PQ announces star candidate: Quebecor mogul Pierre Karl Peladeau

ST-JEROME – The Parti Quebecois strode up to the old train station in St-Jerome to drop the biggest name on the campaign trail: longtime Quebecor chief, Pierre Karl Peladeau.

It was rumoured for a long time that the media mogul would run for the PQ, but he denied it up until February.

Now, the longtime scion of one of Quebec largest media empires is wasting no time in burnishing his credentials as a sovereignist.

“He’s a sovereigntist, he’s a person who has a great experience with business,” said Premier Pauline Marois.

“and I convinced him to work with me.”

Peladeau’s history as a media tycoon could help him, but it could put him in an awkward spot as well.

He drew a lot of fire during the longest lockout in Canadian newspaper history at the Journal de Montréal.

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Some union groups have already condemned his candidacy.

“It’s been tough,” said Peladeau.

“Certainly this is not something I was looking for. I remember negotiating the 24th of December.”

While he says he resigned from all of his formal media posts, his opponents are already asking questions about his shares in his family empire.

“He cannot continue to be a major shareholder of a company, Quebecor, being the most important player in the media,” said CAQ leader François Legault.

Peladeau said he plans to put his assets into a blind trust so that there won’t be a conflict of interest.

On the streets of St-Jerome, Peladeau’s candidacy seemed to be the talk of the town.

This riding played an important role in the last provincial election and people who live here seem to be enthusiastic about a man who, up until just recently, was Quebec’s most famous media moguls.

“He knows finance as far as Quebec is concerned,” said resident Marcel Manningham.

“He’s going to be a nice candidate.”

St-Jerome has a historical tendency to vote PQ, but it isn’t not one of the party’s strongholds.

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Nevertheless, the riding isn’t a stranger to splashy candidates.

This is where former Police Chief Jacques Duchesneau energized the Coalition Avenir Quebec when he announced he was running a year and a half ago.

Duchesneau is not standing for office in this election, but Peladeau still has to win his seat.

However, it’s undeniable that the PQ has created a stir with their star candidate as the campaign gears up.

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