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Since his election in April, Liberal Premier Jean Charest has worked hard to remind Canadians why he was once a rising star among federal Conservatives. During the campaign, Charest promised re-engineering but didnt explain the term. Now Quebeckers know exactly what it means: the gutting of public-sector contracts and the rise of privately-owned public institutions and services.

This winter, tens of thousands of Quebeckers have taken to the streets to demand an end to the Charest governments new labour legislation, which chops up bargaining units in the health sector and opens up public sector jobs to private contractors.

Charest has also hired two of his oldest cronies, at a rate of $1000 each per day, to recommend ways to privatize two new super-hospitals. The cronies are familiar to all Canadians, but perhaps even more familiar to corporations: former Quebec premier Daniel Johnson and former prime minister Brian Mulroney, the man who brought us free trade and the GST. Johnson and Mulroneys final report is due February 27.

In the meantime, CUPE activists will continue to denounce Charests policies, which if implemented would take the province down the same privatized road as British Columbia and Alberta.