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Quebec Premier Jean Charest speaks at the presentation of the province's northern policy in Levis, near Quebec City.

A former cabinet minister in the Conservative government says the politician that's impressed him the most isn't Prime Minister Stephen Harper — it's Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

Former foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon says Mr. Charest is an exceptional man and probably the best politician of his generation.

Mr. Cannon lost his Conservative seat in Quebec in the May 2 election.

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He made the comments today at a youth meeting of Quebec Liberals in Sherbrooke, Que.

Mr. Cannon has been involved with the Quebec Liberals before and is rumoured to be considering a return to provincial politics.

He was a cabinet minister under former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa during the early 1990s.

Asked whether he would run for the Liberals in the next election at Mr. Charest's request, Mr. Cannon replied that it was a "hypothetical question."

Mr. Cannon, 63, said he always kept his membership card for the Quebec Liberals, even while serving in Mr. Harper's cabinet.

As for his interest in the leadership of the Quebec Liberal party, Mr. Cannon said he was "convinced that Jean Charest would lead the troops to another election victory."

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