OTTAWA – March 7, 2001 – Telesat Canada and the Canadian Space Agency today
announced the launch of a new initiative that will dramatically improve
emergency medical response to marine vessels traveling in Canadian waters.

The Marine Interactive Satellite Technologies (MIST) program is the third in
a series of progressively successful multimedia satellite-based initiatives
led by the Canadian Space Agency and Telesat that are providing vital
services to Canadians in remote regions of the country.

“Innovations in leading-edge satellite technology are rapidly bridging the
gap between urban and remote regions of Canada,” said the Honourable Brian
Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space
Agency. “Partnerships between the CSA, Telesat Canada and other leading
organizations are helping improve the quality of essential services such as
education, health and safety for Canadians across the country.”

Marine Interactive Satellite Technologies (MIST)

The MIST project equips marine vessels with high-speed mobile satellite
communication terminals that can link patients or on-board medical staff
with medical experts on shore. Along with use for emergency purposes, the
terminals can be used by passengers for everything from checking their
office e-mail to booking a hotel at their destination port.

“Telesat is delighted to continue its strong relationship with the Canadian
Space Agency,” said Paul Bush, vice president of corporate development at
Telesat. “While Telesat is rapidly increasing its international business as
a leading satellite consultant and project manager, remaining involved in
projects that improve the lives of Canadians is immensely rewarding for all
of us.”

Remote Communities Services Telecentre (RCST)

In 1998, Telesat and the CSA began working together on the Remote
Communities Services Telecentre (RCST) program, which has since linked rural
communities in Labrador and Newfoundland with major urban centres in Canada
via satellite telecentres. Since their establishment, the telecentres in
each community have become key hubs for the provision of tele-learning and
tele-health services, delivered using satellite-enabled high speed Internet
access, videoconferencing and digital imaging.

Integrated Emergency Medicine Network (IEMN)

Last year, the CSA and Telesat launched their second initiative, called the
Integrated Emergency Medicine Network (IEMN), which built on the
infrastructure created by the RCST project to provide an integrated medical
emergency response network in Newfoundland and Labrador. The program’s
undertaking established high-speed satellite communications facilities that
can link emergency personnel treating injuries at disaster sites with
medical experts in major urban centres.

Using the same principle, the service has been extended to land and airborne
ambulances, allowing emergency doctors to monitor the vital signs of
patients in transit and prepare for their arrival, using mobile satellite
communications technology.

Canada is a co-operating member of the European Space Agency, and these
three projects are also part of the ESA’s ARTES 3 Multimedia Initiative.

“Given the frequency and severity of environmental and man-made disasters
around the world, any technology that improves emergency care represents an
exciting breakthrough with global potential,” said Abdul Lakhani, senior
specialist in applications and networks at Telesat and a pioneer in rural
and remote communications. “Working with the Canadian Space Agency and the
European Space Agency, we’re using satellite technology to connect Canada,
providing a level of medical care, education, and connectivity never before

In addition to its ongoing involvement with the Canadian Space Agency on the
MIST, RCST and IEMN projects, Telesat is also playing an integral role in
three Industry Canada-funded projects that are establishing satellite-based
high-speed communications links to other communities across the country.

About the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)

Established in 1989 and situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space
Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its
Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the
CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science;
Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space
Technologies; Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space
Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space
knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity. For more information:

About Telesat

Telesat ( is the world’s most experienced commercial
satellite operator. The company made history in 1972 with the launch of the
first domestic commercial communications satellite in geostationary orbit.
Based in Ottawa, Canada, Telesat now provides telecommunications and
broadcast distribution services throughout the Americas and is a leading
consultant, operator and partner in satellite ventures around the globe.
Telesat is a wholly owned subsidiary of BCE Inc., one of the world’s leading
telecommunications companies.

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Daniel P. Tisch

Vice President

Environics Communications

(416) 920-9000 ext. 260

Marilynn Wright

Vice President

Telesat Canada

(613) 748-8855

Anna Kapiniari


Public Relations & Media

Canadian Space Agency

(450) 926-4350