Pauline Marois Used To Live In A Castle (PHOTOS)

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Quebec's premier designate used to live in a sprawling mansion in Île Bizard near Montreal. The castle was sold for just under $7 million earlier this year. (CP/Centris)
Quebec's premier designate used to live in a sprawling mansion in Île Bizard near Montreal. The castle was sold for just under $7 million earlier this year. (CP/Centris)

Why form a new country when you could probably just buy one?

That's the question that may enter your head after you see the photos of the castle Quebec's separatist premier-designate Pauline Marois used to live in.

Known as La Closerie, the 12,000 square foot, seven bedroom mansion on Île Bizard near Montreal was sold earlier this year by Marois and her husband Claude Blanchet for $6,980,000.

SLIDESHOW: SEE THE HOUSE

The house is so grand that Marois and the PQ feared selling it on the eve of an election wouldn't play well with voters, according to La Presse.

That sale, however, wasn't the first time Marois' digs made headlines.

Back in 2007, the Montreal Gazette published a story about how the home was built on agricultural land owned by the government. The Gazette also reported that Blanchet paid money to a man whose affidavit was instrumental in getting the land rezoned.

Marois and her husband sued the newspaper for defamation, asking for $2 million in damages. The case was settled out of court in March of 2011, according to Cités Nouvelles.

Marois' husband built his fortune first by selling gas stations, then in a series of jobs managing money for Quebec's government and then finally in real estate development, according to the Gazette.

The couple built their mansion in 1994. Sotheby's, the elite auction firm, helped them sell the property in January of this year. The home had been on the market for more than two years.

Marois has presented the PQ under her leadership as a party of the people. In the early days of the student protests she would often wear the red square that is emblematic of the movement sparked by a hike in tuition fees. Marois would later stop wearing the symbol. On Wednesday, the premier-designate announced her government intends to cancel the increase in tuition.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, the union which represents 22,000 federal employees, even endorsed the separatist party during the recent campaign, arguing the question of sovereignty is less important than worker's rights.

While Marois may support working families, from the looks of her former abode money certainly isn't what's driving her own labours.

LA CLOSERIE

Pauline Marois' Former Castle
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Pauline Marois sur le point de vendre «La Closerie» | Denis Lessard ...

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