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CBC Parliamentary Television Network

CBC Parliamentary Television Network
Launched September 1979
Closed October 1992
Owned by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Country Canada
Broadcast area National

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


  • Origins 1
  • Hours of operation 2
  • Other uses 3
  • CBC-2 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6


The House of Commons Broadcast Service was set up in October 1977 to be responsible to maintain the video and audio equipment. It was CBC's responsibility to take that signal and transmit it to the Anik satellite to be received by Canadian cable companies.

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

In 1992, the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC), a consortium of many Canadian cable companies, took over responsibility for broadcasting the Canadian House of Commons proceedings.

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 it was used to simulcast coverage from NASA TV of Canada's first astronaut in space, Marc Garneau 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.[1] 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."[2] The experiment was not repeated.[1]


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

  • CBC Archive - Parliament On the Air (October 1977)
  • , Vol. 8 No. 3 (1985) Pierre MénardCanadian Parliamentary Review
  • , Vol. 8 No. 3 (1985) Robert AndersonCanadian Parliamentary Review


  1. ^ a b "Hockey or news? In fact, CBC could have it both ways", by Bronwyn Drainie, The Globe and Mail, 26 May 1990
  2. ^ "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.
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