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Contemporary Canadian Govt. & Politics: News Sources

Finding Information: Current Events / News Sources

Although the news media may not always provide "substantive" information, they should not be dismissed as a valid source for research material. The major news media: Radio, television, newspapers, news magazines, Internet news sites, etc. are often appropriate for getting:

facts: identifying the people, places, dates, issues, and other facts at the core of an event that provide clues for further research;
the earliest reports: of political events or government actions;
details: news sources often include local detail not easily found elsewhere;
excerpts: of interviews, speeches, quotes by politicians, government officials, etc.;
a reflection: of the time, showing what was considered newsworthy, how people perceived the events at the time, their opinions, etc. As such, news sources are often considered primary source material, for historical research in particular;
first-hand accounts: of events by an eyewitness or participant in an event(primary source material);
indepth analysis: newspapers in particular, but also at times other media, can provide more indepth analysis of an event like a convention or election than other sources.

For Government News Sites and News Releases see Part 5: Selected Primary Sources: What's Happening Now - In Government

NOTE: For various reasons, news sources need to be used with caution. The accuracy of the information is not always reliable. Articles are not necessarily well researched; facts and sources are not always checked and rarely cited. Information may be biased by the reporter's personal interpretation, the "story" or angle required for the assignment, or the political slant of the newspaper's owners. Editorials and other opinion pieces should be taken as just opinion, not fact.

Top | Full-text | Digests | Indexes | Websites | News Site Gateways

Full-text News Databases:

These are electronic databases of news sources, most available by subscription. Contents vary depending on the subscription package chosen. Check your library for their holdings.

NOTE: Most electronic news databases do not provide full historical coverage. Print and microfilmed versions of Canadian newspapers from their earliest years may be available in research libraries. Search library catalogues by the title of the newspaper to see the holdings available.

Canadian Newsstream. Proquest.

Description: Text (articles, features, columns and editorials) of over 100 Canadian newspapers.
Coverage: Varies by title. 1970's - . Updated daily, some with a 7-day delay.
Includes: Selected Canadian newspapers.
Tips: Can be limited to major Canadian dailies or regional papers only.

CBCA. (Canadian Business and Current Affairs) ProQuest.

Description: Has over 50 Canadian news sources on current events including politics.
Coverage: Varies by title. From late 1970's to the present. Updated daily. Most newspapers with a 7-day delay.
Includes: Newspapers, newswires, news magazines, television and radio transcripts.

Eureka. Cision Inc. (formerly CEDROM-SNi).

Description: Has local and national newspapers and other news sources, some in full-text, pdf format.
Coverage: 1985 - . Varies by title. Updated daily.
Includes: French and English-language newspapers, television and radio news transcripts, newswires.
Tips: Subscribers can select subsets by region, etc.

Factiva. Dow Jones.

Description: A global news database with some full-text sources.
Coverage: Varies by title. Updated daily.
Includes: Globe and Mail and some other French and English-language news sources.

Globe and Mail: Canada's Heritage from 1844. Proquest.

Description: Digital archive of Canada's national newspaper.
Coverage: Globe and Mail from June 1844 - present (with 4- year delay).
Includes: All articles and graphics.

Nexis Uni. LexisNexis.

Description: Text only database of business, legal and global news sources.
Coverage: Includes Globe and Mail from 1977 to present.

Toronto Star: Pages of the Past. ProQuest.

Description: Scanned and digitized version of this major Canadian daily in .pdf format.
Coverage: Toronto Star from 1894 - present (with 3-year delay)
Includes: All articles and graphics.
Tips: Some pages may be difficult to read as they were scanned from microfilm. Microfilm versions available in most large libraries.

Top | Full-text | Digests | Indexes | Websites | News Site Gateways

News Digests:

Canadian News Facts: The Indexed Digest of Canadian Current Events. Toronto: MPL Communications Inc., 1967 - 2001.

Description: Summarizes the major news stories from a select number of newspapers across Canada.
Coverage: 1967 to 2001. Updated biweekly.
Includes: Selected Canadian newspapers.
Tips: Use the subject index included.

Ottawa Letter. Don Mills, ON: CCH Canadian, 1965 - .

Description: A digest of current events on Parliament Hill. Was called View from Ottawa 1965-1976. Absorbed Buchanan's Bulletin reg'd published 1940-1965.
Coverage: 1965 to the present. Updated biweekly.
Includes: Federal legislative record.
Tips: Use the subject index.

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News Indexes:

Note that the full-text databases listed above are all searchable and therefore function as indexes as well. The following are selected major newspaper indexes which index several papers. Use the Checklist of Indexes (below) to find others.

Indexes to Canadian Newspapers. Library and Archives Canada.

Description: Lists general indexes and indexes by province. Use this list to see if your town's newspaper is indexed, and for which dates. Provides Internet links to indexes where available.
Coverage: 18th century to the present.
Includes: Indexes to local, regional and national newspapers.
Tips: Searchable by province, title of newspaper or title of index. If not online, indexes can be requested by interlibrary loan through your library.

Canadian Index. (Was Canadian Newspaper Index 1977-1979, Canadian News Index, 1980-1992, 1993 merged with two magazine indexes.) Toronto: Micromedia, 1977 - 2001.

Description: Indexes a select number of Canadian daily newspapers and magazines.
Coverage: 1977 - 2001. Updated monthly, with annual or semi-annual cumulations.
Includes: Titles indexed vary over time. Newspapers include Montreal Star, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Winnipeg Free Press.

Index de l'Actualité. (Formerly Index de l'Actualité vues à travers la presse écrite) Westmount, Quebec: InformII-Microfor. 1972 - 1998.

Description: Indexes four Quebec newspapers: Le Devoir, Le Journal de Montréal, La Presse, Le Soleil.
Coverage: 1987 - 1998. Updated monthly with annual cumulations.

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Selected News Websites:

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).

Founded in 1941, the CBC is Canada's publicly owned news service and is the largest news gathering organization in Canada. The main page of the website features news stories of the day. You can subscribe to receive CBC news digests and alerts by email, e.g. CBC News Politics Headlines. Some of the popular feature stories from The National can be viewed in the CBC Archives. Some political news podcasts are also available.

The House.

A CBC radio show covering national politics since 1977, aired on Saturday mornings. The latest episodes can be listened to here: You can also subscribe.


CBC's French-language network has news headlines and searchable archives of news stories.

The Globe and Mail 1844 - and The National Post 1998 -

Canada's national newspapers. Available online for free are selected articles from today's paper and a searchable archive of one week. More is available for subscribers. Most libraries have subscriptions online through databases.
NOTE: If your topic is a regional one (outside of Central Canada) or local, check the major dailies from the region and the local newspapers as well.

The Hill Times: Canada's Politics and Government Newsweekly.

Published in Ottawa since 1989, this independently-owned weekly paper (available in print and online) covers federal politics and the federal government. Besides news stories, op-eds and updates on the status of legislation, features include "policy briefings" highlighting a current public policy issue with an interview of the Minister in charge, and a parliamentary calendar. Not all areas of the website are accessible without a subscription.


A digital newspaper with daily coverage of Canadian provincial and federal politics since 2010. iPoliticsINTEL, which includes Parliamentary monitoring and daily updates, is subscription-based:

Top | Full-text | Digests | Indexes | Websites | News Site Gateways

Some of the Best News Gateway Sites:

Canadian Newspapers and News Sites. By

A collection of links to Canadian newspapers by province, language and type and some links to other news sites.

Find a Publication. News Media Canada.

Links to the websites of Canadian daily newspapers.

Canadian News Online. Library and Archives Canada.

Links to a wide variety of Canadian news sources including current and historical, student newspapers, satirical, aboriginal, and multicultural papers.

For Government News Sites and News Releases see Part 5: Selected Primary Sources: What's Happening Now - In Government