National Newswatch

Quebec’s Liberals have less to lose than their rivals

Jun 18 2018 — Chantal Hébert — As the last national assembly sitting before the Oct. 1 provincial vote was winding down last week, a brief encounter with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard yielded an unsolicited prediction. “I have a secret for you,” he told me on his way out of a Radio-Canada studio. “I will win the election.” Perhaps that was his […]

For Conservative MP Maxime Bernier it was just a matter of time

Jun 13 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Absent Monday’s federal byelection in the Quebec riding of Chicoutimi-Le Fjord Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer might not have so expeditiously booted his former rival Maxime Bernier from his shadow cabinet. Still it was probably only a matter of time before last year’s leadership runner-up found himself out in the cold. On Tuesday, Bernier lost his […]

Don’t expect Ford Nation to invade Quebec

Jun 8 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Don’t expect Ford mania to seep into Quebec’s fall election campaign. The opposite is likely to happen. Rarely have Quebecers followed an Ontario campaign with as much fascination as the one that concluded with a Tory majority victory on Thursday. But that interest was based on a mix of incredulity and relief.

A chance at relevance for the Bloc Québécois

Jun 4 2018 — Chantal Hébert — To the surprise of no one except herself, Bloc Québécois Leader Martine Ouellet has lost her bid to remain at the helm of the federal sovereigntist party. On the weekend, two-thirds of the remaining BQ members showed her the door. The verdict could not have been clearer. Still, it took Ouellet almost 24 hours to […]

A defining week for Justin Trudeau

Jun 1 2018 — Chantal Hébert — By any measure, the past week will go down as the defining one in Justin Trudeau’s current term of office. With back-to-back make-or-break decisions on the pipeline and the trade files, the prime minister is rewriting the terms of engagement on two crucial battlefronts for his government, but also for Canada.

Trudeau bets pipeline will help him sell environmental agenda

May 30 2018 — Chantal Hébert — To understand the counterintuitive political calculus behind Justin Trudeau’s controversial decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline, one has to go back to the fundamental equation that has governed this prime minister’s energy and climate change policies since his days in opposition. That Trudeau had no choice but to take over the pipeline if he […]

Unlike Ontario, there is a path to power for Liberals in Quebec

May 23 2018 — Chantal Hébert — As Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals go in Ontario’s spring election, so too will go Philippe Couillard’s ruling party in Quebec in the fall? Given the turn of the campaign for the Ontario Liberals there certainly are too many parallels to comfort their Quebec cousins. But there are also striking differences. Wynne and Couillard became leaders of […]

Justin Trudeau has little to show for his efforts to reach a deal on the Trans Mountain pipeline

May 16 2018 — Chantal Hébert — A month after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped in to resolve the impasse between British Columbia and Alberta over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline his government has little to show for its efforts. Trudeau’s offer to compensate Kinder Morgan — the parent company of the pipeline — for any financial losses resulting from […]

Andrew Scheer targets fallout of the Harper years

May 10 2018 — Chantal Hébert — A year into his new job as Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer is methodically trying to mend some of the fences broken by his predecessor. Fresh from a weekend appearance on Radio-Canada’s talk show Tout le monde en parle as part of a public-relations campaign designed to bring about a thaw in the icy relationship of […]