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The Qub0065c labour movement bid adieu this past week to one of its most fierce and most loved leaders. Louis Laberge, who died July 18 at the age of 78, was buried after a funeral in Montreal that drew hundreds.

Laberge, who served as president of the Qub0065c Federation of Labour from 1964 to 1991 and founded the Solidarity Fund, had an impact far beyond the labour movement, influencing all aspects of Quebec society.

Long a friend of CUPE, Laberge played a key role in supporting the merger of the Hydro-Qub0065c workers when the utility was nationalized and demonstrated his support for municipal workers and public sector workers on many picket lines.

CUPE Qub0065c president Mario Gervais says his participation in the union has a lot to do with Laberge. “His manner of being close to the workers always touched me,” he says.