National Newswatch

Some parliamentary stars shine as one loses glow

Jun 21 2017 — Chantal Hébert — With the House of Commons adjourning for the summer, time for a look in the rearview mirror at four leading MPs who were on their game over the first half of the parliamentary year … and at one who was off. 1. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale took almost two years to come up with […]

Rookie ministers turned into cannon fodder

Jun 9 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Almost two years into her mandate heritage minister Mélanie Joly has clocked more time on her feet in the House of Commons defending the indefensible appointment of a close member of the Liberal family to the office of commissioner of official languages than advancing transformative policies. For the past three weeks the heritage minister has […]

Liberals’ shift in defence and foreign policy reflect new reality in the U.S.

Jun 7 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Tuesday’s Liberal foreign policy statement and Wednesday’s national defence reset are interlocking pieces of the same political puzzle. To examine one in isolation from the other is to risk distorting the picture. In different but related ways both reflect a Chrystia FreelandTrump-imposed shift in Canada’s foreign policy priorities. To measure the magnitude of that shift, […]

The Conservatives have a new leader, but not the bigger tent they need

May 28 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Connect the dots that lead to Andrew Scheer’s narrow Conservative leadership victory and what you have is a triumph of retail politics over big ideas. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives lived and eventually died on the battlefield of boutique policies tailored to specific segments of the electorate. Those same dynamics ultimately determined the outcome of the former […]

Is the PQ running on empty?

May 19 2017 — Chantal Hébert — With sovereignty on the backburner in Quebec for the foreseeable future, is there life for the Parti Québécois as a defining political force? Or is the party that nearly secured a majority pro-secession vote in 1995 running on empty now that it has put off plans for a referendum until at least 2022? Both questions […]

Pipeline politics puts Trudeau’s Liberals in a pickle

May 15 2017 — Chantal Hébert — The British Columbia legislature that has resulted from last week’s election is, for now, evenly split between pipeline partisans and opponents. Hopes — in the pro-pipeline camp — that the balance will shift in its favour once all the votes are counted later this month should be tempered by the notion that a razor-thin majority […]