Charest brings back old aide as Quebec faces ‘worst social crisis in its history’

National Post | News

MONTREAL — After a night of mass arrests that saw police use controversial kettling techniques on Quebec tuition protesters, Premier Jean Charest is replacing his most senior aide and bringing back a right-hand man with a reputation for steady competence.

Daniel Gagnier is being brought back after three years away from politics and is returning to his old position as chief of staff as part of a new attempt at resolving a dispute that has catapulted the province onto international news pages.

The political maneuvering comes amid surreal scenes across Quebec, with nearly 700 people arrested in different cities, including more than 500 in Montreal by police using controversial kettling techniques.

The provincial education minister said Thursday that she expected to hold a “very, very important” meeting with student groups after having had positive discussions over the phone.

But restoring order in time for the tourist-filled festival season, which starts…

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