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Pierre Karl Péladeau committed to sovereignty

12/02/2014 05:30 EST | Updated 02/01/2015 05:59 EST
Pierre Karl Péladeau has been causing a buzz since he announced Sunday that he’s in the running to be the next leader of the PartiQuébécois.

In an exclusive English interview with CBC, Péladeau criticized the Liberal government's austerity measures, accusing the Couillard government of trying to scare Quebecers into believing the province is in financial trouble like Greece or Spain.

He also said he’s committed to sovereignty, though he has no date set for a future referendum.

Péladeau is the MNA for St-Jérôme and the majority shareholder of media company Québecor.

He sat down with CBC Radio One’s Daybreak host Mike Finnerty for a two-part interview.

Here is a preview: five Q&As from part one of that exclusive.

Q: Why do you want to lead the Parti Quebecois?

A: You know I had the privilege to run a very successful company. And I also had the privilege of being educated. At a certain time in your life you say, ‘Are you going to do this for the rest of your life -- of your entire life -- or are you going to decide to do something else, like to give back because you received a lot?’ Around the age of 50 you at least think about it. I always considered politics a very important thing. [...] So I decided I should take that decision.

Q: If you are the sovereigntist candidate... when will sovereignty happen?   

A: Well the first thing is to talk about sovereignty. You know, after 1995 we had kind of a trauma and we need to get out of that. We need to turn the page and consider explaining what sovereignty is all about.

Q: In order to protect French in Quebec, do you think the English language needs to be restricted further?

A: As you know... I don't have any problem with English, just as with other foreign languages. I've done business internationally. [...] I've learnt German, I've learnt Spanish. Learning languages to be able to exchange is a wonderful thing...

Q: For sure everyone will agree with you on that. But is English still a threat and does the legislative framework need to be changed further in order to shore up French?

A: I think it's just legitimate that French-speaking Quebecers want to protect their language, and there are things that need to be taken into consideration to make sure we follow those objectives.   

Q: The PQ lost the April election, why do you think that happened?

A: First of all, the move to call an election was not the best move. I think the population was not expecting an election. The population was not expecting we'd spend that amount of money. It was started on the wrong foot.

Part one of Pierre Karl Péladeau’s exclusive English-language interview will air in full on CBC’s Daybreak with host Mike Finnerty at 7:15 a.m.

You can listen live on 88.5 FM or stream it live here.   

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