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Posts Tagged ‘Parti Quebecois’

In Canada, a Media Baron Throws His Hat in the Ring, and Raises Concerns

In Blog on March 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm

When media barons use their power and influence to run for political office, the results usually are not pretty.  Silvio Berlusconi  rose to power in Italy, his image burnished by his media outlets. He remained in power long after sex and corruption scandals caused many Italians great embarrassment and likely worsened the nation’s economic woes.

Now, in Canada, that experiment is being repeated, and no one can predict what the results will be.  Karl Pierre Peladeau announced on March 13 that he would run as a Parti Quebecois candidate in Quebec’s provincial election.

It is hard to overstate Peladeau’s status as a media baron. He is the major owner of a media corporation that is the largest broadcaster in Quebec and owns the most  newspapers  in the province. His Sun newspaper tabloid chain is the largest publisher of newspapers throughout Canada.  His Quebecor empire also is the largest magazine publisher in Quebec, and the largest publisher of French-language books in Canada.

Peladeau is charismatic, runs a multi-billion-dollar business, and is well known for his distaste for labor unions, including those representing reporters.  If that weren’t enough, Peladeau is strongly supportive of Quebec sovereignty.  There is talk that Peladeau’s ultimate goal is to be the premier or president of an independent Quebec.

Peladeau’s wife, (they separated last December)  who supports his candidacy, also has a high profile in her own right, producing a raft of reality TV shows.  Beset by her own fertility problems, she convinced the Quebec government to fund fertility treatments for low-income families.  She argued the province needed more taxpayers. 

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