Lindo and Mike. At least it would still be opened.

    • Islandaero
      December 07, 2015 - 11:59

      Someone who would suggest hardware from a box store could be sent for heat treatment and used for aerospace understands very little about the traceability requirements required by this industry.

  • Remembering
    December 06, 2015 - 08:35

    In order to avoid this kind of drain on the taxpayers again, the Premier should undertake a study into what went wrong here. The public money poured into this company is staggering. Who made these decisions and on what grounds? If indeed the decision makers were incompetent, (which is a possibility) they should be replaced with more competent individuals. Politics and patronage no doubt was at play, but it is time we realize that we can't survive without proper talent to carry out government business. Wonder what ever became of the property in New York state that ended up in the hands of the Province through the sale of the debt? This whole mess smells of incompetence and neglect. Let us hear the details, - just for transparency's sake.

    • Claude Arsenault
      December 08, 2015 - 10:14

      Well you for one have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. First the province did not get any property in NY. Secondly that company which is called Testori Interiors is still operating. Maybe you should run for office with all your staggeringly accurate facts you will do well. Wiebel has not bee profitable for some time. The company was kept going with $0 Revenue for several months with sister companies paid for wages and materials. Also maybe get your sense of smell checked as there is far more behind any of this then you could possibly know or comprehend.

    December 05, 2015 - 13:17

    This is not good, along with this loss we have lost Sears and the Homestead. Mayor Martins promise of 1000 jobs is looking pretty scare. He cannot take any credit for the new Spa Resort as that was Councils before him, further more is everyone aware this complex is not in Summerside. It actually is in Linkletter and they seem to get not recognition for this. Where are our reporters, in fairness to the Community of Linkletter they deserve a story on this one. Mayor Martin already announced he is not running in three years time after taking many big trips on so call business. He should man up and resign now to save face and do what an honouable man would do. It appears he was mislead into whay a Mayor really does. The Steve McKnight team sure failed us the taxpayers into believing real change was coming.