Quebec Attracts Big Satellite Project

The Quebec government has rolled out incentives to get two Ontario companies to build a massive satellite project there. MDA and Telesat have partnered to launch a constellation of 298 small low earth orbit satellites to provide high speed internet to remote and underserved regions. The full project is worth $1.8 billion and the Quebec government is kicking in 25 percent, or $450 million in the form of loans and investments. Quebec Premier Francois Legault said the deal is aimed at propping up the province’s aerospace sector which is expected to suffer a downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Because of what’s happening with the pandemic, the next few years will be tough for aircraft, so it’s a good opportunity to diversify in satellites,” Legault said. The project is expected to create jobs for 600 Quebecers and they’re all going to pay more than $100,000 a year Legault said.

MDA is building the antennas for the system and is getting a $50 million loan that is forgivable if the job creation numbers are met. The government is taking a $200 million stake in Telesat and also providing a $200 million repayable loan. The Quebec government expects to be a temporary stakeholder in the business and says it will make money from the investment. The deal is contingent on the federal government providing funding and investment.