National Newswatch

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 […]

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, […]