Canadian TV Reschedules Election Debate Around Hockey

Canadian broadcasters reorganizes a political leaders' debate during a federal election to avoid clash with a Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins playoff matchup.

TORONTO – No surprise here: Hockey trumps politics in Canada.

Canadian broadcasters are moving the French-language leaders’ debate for Canada’s current federal election up by a day to Wednesday night so it won’t clash with the National Hockey League playoffs, which get under way this week.

A broadcasting consortium representing CBC/Radio-Canada, CTV, Global Television and TVA specifically moved the Canadian leaders’ debate from Thursday night to avoid a conflict with the Montreal Canadiens’ first NHL playoff game against the Boston Bruins on the same night.

The consortium said the scheduling change was made to ensure “debates are scheduled to reach as wide an audience as possible.” 

“The broadcasting consortium believes this schedule modification is in the best interest of the general public,” the consortium added.

The fear was hockey-made fans of the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec would flee the Canadian political debate to watch their team go up against the arch-rival Bruins.

The federal election, which will include an English language leaders’ debate on Tuesday night, will be held on May 2.