QUEBEC CITY – Forty-three-year-old Sylvain Gaudreault, a former Quebec Transport and Municipal Affairs Minister, is out for the summer.
The Parti Quebecois MNA was supposed to be in committee hearings on Wednesday; instead he spent the day in hospital with a broken hip.
“He’s doing okay considering the circumstances,” his colleague PQ MNA Véronique Hivon told reporters on Wednesday.
“Of course, it was a very bad fall and he had surgery last night.”
Gaudreault, an avid cyclist who had just completed the Défi Pierre Lavoie, hit a bump while cycling in his riding of Jonquière on Tuesday and took a nasty spill.
Friends and foes said they were relieved he was wearing a safety helmet.
“It reminds people to wear a helmet, which he did, and which means that he hasn’t been hurt like he could have been,” said PQ House Leader Agnès Maltais.
“It seems that’s it’s severe and I hope he’s going to be okay,” added her Liberal Party counterpart, Jean-Marc Fournier.
Gaudreault is the second PQ MNA to land in hospital after tumbling off his bike.
In May, Pierre Karl Péladeau fractured his hip, collarbone and five ribs when he hit a pothole riding near Mount Orford in the Eastern Townships.
Doctors told him recovery would take about three months, but just one week after his accident, Péladeau returned to the National Assembly in a wheelchair. Some believe his sudden determination to get back to work had everything to do with the PQ’s upcoming leadership race.
“Of course he will probably be one of the guys running for the leadership of the PQ, he’ll get of course some attention from you, the media,” said CAQ François Legault at the time.
It’s no secret Gaudreault is also interested in becoming leader of the Parti Quebecois. Sources said he started making phone calls to test the waters. But more substantial efforts will have to wait: Gaudreault’s convalescence is expected to last a few months.
“We hope that he’ll be back in the Fall,” said Hivon. “In the meantime, all of us will be confined to stationary cycling to make sure that everybody is in shape for the summer and the Fall!”
The National Assembly is expected to resume sitting on September 16, 2014.
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