Michel Chartrand, the famously hot-tempered, long-time labour leader from Quebec, has died. Born in 1916, Chartrand spent nearly all 93 years of his life surrounded by union and politics, even running against Lucien Bouchard in the premier’s riding in the 1998 provincial election. Though Chartrand was said to have been suffering from an illness for a while, little is known about the circumstances of his death. Even so, Chartrand’s death marks the end of a colourful, often outrageous era in Quebec’s labour politics. As La Presse‘s Marie-Andrée Amiot puts it, “Chartrand symbolized, for thousands of Quebecers, the anarchist union leader, the man who said out loud what many didn’t even dare to think.”
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