National Newswatch

Philippe Couillard picks a bad time to break a promise

Aug 17 2018 — Chantal Hébert — The provincial riding of Marquette, in Montreal’s West Island, is one of the safest Liberal seats in Quebec. It has been a party fortress since its creation in 1980. Its current MNA, François Ouimet, first ran in 1994. Since then, in bad times as in good, his re-election has been little more than a formality. […]

In Ottawa, all eyes are on Donald Trump

Jun 23 2018 — Chantal Hébert — The main takeaway from Canada’s uncommonly intense political spring is a wilder-than-ever Donald Trump card. That is first and foremost a challenge for a federal government that has had to deploy more resources to do damage control on the Canada/U.S. front than any of its recent predecessors — with so far less than optimal results.

Lessons for other parties in Quebec byelection win by Conservatives

Jun 19 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are not going to allow Justin Trudeau to rebuild a Liberal fortress in Quebec without a fight: that’s just one of the messages from Monday’s Chicoutimi-Le Fjord’s byelection upset. And some of the other messages — in particular for the New Democrats — are more alarming than others. But first some essential […]

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.