National Newswatch

Pipeline politics ensures Ottawa and Alberta will remain divided

Dec 5 2018 — Chantal Hébert — All is far from well between Rachel Notley’s Alberta government and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. With the prime minister in the eye of the storm over the failure to get more oil to tidewater, no federal gesture between now and next fall’s election is likely to really lower the temperature between the two capitals. The combination […]

So much has changed between Trudeau and Canada’s premiers

Dec 3 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Political goodwill could be in short supply when the first ministers gather in Montreal on Friday. Much has changed — mostly for the worst for federal-provincial harmony — since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last presided over the same gathering a bit more than a year ago. Over the 14-month interval between the two conferences, voters […]

CAQ’s agenda could haunt federal parties in Quebec

Nov 28 2018 — Chantal Hébert — For the first time in 42 years, the curtain rose on the opening speech of a new party governing in Quebec’s national assembly on Wednesday. The circumstances could not have been more different than in 1976. Back then, the election of a Parti Québécois government had sent shock waves across the country.

Government support not an easy solution for journalism

Nov 23 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Among the main items of this week’s federal fiscal update, none has drawn reactions as mixed as the announcement of a half-billion-dollar package to be spent over the next five years on helping out Canada’s struggling news industry. Most media executives and many friends of the news media applauded the move. They had been calling […]

Andrew Scheer leads where voters may not follow

Nov 19 2018 — Chantal Hébert — At this time last year, Finance Minister Bill Morneau was in the eye of a storm over the bungled rollout of a series of small business tax changes, and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives looked like they were on a roll. The minister has been having a quieter parliamentary season this fall. With the legalization of cannabis, […]

Andrew Scheer gets clipped by Doug Ford’s budget cuts

Nov 16 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Make no mistake. By putting Ontario’s francophone minority on his fiscal hit list this week, Premier Doug Ford has placed his federal ally Andrew Scheer in harm’s way. In Thursday’s fiscal update, Ontario’s Tory government put plans for a long-promised French-language university on the chopping block, in the process reversing Ford’s campaign commitment to the […]

Maxime Bernier is still an answer in search of a problem

Nov 14 2018 — Chantal Hébert — As he travels west in search of support for his breakaway conservative party, Maxime Bernier has taken to introducing himself as “the Albertan from Quebec.” Albertans will have to decide from themselves whether a leader who reflects their values would, among other things, have Canada turn its back on the global fight against climate change […]

Justin Trudeau makes Jagmeet Singh play the waiting game

Oct 29 2018 — Chantal Hébert — By sitting on a byelection call for the B.C. riding of Burnaby South, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is deliberately stalling NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s bid to enter the House of Commons. In so doing, the prime minister is merely using his prerogative to wait up to six months after a vacancy occurs to set a […]

Is electoral reform finally taking root in Canada?

Oct 26 2018 — Chantal Hébert — To follow the Canadian electoral reform debate is akin to keeping track of a game of whack-a-mole. No sooner is the issue put down in one political venue that it pops up somewhere else. And so it is that proposals to do away with the first-past-the-post voting system are currently live in two provinces — […]