Chantal Hébert analyzes new political alliances in her first book

National political affairs columnist and Glendon alumna Chantal Hébert (BA ’76) has just launched her first book, French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec.

                                     Right: Chantal Hébert

The acclaimed journalist took time out this fall from her regular Toronto Star column to focus on writing the book, published by Knopf Canada.

French Kiss couldn’t have hit the bookstores at a more auspicious time. It examines the 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 otherwise divergent vantage points, both sides are willing to support each other in the hope of winning their next elections.

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.

In addition to writing for the Star, Hébert is a weekly guest columnist in Le Devoir and a regular guest on the At Issue political panel on CBC Television’s "The National". Last year, York presented Hébert with the Bryden Alumni Award in the Pinnacle Achievement category. Recently she joined the advisory board of Glendon’s soon-to-open graduate School of Public Affairs.

Hébert is also a senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto, received a 2005 public service citation from the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada, and the 2006 Hyman Soloman Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism.

This article was submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.