Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Parti Quebecois Leader Turns His Attention to Running the Parti Quebecois

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Parti Quebecois Leader Turns His Attention to Running the Parti Quebecois

Article excerpt

Peladeau turns attention to running the PQ

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MONTREAL - Pierre Karl Peladeau, who for years guided the fortunes of a sprawling media empire, will now be running a political party whose ultimate objective is Quebec independence.

Peladeau, 53, was elected leader of the Parti Quebecois on Friday with 57.6 per cent of the ballots cast in the first round of voting.

Since entering politics in March 2014, the man who remains Quebecor Inc.'s controlling shareholder has made it clear that his overriding goal is to achieve independence.

On Friday, he emphasized that nothing has changed.

"You have given me a strong and clear mandate -- to make Quebec a country," he said to loud applause after he had been declared the winner.

That day is still far off, however, because the next provincial election will be held only in the fall of 2018.

A relative neophyte in the political world, Peladeau was in large part responsible for transforming his father's paper-based company into a digital and telecommunications powerhouse.

In 1991, Peladeau was named president of the publishing, distribution and retail sales arm of Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B). He moved to Paris in 1994 to beef up the European section of the firm and within three years the company was the continent's main printer.

He returned to Canada at the end of 1997 after his father's death and, by the end of 1998, Quebecor had become a major player in the country's media industry with the acquisition of Sun Media Corp.

By 2000, and by then president and CEO of Quebecor, Peladeau began the company's transformation from print to digital with the acquisition of the TVA television network and Videotron, a major cable provider.

While becoming PQ leader is one thing, Peladeau's chances of being elected premier in a province where the labour movement still carries considerable clout could well depend on his approach over the next three years. …

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