National Newswatch

François Legault has yet to start building bridges

Feb 11 2019 — Chantal Hébert — In federal-provincial relations, as in life, one rarely gets a second chance to make a good first impression. Quebec Premier François Legault is apparently on a mission to validate that truism at his own expense. A little more than 100 days since his government’s swearing-in, Legault is fast earning the reputation of a bull in […]

Jody Wilson-Raybould owes Canadians some answers

Feb 8 2019 — Chantal Hébert — If anyone still doubted that the relationship between Justin Trudeau and his former justice minister had soured in the aftermath of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s demotion to a lower-profile cabinet post last month, those doubts were put to rest this week. With the government hit by the biggest political storm to have come its way since its […]

Mulcair’s Green party musing exposes the NDP’s troubles

Feb 4 2019 — Chantal Hébert — Former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair was not being malicious when he suggested the Green party might be becoming a refuge for orphan progressive voters in the lead-up to next fall’s federal election. “Progressives are looking for a home on environmental issues,” Mulcair said on Sunday’s edition of CTV’s Question Period, adding that “people who believe […]

Quebec set to become ground zero in the battle between state secularism and religious rights

Feb 1 2019 — Chantal Hébert — The next chapter in Quebec’s decade-old search for a different balance between state secularism and religious rights is about to open. The debate will almost certainly overlap with the upcoming federal campaign. For Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and his Conservative counterpart Andrew Scheer, the road to electoral success will at least in part run through […]

Justin Trudeau has more ahead woes with the provinces

Jan 30 2019 — Chantal Hébert — There are more signs this week that it will be hard for Justin Trudeau’s government to do business with the provinces between now and the fall election. On Wednesday, New Brunswick’s Tory government said it was scrapping plans to host the 2021 Francophonie Games, blaming increased costs and inadequate federal funding.

In the House, Justin Trudeau has put his own face forward

Jan 25 2019 — Chantal Hébert — Over his three years in office Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on more occasions in the House of Commons than any other MP — with the exception of the Speaker and his deputy. In so doing he may have set a record. Based on the parliamentary database, Trudeau spent significantly more time on his feet […]

Liberals have much at stake in byelections

Jan 19 2019 — Chantal Hébert — On paper, the federal ridings of Outremont and Burnaby South — whose voters will go to the polls on Feb. 25 along with those of Ontario’s York Simcoe — are on parallel byelection courses. The NDP is the incumbent party in both and each has iconic significance for the party, along with some leadership-related history.

Trudeau plots a steady course with his cabinet shuffle

Jan 14 2019 — Chantal Hébert — Monday’s federal cabinet shuffle is the work of a government that remains relatively confident it can navigate to a second term next fall without altering its current course. It was not designed to rock the Liberal pre-election boat. In that spirit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau passed on his last opportunity to play musical chairs with […]

Canada’s political upheaval is not done yet

Dec 14 2018 — Chantal Hébert — 2018 was a bad year for provincial incumbents in Canada. In Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, voters fired their premiers after single terms in office. Year-end polls suggest the same fate could await the premiers of Alberta and P.E.I. in 2019. In just the past six years, Quebec has disposed of three premiers. None of […]

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 […]