Election coverage tonight: “Election? What election?”

It is time.

It is time.

In federal elections, it’s customary for television networks to suspend normal programming and air an election special with the big national anchors sitting at Parliament Hill or at a special “election desk” in an undisclosed (but elaborately decorated) location.

In provincial elections, much the same thing, but on a more local level. The graphics aren’t as cool, and the sets aren’t as elaborate, but still attention is given to the big event.

In municipal elections today, even though they’re happening in cities across Quebec, the amount of coverage depends entirely on what language you speak.

If you’re a francophone, you’re in luck, because Montreal is the centre of your media universe. Both LCN and RDI will have election specials all evening, and the main networks Radio-Canada and TVA will have results specials later.

If you’re an anglophone well, election coverage is expensive, and there are cheap rerun movies or U.S. programming to run instead. Not a single anglo network (not even the all-news networks) has special coverage planned for the election. You’ll have to wait for the regular local newscast.

Here’s how it breaks down, ordered by the amount of coverage:

  • RDI: Live coverage from 6:30pm to 12:30am (anyone thinking RDI is a national network serving all French Canadians – including those outside Quebec – is clearly delusional)
  • LCN: Live coverage from 7:30pm
  • CBFT/Radio-Canada: Because of the ADISQ gala tonight, election coverage will begin once it’s over at about 10pm. They expect to be done by 11:30
  • CFTM/TVA: Occupation Double is more important than the news. After that, there’s Dominic Arpin’s Vlog. They might get to it at 10:30. A movie is scheduled at 11.
  • CKMI/Global: News Final is at 11:30, giving a total of 30 minutes for election and other local news.
  • CFCF/CTV: The Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives tonight. Regular local newscast is at 11:30, which will have up to 15 minutes of coverage before it gives way to SportsNight. UPDATE: CTV says it won’t have SportsNight tonight in favour of election coverage, and will have updates during primetime commercials.
  • CBMT/CBC: Battle of the Blades and The Nature of Things are on for tonight. There’s no local news on weekends, so the best hope is a mention on The National at 10.
  • CTV News Channel: No special coverage is planned, but it’s live from the newsroom all night, so they’ll probably air significant developments live if they’re of national interest.
  • CBC News Network: No special coverage is planned. A documentary on Barack Obama will be airing when election results start coming in. The National is at 9, which will probably mention the results, at least in brief.
  • CFJP/V: Their only news bulletin is at 5:30pm. No election coverage is scheduled.
  • CIVM/Télé-Québec: No news department means no election coverage whatsoever.
  • VOX: Haha, just kidding.

This information is based on published schedules, so it’s possible there might be special coverage on one of these networks that they havn’t told the TV guide (and on-screen digital schedules) people about. But I wouldn’t hold my breath for the conventional TV stations.

Better options on radio, online

So what’s an anglo to do when you can’t get local news before 11?

  • CBC Radio is a solution. Nancy Wood (host of Daybreak, who hopefully isn’t working tomorrow) and Andrew Chang (host of the TV newscast) will be live in the radio studio tonight from 9pm to 11pm, and they will be streaming live video online. They’re also live-blogging the results.
  • CJAD also has live election coverage this evening.
  • And, of course, if you don’t need the voice of gravitas from a radio or television anchor, don’t forget about the print media. The Gazette will have liveblogging from reporter Jim Mennie, and Cyberpresse is all over this.

Montreal City Hall will be hosting a results party tonight, with everyone welcome as of 7:45pm.

And if you don’t want the media filter, you can get the results straight from the source.

I’m heading to work, where I’ll be in the thick of it tonight putting together election pages for a special section of The Gazette tomorrow, which means I won’t have time to liveblog the results (or coverage thereof). Feel free to share what you see and hear below.

Some polling stations were delayed in opening so they’re being kept open later. Expect results no earlier than 9pm.

19 thoughts on “Election coverage tonight: “Election? What election?”

  1. Edna

    Took me about three minutes, from the time I entered the school till the time I ran out to collect the dog from the tree she was tied to (she’s very municipally minded). Honestly, it was a ghost gym. I’m going to assume all my neighbours ran out to vote before 5 p.m.

  2. Shawn

    Just in case Bergeron wins, I just want to make it clear that — despite anything you may have seen from me in the past — I, for one, welcome our new Project Montreal overlords.

  3. TV News Guy

    CTV Montreal will have updates during commercial breaks throughout the evening. A few of those will include live hits from reporters with the main Montreal campaigns.

    Tonight’s 11:30 news is all-election, pre-empting SportsNight.

  4. Singlestar

    nNncy Wood told Bronstetter this morning that she would be on Daybreak at 5:30 am tomorrow; but that she would be leaving early tonight even if the results aren’t finished.

  5. Kirti Patel

    Local TV matters! Without it we wouldn’t be receiving these live results from CTV and Global,right CTV & Global? Thanks for showing us these american shows instead.
    CTV & Global are you sure local matters to you?

  6. Shawn

    Dang. Bergeron doesn’t even look close.

    If the vote from predominantly anglo areas proves to be the difference maker for Tremblay, we can all look forward to outrage from the usual suspects.

  7. Kirti Patel

    Wow bad coverage on ctv…salas making all kinds of errors,screaming people behind the scenes saying wrong results,then when salas thought she was off air she screamed WHAT.
    Then Paul read some results then Tarah read the exact same results.
    Local tv matters!

    1. Fassero

      I thought the reference to the Mayor as “Mario Tremblay” and both anchors reading the same acclaimed Mayor list off the same teleprompter sold it to me – local TV DOES matter? (although I remember UHF stations with 50 cent budgets coming up with at least as viable a production.

  8. ATSC

    Yup! Pretty bad coverage.
    LCN and RDI where their for it all night. But only in French. Of course, both of these channels are cable speciality channels. As for local over the air channels coverage. Ha! What a joke. Basically had to wait until their regular newscast spots. Oh yes, “Local TV Matters”. Nine over the air broadcast stations in Montreal and none of them cut their regular programming in order to have live election results in french or english. So much for saving local TV. Shame on all of them.

  9. ATSC

    It’s just past midnight. CBFT and CFTM are still doing election coverage as part of their extended late news. But, these guys also run RDI and LCN. Their just pulling in a feed from their speciality cable channels. This all in french. CFJP is running some badly translated poker after dark stuff. In english, CFCF feels running a CSI:NY rerun is more important. While CKMI is running a Turbo Slim infomercial. CBMT is running regular CBC stuff. You know, crap. And, poor CJNT is running a french infomercial. All these guys need to have a very serious compliant filed with the CRTC.

  10. Karine

    I don’t understand why the ADISQ gala was scheduled on the same day as the election coverage, Rad-Can’s coverage on the main network was scheduled to begin at 10:30.

  11. Jim J.

    After spending about an hour last night watching the streaming video from CBC, I can’t help but wonder if Shawn Apel talks with his hands like that all the time.

      1. Gilles


        Just so you know. I thought your coverage (and that of Nancy Wood) was absolutely great (and I am not just saying this to be kind).

        Your analysis of the election really made a huge difference. In my opinion – those who find fault with your gestures are JEALOUS!!!! (and nitpicking no doubt)

        Your gesturing was fine (ie. just regular gesturing…). Hope that clarifies things for you.

  12. Jesse

    Tried to find out the district results on The Gazette’s website, and all of the links I tried on their ‘handy-dandy’ interactive map seem to be broken… and there is no simple list anywhere… You would think the only local English paper could have the results… wtf…

  13. Heather

    Neither TVA nor Rad-Can interupted programing either. Their CABLE affiliates did. And since CTV’s Newsnet is in Toronto, I suppose they didn’t see the point of covering an election which wasn’t taking place in the center of their universe.

    And given that only 35% of Montrealers actually took the trouble to vote, maybe the networks figured, hey, if no one gives a shit, why should we?


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