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Liberal Party leadership candidate Justin Trudeau

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest's chief of staff is jumping aboard the Liberal leadership campaign of Justin Trudeau.

Daniel Gagnier, a respected former civil servant and political staffer with ties in Ottawa, Toronto and Quebec City, is becoming one of Mr. Trudeau's main advisers in Quebec.

Mr. Gagnier was credited with stabilizing Mr. Charest's government after it fell to minority status in 2007. One year later, the Quebec Liberals won a majority.

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Mr. Gagnier left the Charest government in 2009, but briefly returned this year, helping Mr. Charest's Liberals into a respectable second-place finish in the Sept. 4 elections.

Mr. Gagnier has not known Mr. Trudeau for a long time. However, Mr. Gagnier has worked closely over the years with Gerald Butts, one of Mr. Trudeau's top advisers and a former principal secretary to Dalton McGuinty in Ontario.

Mr. Gagnier has worked in the federal foreign service and the Privy Council Office in Ottawa, and held senior positions in the private sector, notably with Alcan Inc.

"He will be a key player in Quebec," said Robert Asselin, an adviser and spokesman for the Trudeau campaign.

Mr. Trudeau recently hired Kate Monfette as his press secretary. She had been working in the office of interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae.

The Liberal leadership convention will be held in Ottawa on April 14, 2013.

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