NEWS

Pierre Karl Péladeau to run for PQ in Saint-Jérôme

03/09/2014 11:09 EDT | Updated 05/09/2014 05:59 EDT
The Parti Québécois is set to announce Pierre Karl Péladeau as its candidate in Saint-Jérôme, Radio-Canada has confirmed.

PQ leader Pauline Marois is expected to confirm Péladeau’s candidacy at a news conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

The move reverses Péladeau’s earlier assertions that he would not run for public office.

Péladeau currently chairs Hydro-Quebec’s board of directors. He was appointed to that position in April 2013 by the PQ government.

Péladeau is one of Quebec’s most prominent business leaders, having occupied positions including President and CEO of Videotron and CEO of Quebecor, the company founded by his father, Pierre Péladeau.

Péladeau remains on the board of directors at Quebecor.

The riding of  Saint-Jérôme was won in 2012 by Coalition Avenir Québec candidate Jacques Duchesneau, who is not running for office in the April 7 election.

CAQ leader Francois Legault, who began his political career with the PQ, said Péladeau runs the risk of being “disappointed” with his chosen party. Legault had tried to recruit Péladeau to run as the CAQ candidate for Saint-Jérôme.

“When I went to the Parti Québécois, I told myself that we were going to revitalize Quebec, that we would limit the power of the union lobby and reduce expenses. And I was disappointed. I came to the conclusion that with the PQ, all public finance and economic reforms are held hostage by one subject: a referendum on sovereignty,” he said.

Legault said Péladeau’s economic vision contradicts that of the PQ. Noting the increases in daycare fees, hydro rates and the expected deficit outlined in the PQ budget, Legault asked if that was Péladeau’s idea of economic reform.

At a news conference in the riding of Roberval, Liberal leader Philippe Couillard said he welcomed Péladeau’s decision to run for public office, but it did not reflect any significant change in the PQ’s priorities.

“People are tired of referendums and division,” Couillard said.

Québec Solidaire's ​Françoise David had harsh words for the PQ and its decision to enlist Péladeau. Noting the PQ's recent efforts to solicit the progressive vote from her party and to recruit Québec Solidaire's existing MNAs, David said the PQ's recruitment of Péladeau sends the wrong message.

"Never, never, will a Quebec Solidaire MNA sit next to Pierre Karl Péladeau [in the national assembly]," she said to applause from her audience.

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