Pauline Marois, after the Liberal party yesterday handily won Quebec’s provincial election, announced she would step down as leader of Parti Quebecois (PQ), which may turn its future over to former Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau.
In early March, Péladeau announced his resignation from Quebecor Inc. to become a PQ candidate in the April 7 election with a clear agenda to promote the sovereignty of Quebec. Péladeau took over the reins at Quebecor after the 1997 death of his father, Pierre Péladeau, who also publically pushed for Quebec’s independence.
Political analysts suggest PK Péladeau’s open discussion of gaining sovereignty for Quebec may have hurt Parti Quebecois’ results in yesterday’s election. The PQ captured less than 25 percent of the popular vote, one of its worst showings since the party first appeared on a provincial ballet in 1970, led by Rene Levesque.
With Marois’s departure, The Globe and Mail, among several media outlets, reports 52-year-old Pierre Karl Péladeau is among the frontrunners to take over leadership of the Parti Québécois, along with existing cabinet ministers Bernard Drainville and Jean-Francois Lisee.
Following Quebec's April 7 election, The Globe quotes a leading Quebec federalist, suggesting, “Pierre Karl could be the Lucien Bouchard of the next Quebec referendum.”
In 1995, Bouchard became face of the “Yes” movement amid a national referendum asking if Quebec should separate from the rest of Canada. The referendum was sparked after the Meech Lake Accord, led by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, failed to stop the sovereigntist movement by recognizing Quebec as a distinct society.
Mulroney is currently a member of Quebecor Inc.’s Board of Directors, from which Pierre Karl Péladeau stepped down on March 9 to pursue his political career. Péladeau had served as Vice Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of Quebecor and Chairman and member of the Boards of Directors of Quebecor Media and TVA Group.
At the time of his Quebecor resignation, Péladeau promised to place his financial interests in the corporation in a blind trust or under a blind management agreement if he was elected to Québec’s National Assembly on April 7. Péladeau subsequently won a seat in the riding of Saint-Jérôme.