Cable Public Affairs Channel
Since 1992, the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) has provided Canadian viewers with balanced, detailed and complementary public affairs broadcasts.
Owned by Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Cogeco, EastLink and Access Communications, CPAC celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Since its founding, CPAC has been the independent editorial voice that provides neutral coverage across most media platforms. As part of its programming mandate, CPAC provides its viewership with balanced analysis on all of the issues affecting Canadians.
“Our objective is to provide Canadians with the full, unfiltered story and let them make up their minds,” Colette Watson, President and General Manager of CPAC, told The Canadian Business Journal. “As an example, you will see the entire news conference, not just the 90 seconds that a network chooses to bring you.”
“We allow Canadians to provide their own context, and our owners believe this is a wonderful and necessary public service to keep democracy alive.”
A leader in the new digital media arena, CPAC has grown in this space. In fact, it was the first Canadian network to offer web streaming of all of its programming 24/7. CPAC viewers and social media users are also included through Facebook and Twitter, further broadening the daily discussion. CPAC offers significant coverage of public affairs, parliamentary, and political programming at viewers convenience.
What’s next? On October 15, CPAC will launch its online digital archive, which over time, will include all historic CPAC programming and more than 18,000 hours of House of Commons proceedings.
“The archive will be such that anyone, anywhere, at any time – historians, students, academics, and more – can log on to CPAC.ca to visit the digital archive and find a debate between Joe Clark and Pierre Trudeau,” Watson detailed. “That is our play in terms of the new digital world.”
As a complement to traditional news channels, CPAC offers “the full story without bias”, to help inform the Canadian electorate.
“We are not fooling ourselves that people are tuning in for a three-hour committee every day,” Watson said. “However, this week, it’s all about Parliament resuming, and the government introducing more on the budget bill, changes to the Canada Pension Plan, changes to retirement ages … you will hear and read about that in the news, but if you want to dig deeper, that’s when you will tune into CPAC.”
“That allows us to continue to bring the full story to everyone. I wouldn’t say we compete; we complete.”
CPAC has established a goal of continuing to play a role in “reawakening” Canadians to politics. Canada has a rich political history and as such CPAC strives to continue educating its viewers on the issues and political affairs affecting their nation.
Particularly, since the Conservative Party of Canada took minority power in 2006, CPAC has been on the move, its team hopping from one election to the next.
By the numbers, over the past two decades, CPAC has covered seven federal elections, five prime ministers, 32 political conventions, 19 commissions of inquiry, 1,220 speeches, 748 conferences, and almost 30,000 hours of parliamentary proceedings and committees. Saying the team at CPAC has been busy would certainly be an understatement.
Moving forward, CPAC realizes there is an opportunity with the changing demographic of the electorate to further promote its offering.
The team at CPAC reaches out to the next generation in offering its exceptional information resources in ultimately piquing the political interests of the next generation. CPAC sees this involvement as an exciting opportunity.
CPAC is committed to the concept of editorial-free and unfiltered programming, something that has and will continue to provide an excellent public service for all Canadians.