National Affairs Columnist for The Toronto Star
As the National Affairs writer for the Toronto Star, Chantal Hebert is an influential voice on major national issues of the day. But what makes her perspective unique is that, more than any of her peers, she has immersed herself in French-English duality that defines this nation. Fluently bilingual, she is an outstanding choice for national conferences and able to provide insight into the many different cultures that make up Canada's political reality. In addition to her role at the Star, Hebert is also a columnist for Le Devoir in Montreal, and a weekly participant on the "At Issue" political panel on CBC's The National.
In her acclaimed book, French Kiss: Stephen Harper's Blind Date with Quebec, Hebert offers a brilliant examination of our changing political future, one that involves living with Quebec rather than just wooing it. Stephen Harper would not have gained power without the Conservatives' surprising ten seats in Quebec, Hebert says. Now, the future success of his government hinges on whether he can sustain a long-term relationship with the province. Hebert, as usual, gives an incisive and non-partisan account of the situation. Hebert is also a regular participant in many television and radio current affairs programs, in both national languages.
French Kiss: Stephen Harper's Blind Date with Quebec
Chantal Hébert’s first book is both a post-mortem of the Canadian federation that died on January 23, 2006, the night of the last federal election, as well as a brilliant examination of our changing political future, one that involves living with Quebec rather than just wooing it.
On that night, award-winning political writer and broadcaster Chantal Hébert stood in a Calgary convention hall with 2,000 Alberta Conservatives, who were raucously cheering the election of ten Tory MPs from Quebec. The Conservatives would not have gotten their man in office without Quebec, and now the future success of the Harper government hinges on turning this one-night stand into a long-term relationship.
More than ten years ago, the Quebec-Alberta coalition cobbled together by Brian Mulroney dissolved, leading to the births of the Bloc Québecois and the Reform Party. As a result, Alberta and Quebec took their marbles out of federal play, and Ontario got to run Canada.
Have we now come full circle? By the time this book is published, the Liberal Party of Canada may have morphed into the Liberal Party of Ontario (or Toronto). And the Canadian Left will have chosen a camp in preparation for a decisive federal election battle.
Provocative and always worth listening to, Chantal Hébert is at her savvy and insightful best in French Kiss. No Canadian can be truly informed on the subject of Canadian politics without the benefit of her non-partisan commentary.
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