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Chantal Hebert

Canada in the Post Unity Era: How Quebec is ( once again ) Redesigning the Canadian Political Landscape

Date Recorded: Nov 7th, 2007
Recorded At: 2007 Dalton Camp Lecture, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, NB
Recorded By: Carrie Blanshard for CBC Radio’s Ideas, and was originally broadcast on Ideas on November 27, 2007
Duration: 56:30  

Topic Background

Hébert penned her first book, French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec , as both a post-mortem of the Canadian federation that died on January 23, 2006, the night of the last federal election, as well as an examination of our changing political future, one that involves living with Quebec rather than just wooing it.

On that election night, Chantal Hébert explains that she stood in a Calgary convention hall with 2,000 cheering Alberta Conservatives, watching as their party captured 10 seats in her native Quebec. Before the confetti had stopped falling, she realized that she could be witnessing the start of a major political realignment.

Hébert is one of a new breed of Canadian journalists. A francophone, she works in English as a national affairs columnist for the Toronto Star and as a commentator on CBC Television. With one foot in each of the two solitudes, she has developed a unique ability to explain the intricacies of Quebec’s political arena for an English-speaking audience.

Speaker Biography

Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer for the Toronto Star, guest columnist with the Montreal daily Le Devoir and a regular commentator on CBC’s The National’s weekly “At Issue” panel. She has served as parliamentary bureau chief for La Presse and Le Devoir and parliamentary correspondent for Radio-Canada. Her first book, French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec, released in 2007, is an examination of our changing political future which now involves living with Quebec rather than just wooing it.

Hébert is the 2005 recipient of APEX’s Public Service Citation as well as the 2006 recipient of the Hyman Solomon award for excellence in journalism and public policy.

She is a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. As part of the Asia Pacific Foundation Fellowship program, she has traveled extensively to Japan, South-East Asia and HongKong.

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