Nationally acclaimed journalist and political commentator Chantal Hébert is a Glendon graduate (Political Science BA 1971), currently also serving on the Advisory Board of Glendon’s soon-to-open graduate School of Public Affairs. Hébert has been on a leave of absence from her regular Toronto Star column since last fall in order to focus on a major work. So it was no surprise when her first full-length book was published this month, with the title French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec.
French Kiss couldn’t have hit the bookstores at a more auspicious time. The book examines the bizarre convergence of Charest’s Quebec provincial Liberals and Harper’s federal Conservatives. The adage of politics making strange bedfellows is amply illustrated in Hébert’s analysis of where these two sides overlap: at the Constitution, with Quebec struggling for maximum provincial autonomy and Harper working with determination to minimize central government. From their otherwise divergent vantage points, both sides are willing to support each other in the hope of winning their next elections.
Hébert (pictured left © Josée Lambert) lays down the facts about the federal Liberals missing this development while trying to put their house in order, as she carefully documents her view of the current Canadian political situation, and the developments that she foresees.
A seasoned political analyst, Hébert’s skills are rare among her peers and highly prized in her field: she is equally comfortable in both languages, and has a thorough understanding of both Anglophone and Francophone societies - their goals and motivations.
Chantal Hébert is a national political affairs columnist for the Toronto Star and a weekly guest columnist in Le Devoir. She is a regular guest on the “At Issue” political panel on CBC Television’s The National. A graduate of York University’s Glendon College, Hébert is a senior fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto, and the 2006 recipient of the Hyman Soloman Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism. She received a York University Bryden Award in the Pinnacle of Achievement category in 2006.
French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec, by Chantal Hébert, is published by Knopf, Canada (2007).
This article was submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny