National Newswatch

Montreal’s mayoral battle goes down to the wire

Nov 3 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Come Monday morning Valérie Plante will either be Montreal’s first elected female mayor after having scored this year’s biggest municipal upset on Sunday or, alternatively, a most coveted catch on Quebec and Canada’s progressive political market. Win or lose, she certainly gave Denis Coderre an unexpected run for his money. Over the course of the […]

Parti Québécois the author of its own misfortune

Nov 1 2017 — Chantal Hébert — The Parti Québécois has been a central force in Quebec’s political life for five decades. On the eve of its 50th anniversary, those days could be coming to an end. Next fall’s provincial election could see the PQ relegated to the same marginal role its federal cousin, the Bloc Québécois, has been consigned to in […]

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will have to figure out how to deal with friendly fire

Oct 30 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Few Parliament Hill insiders were surprised by Jason Kenney’s decisive Alberta leadership victory. The former federal Conservative immigration minister has long been considered in an organizational class of his own. He was the chief-architect of the federal party’s outreach in Canada’s diverse cultural communities. Kenney may have been less popular than his main rival Brian […]

Quebec’s face-covering bill unites rivals who together question the government’s competence

Oct 25 2017 — Chantal Hébert — With the law that prescribes that provincial and municipal services be rendered and received with one’s face uncovered, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has achieved the impossible. His Liberal government has reconciled the two opposite camps in the Quebec religious accommodation debate behind the notion that it is running a gong show. A week after the […]

Quebec’s Bill 62 declares war on sunglasses

Oct 21 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Somewhere in the Quebec government’s legal department, a team of lawyers is bracing to argue in court in what may be the not-too-distant future that the wearing of dark sunglasses puts the safety of the province’s public transit system at risk. Ditto presumably in the case of local libraries and city parks. For a province […]

Two years in, Trudeau’s rookie ministers have accounted for much of the government’s grief

Oct 18 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrates the second anniversary of his election victory this week with his finance minister in a self-imposed exile from the House of Commons that the opposition parties would gladly make permanent. Three parliamentary sitting days in the ethical storm that has engulfed Bill Morneau over his decision to keep control, albeit […]

Bill Morneau feels the heat as Liberal support slips

Oct 13 2017 — Chantal Hébert — Finance minister Bill Morneau is headed back to the House of Commons on Monday with a target on his back and much of the burden of his government’s declining popularity on his shoulders. On Friday, an Angus Reid poll on voting intentions confirmed the ongoing erosion of Liberal support. It is no accident that Justin […]