When the polls close at 8pm on Sunday, Montrealers will be turning to their televisions to watch the results come in. And many will be disappointed.
Though there are municipal elections happening throughout Quebec, and Montreal’s election in particular has been getting a lot of attention, none of the broadcast television stations in Montreal is carrying election coverage before 10pm. Most are keeping the lucrative Sunday primetime schedule as is, and holding live election coverage until the late evening.
For the all-news networks, meanwhile, it will depend on your preferred language (just like with every other story, Montreal/Quebec news is national news in French but not in English). RDI and LCN will have election coverage starting at 6:30pm (presumably covering cities across Quebec, not just Montreal), while the three English networks have no election specials planned.
Here’s what’s going on for each network:
- Radio-Canada: Tout le monde en parle until 10:18pm, followed by Le Téléjournal (presumably leading with election news), then simulcasting RDI’s election special starting at 10:42pm going until about 1am
- TVA: Regular Sunday night primetime (a special Le Banquier with Céline Dion, On connaît la chanson), followed by TVA Nouvelles at 10pm, then a movie at 11pm
- V: No live election coverage (the network only airs newscasts in the morning now)
- Télé-Québec: No live election coverage (Télé-Québec stopped having live news long ago)
- MAtv Montréal: No live election coverage
- CBC Television: Local news as usual at 11pm, focused on election results, hosted by Thomas Daigle. Prime time (Battle of the Blades) is untouched. Results throughout the night online.
- CTV Montreal: Regular late local news at 11:30pm, focused on election results. Five field reporters, plus political panel. Hosted by Paul Karwatsky and Caroline Van Vlaardingen. Prime time remains untouched, but results are promised during “extended news breaks”, with an on-screen crawl when the winner is named, says news director Jed Kahane. Results throughout the night online.
- Global Montreal: News Final is extended from half an hour to an hour, starting at 11pm. It will also be streamed online. Jamie Orchard hosts, with live reports from Tim Sargeant (Pointe-Claire), Elysia Bryan-Baynes (Beaconsfield) and Billy Shields (CDN/NDG). “We’re also working with the best election graphics in the industry,” says station manager Karen Macdonald. Former city councillor Karim Boulos will be in studio as an analyst. Online, election results and a live blog will be posted as of 8pm. Like its Focus Montreal mini debates, Global plans to focus on demerged on-island suburbs in results and analysis.
- City Montreal: No live election coverage
On cable, we can expect extensive coverage from the French networks, but not so much from the English networks:
- RDI: Election special from 6:30pm to at least 1am. Hosted by Patrice Roy, with Véronique Darveau providing results and Carole Aoun following social media. Reporters are promised at the four Montreal party HQs, plus Laval, the South Shore, Quebec City, Gatineau, Trois-Rivières, Estrie, Saguenay, Abitibi and eastern Quebec. Analysts include former mayor Jean Doré, former Quebec municipal affairs minister Rémy Trudel, former Baie St-Paul mayor Jacinthe Simard, and former CBC Montreal anchor Dennis Trudeau.
- LCN: Election special from 6:30pm to at least midnight. Hosted by Pierre Bruneau, with Jean Lapierre and Mario Dumont as analysts.
- CBC News Network: Nothing special scheduled. It will run The National from 9 to 10pm as usual, presumably with news from Quebec. Otherwise the primetime schedule is documentaries on Julian Assange, Princess Diana and a chimpanzee.
- CTV News Channel: No election special, but CTV News Weekend with Scott Laurie is expected to check in regularly with Montreal reporters covering the election here from 6 to 10pm. After 10, it’s the usual plan of simulcasting CTV National News for the first half of each hour.
- Sun News Network: Schedule lists the usual repeats of opinion shows from earlier in the week. There normally isn’t live programming after 5pm on Sundays.
On radio, things are much better, with news talk stations carrying live election coverage after polls close:
- CBC Radio One (88.5 FM): Live coverage as of 8pm, hosted by Mike Finnerty, with analyst Bernard St-Laurent and results from Joanne Bayly.
- CJAD 800: Live coverage as of 8pm (end time will depend on results, but probably at least midnight), hosted by Aaron Rand and Tommy Schnurmacher. “We will have a full complement of newscasters and reporters scattered on and off-island. We will also be providing a live feed of the victory speech of the next Mayor of Montreal,” says program director Chris Bury.
- ICI Radio-Canada Première (95.1 FM): Live coverage from 8pm to 11pm, hosted by Michel C. Auger, with journalists Frank Desoer, Jean-Sébastien Bernatchez, Benoit Chapdelaine, Francine Plourde, Dominic Brassard and Alexandre Touchette. Bernard Généreux, president of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities and mayor of Saint-Prime, will be an analyst. Coverage is promised from all regions of Quebec with Radio-Canada staff. Quebec City and Gatineau will have their own local election night specials from 8pm to 10pm, the rest of the network will carry Auger’s show.
- CHMP 98.5 FM: Election special from 8pm to midnight hosted by Paul Houde. Panelists Marie Grégoire, Liza Frulla and Jean Fortier, guests Pierre Curzi, Jean Lapierre and Mario Dumont, and journalists Philippe Bonneville, Chantal Leblond, Catherine Brisson, Any Guillemette, Julie-Christine Gagnon and Geneviève Ruel. Other Cogeco Nouvelles stations will also have election specials from 8pm to midnight:
- Jean-François Gilbert in Quebec City at 93.3 FM (starts at 8:30pm)
- Martin Pelletier in Sherbooke at 107.7 FM (starts at 8:30pm)
- Roch Cholette and Louis-Philippe Brûlé in Gatineau at 104.7 FM (8pm to 11:30pm or midnight, depending on results)
- Claude Boucher in Trois-Rivières at 106.9 FM, which will also be presented on local community channels Cogeco TV and MaTV.
And of course there’s online, where almost everyone is promising extensive coverage and live results.
I’ll be spending election night on the Gazette news desk, which has all reporting, editing and managing hands on deck, and will be feeding its website throughout the night.
And, of course, you can just go to see the election results yourself.
The four main candidates for mayor were in what seemed like different debates every day, as just about everyone organize their own. If you missed them, here they are again (links to videos where I could find them):
- Institut de nouveau monde debate, Aug. 16
- Radio-Canada interviews, Sept. 20 (Bergeron, Coderre and Côté only)
- CTV Montreal debate, Oct. 6 (Bergeron, Coderre and Côté only)
- Radio-Canada debate, Oct. 9 at McGill University
- Montreal Council on Foreign Relations debate, Oct. 17
- Tout le monde en parle group appearance, Oct. 20 (recorded Oct. 17)
- CBC debate, Oct. 22 at McGill University
- Chamber of commerce debate on economy (RDI), Oct. 23
- Gazette/CJAD town hall, Oct. 25
- LCN face-à-face, Oct. 28, Oct. 29, Oct. 30
- Breakfast Television interviews, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1
- Télé-Québec documentary Une ville en campagne, Oct. 31
In addition, Global Montreal held four short debates among mayoral candidates for demerged suburbs on the island on its weekly Focus Montreal show: Montreal West and Pointe-Claire on Oct. 19, and Beaconsfield and Hampstead on Oct. 26, and a debate among candidates for mayor of the Côte des Neiges/Notre Dame de Grâce borough on Nov. 2.