National Newswatch

Trudeau’s popularity reveals more about the lackluster standing of Canada’s premiers and the opposition he faces

Jun 28 2017 — Chantal Hébert — As Justin Trudeau’s government approaches mid-mandate, he remains the most popular government leader in the country. But that says as much if not more about the lackluster standing of the current set of premiers as about the staying power of the popularity of the prime minister. In three of the four larger provinces for instance, […]

Parliament’s in summer mode but political machinations go on

Jun 26 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Parliament stands adjourned until mid-September but that does not mean the business of politics is on pause. Here are three must-watch political stories of the summer season. 1. This is the week when a 16-year Liberal reign is expected to end in British Columbia. The provincial legislature will vote on an NDP non-confidence motion in […]

In Quebec, the sovereignty issue is in deep freeze

Jun 24 2017 — Chantal Hébert — There was time not so long ago when the very notion of a federal government funding some June 24th festivities in Quebec would have raised eyebrows on both sides of the federalist-sovereigntist divide. Ottawa has long contributed to the financing of St-Jean-Baptiste celebrations in the rest of Canada, but it had abstained from associating itself […]

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 […]