CPAC: Wikis


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CPAC Logo.svg
CPAC logo
Launched October 1992
Owned by Rogers Communications (41.4%)
Shaw Communications (25.05%)
Vidéotron Limited (21.71%)
Cogeco (6.7%)
Bragg Communications (3.76%)
Others (1.37%)[1]
Slogan 24.7.Politics.TV
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Formerly called Canadian Parliamentary Channel (CPaC)
Website CPAC
Bell TV Channel 149 (French)
Channel 512 (English)
Shaw Direct Channel 396
Available on most Canadian cable
Check local listings, channels may vary

CPAC (pronounced /si.pæk/, see-pak; English: Cable Public Affairs Channel and in French: La Chaîne d'affaires publiques par câble), is a Canadian cable television specialty service devoted to coverage of public and government affairs, including carrying a full, uninterrupted feed of proceedings of the Canadian House of Commons, with two separate audio channels; one in English and the other in French. CPAC is similar to C-SPAN in the United States and the two services exchange some content. CPAC also broadcasts programming from Public Sénat (France), Phoenix (Germany), and BBC Parliament (UK).

CPAC's main purpose is the broadcast of proceedings of the House of Commons. Other programming includes meetings of House of Commons and Senate 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 Canadian Senate are not carried as the upper house has yet to agree to allow its sessions to be televised. On 25 April 2006, Senator Hugh Segal moved that the proceedings of the Senate of Canada be televised; the motion has since been referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament for consideration.

Broadcasts on CPAC are in both English and French. In 2003, at the behest of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), CPAC and its carriers started to allow television viewers to choose which language they 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 SAP channel. Some cable systems also offer the two feeds on separate channels for easier access. CPAC has also offered a "floor" feed, i.e., 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 the floor feed, English and French feeds are, however, offered on CPAC's free Internet video stream available on their website. Selected events and programs are also podcast.



Television broadcasting of the proceedings of the House of Commons began in 1977 after a motion approving it was adopted by the House. Broadcasting commenced in October. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission allowed cable companies to carry the broadcasts on their specialty channels as an interim measure. In 1979 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was given a temporary network licence to begin live coverage of the proceedings (which had been on a tape delay basis until then), leading to the creation of the CBC Parliamentary Television Network. A permanent licence was granted to the CBC the next year.

In 1989 the CBC and a consortium of cable companies 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."[2] The CBC announced that it was discontinuing its role as the parliamentary broadcaster as of 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 new service received its licence from the CRTC in 1993.

While the Canadian Parliamentary Channel's name was soon changed to Cable Public Affairs Channel to reflect the greater diversity of programming and the cable industry's ownership of the service, the original ownership structure continues today; accordingly the largest shareholders are Canadian media giants such as Rogers Communications (41.4%), Shaw Communications (25.05%), Vidéotron (21.71%), Cogeco (6.7%), Bragg Communications (EastLink/Persona) (3.76%) and three other cable companies owning a combined equity of 1.37%.

Second CPAC logo

While the controlling owners of most of the above-noted groups are believed to have conservative political leanings, to date there have been no accusations of influence by these groups on CPAC's editorial policy. Indeed, recent CPAC promotions (featuring Tom Green) have claimed that because it is owned by the cable industry, "not the government", it is more independent than, for instance, CBC Newsworld, which also carries extensive political coverage.

During federal election campaigns, the network frequently airs Campaign Politics, a documentary series in which each episode profiles one individual electoral district through interviews with candidates and voters.



  1. ^ Other partners in ownership include: Monarch Cablesystems, Omineca Cablevision and Access Communications with a combined ownership of 1.37%.
  2. ^ Television and the House of Commons (BP-242E)

External links



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