English-language Quebec election night coverage plans

Provincial elections are the biggest tests for English-language media based in Montreal during the campaign and on election night. During federal elections, major TV stations, radio stations and newspapers can rely on their national networks to share coverage. But that’s not the case during provincial elections, when the Montreal-based stations (who, for the most part, are the only members of their national networks in all of Quebec) have to do just about everything by themselves.

All that hard work, which comes with relatively little reward in terms of election campaign ad spending, comes to a head on Tuesday night as the polls close at 8pm and results start coming in. Every outlet that normally produces news will have an election special with reporters in the field covering leaders and key ridings. Here’s how it breaks down for each:

CBC television (CBMT/CBC News Network)

Election website | Video livestream | Live chat

CBC is first out of the gate on the TV side. Its election special begins at 7:30pm, with Andrew Chang and Debra Arbec hosting. Rather than do it from their usual cramped studio, they’ve been moved into the Maison Radio-Canada’s Studio 47.

Among guests with CBC TV on election night are Christian Bourque of Léger Marketing and Martin Patriquin of Maclean’s.

CBC News Network will be carrying the local election special nationally. CBCNN will cover the election during the day, with a special extended edition of Power & Politics with Evan Solomon at 5pm. The National will also have a special At Issue panel focusing on the election.

The TV election special will be streamed online and accessible by tablets and smartphones.

CTV (CFCF/CTV News Channel)

Election website | Election results site | Video livestream

CFCF will be airing a full-night election special starting at 8pm, with Mutsumi Takahashi and Paul Karwatsky hosting. It’s scheduled to end at 11pm when the national news starts, but it can keep going as needed.

CTV News Channel will pick up the CFCF feed as has been the case in previous provincial elections. What’s new this time is that the special will be live-streamed online.

Reporters will be staffed at “more than eight live remote locations” and Tarah Schwartz will be in studio analyzing election maps. There will also be Kevin Newman, CTV’s social media guy, who will be tracking reaction online from Ottawa.

In studio with Paul and Mits will be former Mulroney speechwriter L. Ian Macdonald and McGill’s Antonia Maioni, both Quebec political analysis veterans. There’s also an election panel chaired by Barry Wilson with former PQ minister Rita Dionne-Marsolais, former Equality Party Leader (and CAQ supporter) Robert Libman, and Suburban editor (and Liberal supporter) Beryl Wajsman.

National News chief anchor Lisa LaFlamme is also in Montreal and anchoring the national news here Monday and Tuesday. Former local anchor Todd van der Heyden is also here, covering the election and its aftermath for CTV News Channel during the day Tuesday and Wednesday from Place Jacques-Cartier.

CTV also promises election-related coverage on Business News Network.

Global (CKMI)

Election website | Results map (CP) | Liveblog

CKMI has historically preferred to keep its lucrative prime-time programming on election nights rather than put on a results special that’s going to come third in the ratings anyway. That continues this time. The election special will only start at 11pm, but will run for a full hour. It will include speeches from the leaders (taped, if they happen before 11pm, or live if they’re during that hour).

Online, the station will be active throughout the night, with live streaming, tweets from reporters and a blog by political scientist Bruce Hicks.

Sun News Network


Quebecor’s right-wing network is planning live election coverage as of 5pm.

CBC Radio One (CBME 88.5FM)

Election website | Audio livestream link

88.5 goes live with election results as of 7:30pm, with Mike Finnerty and Bernard St-Laurent hosting. The latter will also be doing a live blog.

CJAD (800 AM)

Election website | Audio livestream link

Montreal’s News Talk Leader goes live as of 8pm, running “until the speeches are done”, the plan says. Aaron Rand and Tommy Schnurmacher will host, rotating in 15-minute segments. Rand will interview analysts, reporters and candidates, while Schnurmacher will host two Gang of Four panels (one of commentators, one of the three main parties).

Among analysts will be The Gazette’s James Mennie and former CJAD host (and former NDP candidate) Anne Lagacé Dowson.


Election website | Live chat

CBC has always been a go-to source for election results on election night, and this time will be no different, with the usual interactive maps constantly updated with results. Shawn Apel of Daybreak will moderate a live chat on the website, and Bernard St-Laurent will blog live in combination with his radio duties.


Election website | Results map (CP)

This is where I’ll be on election night. I’ve been given the task of managing the homepage, while other editors handle subpages and edit stories. The Gazette will, like many websites, be using an interactive map from Canadian Press with live results. There will also be a live blog hosted by Jim Mennie.


OpenFile Montreal live blog

In French

Anyone else covering election night in English I should have included here? Let me know in the comments.

16 thoughts on “English-language Quebec election night coverage plans

  1. Scott Montague

    Let’s hope CBC and CTV’s live stream of the coverage is easy to find — there are times they “hide” them deep in their pages or make you surf through their players to find them.

    I’d love it if you could update your post with the links once things start (’cause, really, I’m lazy) for those of us out of the country on Election Day.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I’d love it if you could update your post with the links once things start (’cause, really, I’m lazy) for those of us out of the country on Election Day.

      I’ll do what I can, but I’m going to be busy myself.

  2. ATSC

    Concerning CKMI-DT 15.1, I’m surprise, yet not, that they didn’t apply to the CRTC to put to use their secondary channel 15.2 for tonight. CKMI-DT does offer a secondary channel over the air. But 15.2 is simply a 480i version of their HD version on 15.1. Tonight would have been a perfect time to show how a sub-channel can be of real use by placing a full election day coverage on 15.2.

    And since CKMI-DT also has re-tranmitters in Sherbrooke (11.1), and Quebec City (20.1), that secondary channel would have covered a large part of southern Quebec.

    Don’t forget, that the analog re-transmitters of CBMT have all been shut down outside of Montreal. And CFCF is local only as well. Of course CBMT’s and CFCF’s signal can probably be reached as a fringe signal all the to Trois-Rivieries with a good antenna set-up.

    I think the management of CKMI missed the boat on the chance to show off what a secondary channel can really offer.

    Oh well! I’ll be switching back and forth between CBMT and CFCF tonight.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Concerning CKMI-DT 15.1, I’m surprise, yet not, that they didn’t apply to the CRTC to put to use their secondary channel 15.2 for tonight.

      Aside from the paperwork involved in licensing it, they would have to provide programming. I don’t think Global has the means for a full three-hour election special.

  3. Tantastic Ted

    Patriquin is the best political commentator the CBC could snag? I don’t get it. To me it’s like getting Bieber to liveblog a moon landing.

  4. Bob

    I just wish CTV montreal would actually produce their local content, but especially important events in HD….
    This is 2012, not 94’…

      1. Captain Obvious

        Well then they’d better do some upgrading — and pronto. A minority gov’t with that loon at the helm isn’t likely to last long…

          1. Captain Obvious

            In the meantime, the rest of the city will watch the other umpteen stations happily doing their thing in full HD.

          2. Kevin

            Nope. The ratings show CTV is still the juggernaut.
            If there were any serious competition the station would have switched to HD years ago.

  5. Alex H

    Based on the election results I can see from the other side of the world, I would say that I left Quebec at the right time. Sorry to all my friends in Montreal and area, it looks like you are in for a few very rough years and another referendum.

    Hope you aren’t trying to sell property, because if you are, you are on the losing end of the stick now.

  6. Mario

    Funny enough on election night I tweeted to @fagstein how CTV Montreal was the only TV media outlet to broadcast the election results in SD. Pretty sad. I guess it’s Bell’s turn to say SayNoto… Only thing is they said no to their own affiliate.


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