National Newswatch

Liberals’ post-election moves are not promising

Nov 1 2019 — Chantal Hébert — It’s early days since the Oct. 21 electoral reshuffling of the federal deck, but not too early for three take-aways from the Liberals’ initial response to the election results. First, in contrast with the aftermath of the 2015 vote, Justin Trudeau has given himself a full month to put together a second-term cabinet and chart […]

Election has left Conservatives in a bad place

Oct 25 2019 — Chantal Hébert — In the cold light of morning and with the dust settling on the federal election results, it is becoming clearer that the vote has landed Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in a much better place than it did their Conservative rivals. Short of winning the majority he coveted, the Liberal leader has been handed as workable a […]

Election results reflect a divided nation

Oct 22 2019 — Chantal Hébert — Under the guise of a minority victory for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, Canadians have given themselves a Parliament that better reflects their deepening divisions than a common national purpose. If anything, the election stands to exacerbate rising tensions between parts of the federation.

Runners-up have little to gain from a Conservative minority

Oct 18 2019 — Chantal Hébert — For the NDP, the Greens and the Bloc Québécois, the big prize on offer in Monday’s vote is the balance of power across from a minority government. A hung Parliament would offer the third parties the opportunity to yield more influence on federal policy than the majority alternative, regardless of whether it is the Conservatives […]

The spectacular rise of the Bloc has been months in the making

Oct 14 2019 — Chantal Hébert — With a week to go to the federal election, the only question still to be answered about the Bloc Québécois is whether it will finish first or second to the Liberals in Quebec next Monday. Neither Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, nor Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives had factored in the possibility of a Bloc resurrection in their game […]

It’s getting harder to imagine a majority government

Oct 11 2019 — Chantal Hébert — On the heels of the last French-language debate of the campaign, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s hopes for a victory on Oct. 21 may hang by little more than an NDP thread. By the same token, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s hopes for a second majority are fading fast and — at this relatively late stage in […]

The fate of Quebec’s Bill 21 will be decided by the courts, not by the federal election

Oct 9 2019 — Chantal Hébert — The Oct. 21 election had barely been called when the issue of Quebec’s contentious secularism legislation first surfaced. Since then the law that forbids police officers, prison guards, provincial judges and prosecutors as well as public school teachers to wear religious vestments or symbols at work has consumed more and more of the campaign conversation. […]

No clear winner in debate means a minority is now more likely

Oct 9 2019 — Chantal Hébert — If Monday night’s election debate — the first and last English-language encounter of the current campaign to find its main protagonists on the same stage — results in anything, it may be to have made the possibility of a minority government more probable. At the very least expectations the debate would break the Liberal/Conservative deadlock […]

Andrew Scheer made no gains in French-language debate

Oct 4 2019 — Chantal Hébert — Ontario was always going to count for a lot in the outcome of this month’s federal election. On the morning after the first of two French-language leaders’ debates, it matters even more. For Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in particular, winning big in Canada’s largest province later this month has become an absolute necessity. With time […]

Why a second-place finish for Trudeau’s Liberals makes Conservatives nervous

Sep 25 2019 — Chantal Hébert — It was not so long ago, less than a year, that Canada’s Conservative leadership — in the provinces and federally — proudly cast itself as the “Resistance” to Justin Trudeau’s climate agenda Maclean’s December 2018 issue captured the belligerent spirit of the time with a cover picture featuring Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba premiers Doug Ford, […]

Bill 21 pushed to forefront of federal election talk in Quebec

Sep 16 2019 — Chantal Hébert — The Oct. 21 election had barely been called last Wednesday when the gloves came off between Quebec Premier François Legault and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over a possible federal court challenge of the province’s contentious securalism legislation. Within hours of the official kickoff, Legault — who only a few days before had instructed everyone associated […]