Strategic Innovation Fund Telesat SEA Public Statement

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) scan was completed for the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) project: Developing the Next Generation of Rural Broadband: Telesat LEO Constellation System Validation Project.

The Government of Canada has identified broadband Internet connectivity as critical for ensuring all Canadians benefit from growth in the digital economy. Building on Canada’s proud history of leadership in space science and technology, the Government of Canada is investing in satellite technologies with the potential to improve internet access for people and businesses in all parts of the country.

This contribution will support a research and development (R&D) project to build and test next-generation low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The project, led by global satellite communications leader, Telesat Canada, will advance technologies for its planned satellite constellation, Telesat LEO. The constellation has the potential to provide global connectivity and expand high-speed broadband internet coverage to rural and remote regions across Canada, including the North. The project will provide high innovation, economic, and public benefits, in addition to positioning Telesat as a global LEO satellite broadband communications leader.

The assessment found that the project will not have positive direct and indirect environmental effects related to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goals and targets.