National Newswatch
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Winter weather kicks up a political storm in Quebec

Mar 18 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Had Quebec been in the midst of an election campaign this week, Philippe Couillard’s days as premier would have been numbered. His Liberal government would not have survived the bungle that saw hundreds of motorists left stranded on one of Montreal’s major highways in the worst snowstorm of the season. It all started when two […]

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Federal front for Conservatives may be secondary to Alberta

Mar 15 2017 — Chantal Hébert — For more than 20 years, a politician from Alberta has held the leading position on one side or the other in the House of Commons. That unbroken spell will come to a halt when the federal Conservatives pick a permanent successor to Stephen Harper next May. The conspicuous absence of an Alberta candidate in the […]

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The NDP and Conservative leadership races are a study in contrast

Mar 13 2017 — Chantal Hébert — To compare the leadership debates of the Conservatives and the New Democrats on the basis of the latter’s first all-candidates meeting is to engage in a study in contrast. The Conservative campaign features an overcrowded podium, essentially proving in the process that an abundance of candidates does not automatically translate into an abundance of riches. […]

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Trudeau’s Liberals slow to appoint parliamentary watchdogs

Mar 6 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Almost 18 months into a majority mandate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to appoint a single parliamentary watchdog. That is not for lack of a vacancy to fill. Four of the eight strategic positions of officers of Parliament are currently without a permanent holder. Never in recent memory has a party in power taken […]

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It’s not just Donald Trump who shifts the truth, Canada’s politicians have been using alternative facts for years

Mar 3 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Contrary to an increasingly popular Canadian belief, the Trump administration does not have a monopoly on so-called alternative facts. Nor did it invent the concept. Deliberate distortions of reality have been part and parcel of the Canadian political discourse for years and no party including the one that is currently in power at the national […]

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What took Charles Taylor so long to reverse his position on Quebec’s religious restrictions?

Feb 16 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Almost a decade ago, Montreal philosopher Charles Taylor — one of Canada’s leading intellectuals — co-presided a provincial commission on religious accommodation that recommended among other measures that Quebec impose a secular dress code on the province’s judges and police forces. In so doing, he and historian/sociologist Gérald Bouchard inadvertently planted the seeds of Quebec’s […]

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First date goes well for Canada

Feb 13 2017 — Chantal Hébert — In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Donald Trump handed Justin Trudeau the rose he coveted on Monday in Washington. Like all roses, it comes with thorns. Only time will tell whether those thorns matter more than the flower itself. Until then, the first face-to-face meeting between the prime minister and his new counterpart in the […]

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Finding order in the Trump chaos will be job one for Trudeau: Hébert

Feb 10 2017 — Chantal Hébert — There is at least one prediction that is bulletproof about Monday’s first face-to-face meeting between Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau. It will be the most-watched initial meeting between an incoming American president and a Canadian prime minister in recent history. That’s not just because the new U.S. administration inspires widespread trepidation in Canada. The Trudeau/Trump […]