Dec 7 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — The last first ministers conference of Justin Trudeau’s current term in office was the most acrimonious. The imminence of a federal and an Alberta election certainly contributed to the tensions. But those tensions will outlast next year’s federal and provincial votes.
Dec 5 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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 […]
Dec 3 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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 […]
Nov 30 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — With a provincial election to be held on or before May 31 of next year and her province’s energy industry in crisis, Alberta premier Rachel Notley is essentially on her own. The fact of her political isolation was made clear when she travelled to the federal capital this week to personally sound the alarm about […]
Nov 28 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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.
Nov 26 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — Ever since he took office, Premier Doug Ford has gone out of his way to cast himself in the role of federal kingmaker. From day one he has made no secret of the fact that he is making it a priority to see Justin Trudeau voted out of government next fall.
Nov 23 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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 […]
Nov 19 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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, […]
Nov 16 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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 […]
Nov 14 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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 […]
Nov 12 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — Tens of thousands of Quebecers took to the streets this weekend to call for more decisive action on climate change. In Montreal alone, 50,000 took part in the demonstration. In the short space of a week, more than 150,000 signed a pledge that commits them to reduce their carbon footprints but also demands more proactive […]
Oct 31 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — It is not necessary to doubt the independence of former governor-general David Johnston to find that the optics of his nomination as Canada’s first debates commissioner were less than optimal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not consult the opposition parties on the choice of a debates referee nominee.
Oct 29 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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 […]
Oct 26 2018 — Chantal Hébert — Toronto Star — 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 — […]