The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press (CP; French: La Presse canadienne, PC) is a Canadian national news agency headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Established in 1917 as a vehicle for the time's Canadian newspapers to exchange news and information,[2] The Canadian Press has been a private, not-for-profit cooperative owned and operated by its member newspapers for most of its history. In mid-2010, however, it announced plans to become a for-profit business owned by three media companies once certain conditions were met.[3]

The Canadian Press
Native name
La Presse canadienne
IndustryNews agency
Key people
Andrea Baillie, Editor-in-Chief[1]
Number of employees

Over the years, The Canadian Press and its affiliates have adapted to reflect changes in the media industry, including technological changes and the growing demand for rapid news updates. It currently offers a wide variety of text, audio, photographic, video[4] and graphic content to websites, radio, television, and commercial clients in addition to newspapers and its longstanding ally, the Associated Press (AP), a global news service based in the United States.


Initially, Canada had only region-based news associations, lacking a national wire service. The Canadian Press was created by an act of Parliament as a news co-operative,[5] with an annual government grant from 1917 to 1924,[2] for the purpose of helping newspapers cover and distribute news across the country. Initially operating as a distribution network, its first editorial staff came on board during World War I to report on the efforts of Canadian soldiers overseas.

During World War I, CP began operating Press News Limited, a radio news subsidiary.[6][7] In 1944, Press News served 35 of 90 radio stations in Canada, had a five-person staff in Toronto, and an annual budget of Can$90,000.[8] In 1945, CP established a French-language radio news service,[8][9] the first such wire service for French broadcasters in North America.[10] CP Picture Service was established in 1948, to wire photographs to television stations and newspapers in Canada, instead of the images being mailed via the postal service.[8][9] The Canadian Press operates in both English and French, the latter service being established in 1951 as La Presse Canadienne.[11]

With the arrival of radio and television, The Canadian Press created Broadcast News (BN) in 1954, a subsidiary to deliver text specifically written for broadcasters.[12] On January 1, 1954, BN replaced Press News. The venture operated in co-operation with private broadcasters, and supplied news reports to privately owned radio and television stations in Canada.[13] Charles Edwards was named the first manager and secretary of BN.[9] In 1956, BN established the first national voice news wire service for broadcasters in Canada, which became BN Voice in 1961, which then served 34 radio stations with national and international news.[8] When Edwards retired in 1971, BN had grown to serve 298 radio and television stations in Canada, and increased to 45 staff and a $2-million budget by 1971.[8] In 1979, CP added network newscasts for subscribing stations.[12]

The news agency has a staff of more than 180 journalists in its bureaus across Canada,[11] as well as a correspondent in Washington, DC. It had also operated a bureau in London, England, until 2004, has had reporters covering the Canadian mission in Afghanistan since 2002,[2] and delivers news coverage to the West Indies.[14] With its alliance through the Associated Press, there is now a worldwide exchange of news.[14]

Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. is the entity that was to "take over the operations of the Canadian Press" according to a November 2010 article in the Toronto Star.[3] The new board met for the first time on November 29, 2010 to review the operations of The Canadian Press.[3] As of January 2020, Torstar, Globe and Mail and Montreal's La Presse continued to be the owners of The Canadian Press.[15]


Playing an essential role in the development of Canadian identity, The Canadian Press is wholly dependent on leased telegraphic lines in order to send stories back and forth across the country to their vast number of readers.[16]

In addition to providing news to newspapers, radio, and television, The Canadian Press provides online news and photos. Now, almost every daily newspaper in Canada relies on the service brought forth by The Canadian Press.[16] It introduced this online breaking news service in 1996 and now its multimedia content is published by most major Canadian news websites. The Canadian Press launched breaking news video in 2007, with clips produced specifically for websites and wireless services.

On June 30, 2007, CanWest left The Canadian Press cooperative.[17]

In September 2007, The Canadian Press launched a rebranding campaign in an effort to stay competitive, notably in the wake of the pullout by The CanWest Global's newspaper, television and online news outlets (see below). All of its services, including radio networks Broadcast News and Nouvelles télé-radio, were rolled into a single brand: The Canadian Press. The change marked the end of the familiar (CP) service logo.[18]

The Canadian Press also operates the largest online editorial archive of news pictures shot by photojournalists. It was the first in Canada to develop this online archive in 1996 and now it is home to over two million digital images with hundreds of images added each day. These photos appear in newspapers, books and magazines, and online. In addition to news and information, The Canadian Press publishes the Stylebook and Caps and Spelling book, which are considered the chief style guides for Canadian journalists, public relations professionals, editors, and writers of all disciplines.

Through a longstanding partnership, The Canadian Press is the exclusive distributor of the Associated Press (AP) and Associated Press Television News (APTN) material in Canada. The AP is likewise the exclusive distributor of The Canadian Press in the United States and worldwide.

On March 11, 2009, Sun Media announced that it would also be pulling out of the cooperative.[19]

In July 2010, a tentative deal was struck between The Canadian Press' three largest stakeholders, CTVglobemedia, Torstar, and Gesca, to transform the newswire from a co-operative into a for-profit entity.[20] On November 26, 2010, Torstar, The Globe and Mail, and Square Victoria Communications Group announced they have invested in a new for-profit entity, Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., to take over the operations of The Canadian Press. The change in the ownership structure from a non-profit co-operative to a for-profit private business allowed the company to cover its pension needs and take advantage of future business opportunities, Phillip Crawley, publisher of The Globe and Mail, said in an interview, November 26, 2010. The Canadian Press had a serious pension shortfall, which was, in 2010, valued at $34.4 million.[3]

Notable staff

  • William Ashbury Buchanan, elected president of The Canadian Press in 1944[21]
  • Charles Edwards, The Canadian Press journalist from 1933 to 1944, manager of Press News from 1944 to 1954, manager of Broadcast News from 1954 to 1971[8]
  • Jack Sullivan, The Canadian Press sports editor from 1948 to 1975[22]

See also

  • Canadian Newsmaker of the Year
  • Canadian Press Cable Service
  • CNW Group
  • Quoi de Neuf


  1. "Our Newsrooms". The Canadian Press. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  2. "About Us". The Canadian Press. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  3. Flavelle, Dana (November 26, 2010). "Major publishers invest in Canada's oldest news agency". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  4. "Compelling Licensed Editorial Video". The Canadian Press.
  5. "Alphabetical list of Private Acts — Miscellaneous". Justice Laws. Government of Canada. 2020. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  6. "Charles B. Edwards Heads Press News". Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alberta. March 27, 1944. p. 2.
  7. "Canadian News Briefs". United Press International. June 23, 1983. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  8. "Charles Edwards of Broadcast News retires". The Brandon Sun. Brandon, Manitoba. The Canadian Press. August 13, 1971. p. 10.
  9. Potts, J. Lyman (February 1996). "Charles B. Edwards (1906–1983)". History of Canadian Broadcasting. Canadian Communications Foundation. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  10. "'BN' Pioneer Dies at 76". The Province. Vancouver, British Columbia. June 24, 1983. p. 2.
  11. "Our Team & Editorial Values". The Canadian Press. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  12. McCarten, James (editor). The Canadian Press Stylebook: A Guide for Writers and Editors, 18th edition. Toronto: The Canadian Press, 2017.
  13. "News Service to Serve Radio, TV". The Sun Times. Owen Sound, Ontario. The Canadian Press. January 2, 1954. p. 8.
  14. Ford, Arthur R. (1942). "The Canadian Press". Canadian Historical Review. 23 (3): 241–46. doi:10.3138/chr-023-03-01. ISSN 0008-3755. S2CID 162029733.
  15. Media Classified acquires City Parent magazine from Metroland Media
  16. Miville, Serge (December 31, 1969). "Gene Allen, Making National News. A History of Canadian Press (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013)". Left History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Historical Inquiry and Debate. 18 (2). doi:10.25071/1913-9632.39319. ISSN 1913-9632.
  17. "Canadian Press Wire Service Well Prepared If CanWest Pulls Out - Trends & Events > Talks & Meetings from".
  18. " - Connecting People Through News".
  19. Blackwell, Richard (March 11, 2019). "Sun Media to pull out of Canadian Press". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on March 14, 2009.
  20. "Canadian Press in tentative revamp deal: source". Reuters. July 5, 2010.
  21. Thomas, Syd (March 31, 1944). "Sport Snap-ups". Medicine Hat Daily News. Medicine Hat, Alberta. The Canadian Press. p. 4.
  22. "Jack Sullivan". Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. 1983. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
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