Network: CTV Television Network
Broadcast Run: 1967
Broadcast Medium: Television
First seen on CTV in the fall of 1967, Question Period returned to the air in the fall of 2001, having taken a four-year hiatus at the end of the 1996-1997 season. The series’ hosts were Bruce Phillips, Pamela Wallin and latterly CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Craig Oliver. Over the years the hosts were joined in their questioning by a number of other journalists, including John Ibbitson and Jane Taber.
The series’ format put politicians and other newsmakers on the hot seat each week, for what the Network referred to as “accountability sessions”. It was originally a half-hour show, but was extended to one-hour on its return from hiatus in the fall of 2001.
The series originated from CTV’s Ottawa Bureau. For the entirety of its original 29-year run, the program was delivered to CTV affiliates 4:30 – 5:00pm Sundays, and was played at various times by different affiliates. However, following its return, by which time the Network had become CTV Inc., with one owner, it was fairly consistently scheduled in the Sunday 12 noon time period.
Craig Oliver continued as host of Question Period, and on July 7th 2011 it was announced that Kevin Newman would join CTV to co-host the show with Craig, starting on August 22nd. Newman had left the Global National anchor role on August 20th 2010, saying he needed a break to ‘recharge his batteries’.
On Sunday June 24th 2012, Craig Oliver announced that he was stepping back from his hosting duties on Question Period, but was looking forward to new and exciting challenges.
Craig, who remained CTV’s chief political correspondent, said that he would continue to appear on the weekly public affairs program as a panel member. He would also continue to serve as a political analyst and commentator for CTV News, and had been one of only three people to host Question Period.
Oliver cited a desire to “know what it’s like to sleep in on the weekends,” as his reason for stepping down. But Oliver promised that viewers will still see him on the weekly series, which wrapped up its season on June 24th 2012.
When asked what he was most looking forward to, Oliver replied: “Tomorrow, which is a continuation of the good old days.”
On September 8th 2013 Question Period returned for its 43rd season, with a new host, CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.
On August 20th 2014, CTV announced that the 44th Season of Question Period would launch on September 7th, once again hosted by CTV News’ Robert Fife. In June, Fife had been awarded top investigative journalism prizes from the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association, including the Dan MacArthur and Ron Laidlaw Awards.
On August 31, 2015 CTV announced that Question Period would return for a 45th season, premiering Sunday, Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. ET on CTV, CTV News Channel, CTV GO, and CTV News GO., again hosted by Robert Fife. Later in the year, on 19 November, it was announced that Robert Fife was moving on, effective January 1st 2016 to become Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail, but he would continue to host Question Period.
On June 21st 2016, CTV News announced that Bell Media Radio’s National Affairs Specialist and seasoned political journalist Evan Solomon had been appointed host of Question Period. His hosting role would commence at the beginning of the program’s 46th season, returning to CTV in September. Robert Fife would continue to appear on Question Period after stepping down as host of the show following the final broadcast of the current season on Sunday, July 3 at 11 a.m. ET on CTV.
At its Upfront presentation on June 6th 2019, CTV confirmed that Question Period would return in its SundaY morning 11 aqm time period for the 2019-2020 season.
On Sunday September 13th 2020 Question Period marked the start of its 50th season on CTV.