CPAC was created by the cable industry in 1992 as the Cable Parliamentary Channel, an experimental service whose primary mandate was to broadcast House of Commons proceedings. In 1995, CPAC was licensed by the CRTC as a national programming service, and in 1996 the station re-launched as the Cable Public Affairs Channel, reflecting an expanded schedule of unique public affairs programming.
1977 – Canada becomes the first country in the world to televise live Parliamentary debates, beginning with the Speech from the Throne by Queen Elizabeth II. Click here for a thorough historical perspective.
1979 – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the federal broadcast regulator, grants the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) the exclusive license to provide the service.
1986 – Members of the Canadian cable television industry propose enhancing the Parliamentary Channel to include additional public affairs programming.
1988 – To further this objective, the CBC and the cable industry agree to build upon the original Parliamentary Channel to form the Canadian Parliamentary Channel (CPAC).
1990 – The House of Commons gives the CPAC proposal unanimous all-party support.
1991 – The CBC announces that it will cease funding the channel because of budget cut-backs. The House of Commons itself begins to pay for satellite transmission of its proceedings. The annual cost to taxpayers is $2 million.
Early 1992 – A consortium of 27 Canadian cable companies forms to distribute the service, ensuring that millions of Canadian cable households would continue to receive House of Commons broadcasts at no cost to taxpayers or cable subscribers.
October 1992 – The consortium now known as the Cable Parliamentary Channel (CPAC) takes over operation of the channel.
September 1993 – In response to CPAC’s application, the CRTC grants a short-term experimental broadcasting license, giving the channel the flexibility to develop further as a forum for public affairs programming.
January 20, 1995 – CPAC is granted a seven-year renewal of its broadcasting licenses commencing September 1, 1995. Under its agreement with the Speaker of the House of Commons, CPAC distributes live coverage of the House proceedings, then repeats the entire proceedings each day. The rest of the daily schedule is filled with long-form programming of conferences, speeches and proceedings from provincial legislatures.
October 1, 1996 – CPAC launches a new season, new image, and a new name — CABLE PUBLIC AFFAIRS CHANNEL — to reflect its increased coverage of public affairs programming, which is 30 hours a week of original network programming, and 46 hours a week of long-form coverage of House and Senate Committees, public hearings, conferences and special events.
November 19, 2002 – The CRTC renews CPAC’s broadcasting license for a seven-year period, making CPAC a mandatory channel by most cable and satellite providers in both official languages.
October 23, 2005 – CPAC is rebranded as Canada’s 24.7.Politics. TV., with a fresh new on-air look and attitude.
August 8, 2013 – the CRTC renews CPAC’s broadcasting licence for 5 years ensuring Canadians have continued access to Canada’s democratic process.
- CPAC is Canada’s only national, bilingual network presenting Parliamentary, political and public affairs programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- 90+% of CPAC programming is Canadian.
- Operating as a non-profit company, CPAC is a commercial-free programming service.
- CPAC receives no government funding, nor is it affiliated with any government department or agency.
- CPAC is the only network that provides Canadians with continuous, live coverage of the proceedings of the House of Commons whenever the House is in session.
- CPAC has a full-time staff of 60 based in Ottawa, and a large pool of talented freelancers working across Canada.
- CPAC’s signal originates from its broadcast centre in Ottawa, and is distributed nationally in a digitally compressed format, on Anik F1R, Ku band, Transponder T5.
- CPAC is available on this website via live webcasting.