CBC Parliamentary Television Network

CBC Parliamentary Television Network was a Canadian cable television specialty channel that broadcast the House of Commons of Canada proceedings via Anik satellite to Canadian cable television headends between September 1979 and 1992.

CBC Parliamentary Television Network
CBC Logo 1974-1986
LaunchedSeptember 1979
ClosedOctober 1992
Owned byCanadian Broadcasting Corporation
LanguageEnglish, French
Broadcast areaNational
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario
Formerly calledThe House of Commons Broadcast Service
Replaced byCPAC


The House of Commons Broadcast Service was established in October 1977 to maintain the video and audio equipment for broadcasting House of Commons proceedings. The responsibility to distribute the signal was assigned to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. CBC used the Anik satellites to distribute the proceedings to Canadian cable companies.

For most of the network's history, John Warren hosted a preview monologue before the beginning of daily proceedings and provided a short summary afterward.

In 1989, the CBC and a consortium of cable television providers made a joint proposal for the creation of a new entity, the Canadian Parliamentary Channel (CPaC) that would carry the proceedings of the House of Commons and committees, along with proceedings of royal commissions, enquiries, court hearings and provincial legislatures, and public affairs programming. A review of parliamentary broadcasting resulted but the CPaC proposal was not acted upon. In December 1990, the CBC announced that as a result of budget cuts the CBC "is no longer able to bear the cost of operating the English- and French-language parliamentary channels. The government will seek the views of the Speaker of the House and consider means of maintaining the service."[1] The CBC announced that it was discontinuing its role as the parliamentary broadcaster effective April 1, 1991. As an interim measure, the House of Commons' Board of Internal Economy negotiated a temporary contract with the CBC to provide parliamentary coverage for an additional year while the Board considered proposals to take over the service. In 1992, the Board came to an agreement with Canadian Parliamentary Channel, Inc., a consortium of 25 cable companies, to take over the CBC's role. The Cable Public Affairs Channel, owned by a consortium of Canadian cable companies, took over responsibility for broadcasting the House of Commons of Canada proceedings in 1992.

Hours of operation

Live Coverage (Eastern Time)
Day Time Period
Monday 1:55 p.m. to 6 p.m.; 7:55 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday 1:55 p.m. to 6 p.m.; 7:55 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday 1:55 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday 1:55 p.m. to 6 p.m.; 7:55 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Friday 10:55 p.m. to 1 p.m.; 1:55 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Other uses

At times of special occasions, the network was used to carry coverage of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearings, as happened in the fall of 1981 to license Canada's first pay television services.

During the summer of 1984, Pope John Paul II toured Canada. The network was used to carry live coverage as he visited several cities.

In October 1984, NASA TV coverage of mission STS-41-G was simulcast, as Canada's first astronaut in space, Marc Garneau, served aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

In 1986, it was used to air CBC's The National and The Journal at 10 p.m. Eastern when it was pre-empted on the main CBC network by the NHL hockey playoffs.[2] This prompted complaints from the cable services and the CBC's privately owned affiliates and the network was rebuked by the CRTC for not having first asked for the authorization from the CRTC. Commission chairman Andre Bureau commented "We're not against the CBC using the parliamentary channel for special events if they are authorized to do so by the CRTC, but they should respect the regulations and come to us first."[3] The experiment was not repeated.[2]


For a while during the 1980s, CBC suggested that its broadcast day could be expanded into a second CBC network, CBC-2. However, when they applied to the CRTC for this network, they denied it for that purpose.

External links


  1. ^ Television and the House of Commons (BP-242E)
  2. ^ a b "Hockey or news? In fact, CBC could have it both ways", by Bronwyn Drainie, The Globe and Mail, 26 May 1990
  3. ^ "CRTC boss expects CBC to follow rules" by Christopher Hume, Toronto Star, 19 May 1986
  • The CBC Parliamentary Television Network. Communications Services. CBC Head Office. October 1982.
1992 in Canadian television

This is a list of Canadian television related events from 1992.

Anik (satellite)

The Anik satellites are a series of geostationary communications satellites launched by Telesat Canada for television in Canada, from 1972 through 2013. Some of the later satellites in the series remain operational in orbit, while others have been retired and are derelict.

The naming of the satellite was determined by a national contest, and was won by Julie-Frances Czapla of St. Leonard, Quebec. In Inuktitut, Anik means "little brother".


CKO was a Canadian radio news network which operated from 1977 to 1989. The CKO call sign was shared by twelve network-owned stations, as listed below.

The network was owned by Canada All-News Radio Ltd. AGRA Industries was originally a 45 per cent partner in the network, but by 1988 it was the sole owner. David Ruskin was the network's founding president.

CPAC (TV channel)

The Cable Public Affairs Channel (French: La Chaîne d'affaires publiques par câble), better known by its acronym CPAC ( SEE-pak), is a Canadian Category A cable and satellite specialty television channel owned by a consortium that includes among other part-owners Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, Vidéotron, Cogeco and Eastlink. The channel is devoted to coverage of public and government affairs, including carrying a full, uninterrupted feed of proceedings of the House of Commons of Canada, with two audio channels, one in English and the other in French. CPAC is similar to services in other countries including C-SPAN (United States), EuroparlTV (European Union), La Chaîne parlementaire (France), Phoenix (Germany), BBC Parliament (United Kingdom) and TV Câmara, TV Senado, TV Brasil, and TV NBR (Brazil), some of which (particularly C-SPAN) occasionally supply programming to CPAC.

CPAC's main purpose is the broadcast of proceedings of the House of Commons. Other programming includes meetings of The House of Commons and Senate of Canada parliamentary committees, occasional Supreme Court proceedings, political conventions, conferences, committees and coverage of general elections. CPAC also airs the proceedings of certain Royal Commissions and judicial enquiries.

Proceedings of the Senate were historically not carried as the upper house had not agreed to allow its sessions to be televised. On April 25, 2006, Senator Hugh Segal moved that the proceedings of the Senate be televised; the motion was referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament for consideration; although the motion was approved, broadcast of senate proceedings was not launched at that time apart from selected committee meetings. Full broadcast of Senate proceedings launched for the first time on March 18, 2019, concurrently with the Senate's temporary relocation to the Government Conference Centre.In 2003, at the behest of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, CPAC and its carriers started to allow television viewers to choose which language they can hear the service in, putting the feed of one language on the service's main audio channel and the feed of the other language on its second audio program channel. Some cable systems also offer the two feeds on separate channels for easier access. CPAC has also offered a "floor" feed, a feed that does not carry any simultaneous translation, although due to the changes noted above, it may not remain in use over cable or satellite television.

A choice between all three feeds are offered on CPAC's free Internet video stream available on the channel's website.

John Warren (journalist)

John Warren (born 1937) is a retired journalist and the English language anchor of the CBC Parliamentary Television Network from 1979 to 1992. In the 1980s and 1990s he wrote a weekly column for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper called Commons Sense. Prior to his role as host of the Parliamentary Television Network, he was a CBC radio and television reporter.

Warren was elected president of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery in 1977 and served as President of the National Press Club in 1986.

He graduated from Carleton University with a B.J. degree in 1960. His career in journalism began with the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix in 1958 after which he moved on to the Edmonton Journal, and later the Canadian Press. He spent a year as chairman of the journalism department at Mount Royal College in Calgary before joining the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1965.

With CBC, Warren served as a reporter in Edmonton, Calgary and Regina before his posting to Parliament Hill in 1971. During his service in Edmonton he was elected president of the Alberta Legislature Press Gallery. He held a similar post in the Saskatchewan Legislature Press Gallery while in Regina.

With Robert Fife, he co-authored the best-selling book, A Capital Scandal in 1993. It exposed many of the lavish and little-known perqs and privileges enjoyed by MPs and Senators.

John Warren is the father of Gregory, Steven, Ken and Adrienne and grandfather of four girls. He enjoys extensive volunteer work in a healthy retirement life divided between Ottawa and an historic home near Prescott on the St. Lawrence River.

List of Canadian specialty channels

The following is a list of Canadian specialty channels, premium television services, and most other channels not available via terrestrial television.

List of Canadian television channels

Television in Canada has many individual stations and networks and systems.

List of public broadcasters by country

This is a list of public broadcasters by country.

English networks
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Defunct channels
Proposed channels
Brands and assets
Television news in Canada
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Public broadcasting in Canada

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