Rosemary Barton named permanent host of CBC's Power & Politics

Veteran political reporter Rosemary Barton has been named permanent host of CBC News Network's daily political show Power & Politics.

'She has strong connections with fans … and she has made a huge impression on everyone at CBC News'

Veteran political reporter Rosemary Barton has been named the permanent host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics, the public broadcaster's flagship political program.

Veteran political reporter Rosemary Barton has been named the permanent host of CBC News Network's daily political show Power & Politics.

"Rosie is a leader and one of this country's best political journalists," Jennifer McGuire, editor in chief of CBC News, English Services, said in a statement.

"Her hosting and interviewing skills, seen daily on Power and Politics, have great resonance with the audience — both new viewers and existing viewers. We are thrilled to let Canadians know that she has agreed to take this on permanently."

Ratings for the program have seen a notable increase since Barton took over the host's chair on an interim basis after the CBC ended its relationship with the previous host, Evan Solomon.

According to numbers provided by Numeris, a Canadian audience-measurement organization, the show has seen an increase in viewership of more than 50 per cent this fall from the same period last season.

Barton, who has been a regular contributor to the show since its launch in 2009, has been the interim host of the flagship program since July, 2015, fronting the show in the run-up to the last federal election.

The Winnipeg-born broadcast journalist interviewed all of the major party leaders over the course of that campaign, including Stephen Harper, who revealed to Barton that his government would consider extending its niqab ban to the federal public service.

Canada's then-immigration minister, Chris Alexander, defended Canada's policy on refugees during a heated interview on Power & Politics during the 2015 election campaign. (CBC)

Barton also made waves after an interview with Chris Alexander, the Harper government's minister of immigration. Alexander accused Barton, and the program's producers, of ignoring the Syrian refugee crisis and only honing in on it after Alan Kurdi's photo emerged. Barton pointed out the program had discussed the issue 32 times.

Barton first joined the CBC's Parliamentary bureau in 2007. During her tenure with the public broadcaster, she has covered a number of federal election campaigns, as well as a public inquiry into the dealings between former prime minister Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber in 2008, the Mike Duffy trial and the shooting of soldier Nathan Cirillo at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa on Oct. 22, 2014.

Barton first joined CBC as Quebec's legislative reporter at the National Assembly in 2004. She covered Jean Charest's arrival as premier in Quebec as well as the intense leadership race within the Parti Québécois that followed the resignation of Bernard Landry.

She has also covered a number of provincial elections in Quebec both with CBC Television and Global News.

Barton started her journalism career in her home town of Winnipeg as a researcher for CBC's French news network, RDI.

Power & Politics airs Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT, 5:30 p.m. NT) on CBC News Network.