Pierre Karl Péladeau

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Pierre Karl Péladeau
Pierre Karl Péladeau à Pointe-aux-Trembles.JPG
Leader of the Opposition in Quebec
In office
15 May 2015 – 2 May 2016
Preceded byStéphane Bédard
Succeeded bySylvain Gaudreault
Leader of the Parti Québécois
In office
15 May 2015 – 2 May 2016
Preceded byStéphane Bédard (interim)
Succeeded bySylvain Gaudreault (interim)
MNA for Saint-Jérôme
In office
7 April 2014 – 2 May 2016
Preceded byJacques Duchesneau
Succeeded byMarc Bourcier
Personal details
Pierre-Carl Péladeau

(1961-10-16) 16 October 1961 (age 59)
Montreal, Quebec
Political partyParti Québécois
  • Pascale Bourbeau
  • Julie Snyder (2001–2014, 2015–2016)
  • Isabelle Hervet (1994–2000)
  • Marie (2000)
  • Thomas (2005)
  • Romy (2009)
  • Henri Raphaël (2020)
Alma mater
OccupationBusinessman, Politician

Pierre Karl Péladeau (born 16 October 1961), also known by his initials PKP, is a Canadian businessman, billionaire and former politician. He was also the MNA for Saint-Jérôme. Péladeau is the president and CEO of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc. He used to own Sun Media Corporation. Péladeau is seen as a "strong Quebec nationalist" and an influential businessman in Quebec.[1]

Péladeau was the Leader of the Opposition in the Quebec National Assembly from his election as leader of the Parti Québécois on 15 May 2015 until his resignation on 2 May 2016 for family reasons.[2][3]

Life and career[edit]

Péladeau is the son of the Quebecor founder Pierre Péladeau and his first wife Raymonde Chopin. His siblings are Érik Péladeau, Anne-Marie Péladeau, Isabelle Péladeau,[4] Simon-Pierre Péladeau, Esther Péladeau and Jean B. Péladeau. He was educated in Montreal and Paris, especially at Université Paris VIII. He attended the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf. He holds a degree in philosophy from Université du Québec à Montréal and a law degree from Université de Montréal.

Péladeau was so inspired by Karl Marx while attending university that he changed his middle name from “Carl” to “Karl”.[5][6]

Péladeau joined his father's management team at an early age. He is known to be confrontational with unions and has used lock-out tactics at least 14 times.[7] He counts Brian Mulroney amongst his business associates.[8] Péladeau sits on the boards of several Quebecor companies[7] and is active in many charitable and cultural organizations. Quebecers identify him with his initials, PKP.

Business career[edit]

Péladeau first started in acquisition and business development participating in the acquisition of BCE Publitech which made Quebecor the largest printer in Canada. He played a leading role in the acquisition of Maxwell Graphics which gave the company a significant presence in the U.S. market.[citation needed] He also was involved in the acquisition of Donohue Inc., one of North America's most efficient pulp and paper companies.[citation needed]

Péladeau was appointed president of Quebecor Communications Inc. in 1991. This division included the company's main publishing assets and some distribution and retail operations.

In 1994, Péladeau relocated to Paris to help his company's growth. As president of Quebecor Printing Europe he developed the new subsidiary through a series of acquisitions in France, the United Kingdom and Spain, building it into Europe's largest printer.[citation needed]

In 1997, after the sudden death of his father, he returned to the Montreal head office to assume the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer of Quebecor Printing Inc. with overall responsibility for the company's worldwide operations.

In 1998, Péladeau spearheaded the acquisition of Sun Media Corporation, making Quebecor the second largest newspaper chain in Canada.

In 1999, he carried out the acquisition of World Color Press by Quebecor Printing Inc. The acquisition created Quebecor World Inc., one of the world's largest printers. Quebecor World had, at one time, operations in 17 countries on three continents and employs approximately 35,000 employees. In 1999 the board of directors of Quebecor Inc. named him president and CEO of the company.

In 2000, he was responsible for the acquisition of the Vidéotron group, the largest cable TV operator in Quebec, and TVA, the largest French-language broadcaster in the country. Shortly afterwards all of the company's media properties were brought under one roof with the creation of Quebecor Media, currently one of the largest media operations in Canada. It is engaged in newspaper publishing (Sun Media Corporation), cable television, Internet access provider and local telephony (Vidéotron ltée), broadcasting (Groupe TVA), Web technology and integration (Nurun Inc.), Internet portals (Canoe Inc.), book and magazine publishing (Publicor and TVA Publications Inc.), retailing of books and entertainment products (Archambault Group Inc. and Le SuperClub Vidéotron ltée) and business telecommunications (Vidéotron Télécom ltée).

In 2008, Quebecor World went bankrupt as the printing business collapsed.[8] He allegedly resents the failure of the Royal Bank of Canada and the English Canadian business establishment to refinance Quebecor World's debt.[8]

In 2009, Péladeau was in a bidding war with the Molson family for the Montreal Canadiens hockey franchise. Péladeau ultimately lost out to the scions of the Canadian brewing giant, and an article published in Quebecor's Journal de Québec noted Péladeau's “regret” that Canadiens owner George Gillett “preferred financial considerations, while [Péladeau] would have liked the Canadiens to be based on a Québécois identity.”[1]

In March 2013, Péladeau announced he was stepping down as CEO of Québecor and was succeeded in May 2013 by Vidéotron's then-President Robert Depatie.[9] Péladeau was to continue to work for the company in corporate strategy.[9]

On 15 May 2013, Péladeau was appointed by Pauline Marois to be chairman of the board of directors of Hydro-Québec,[7][8] which is the largest hydroelectric producer and distributor in Canada. He resigned in March 2014 to pursue his political ambitions.[7]

Péladeau returned as Quebecor's CEO and President on February 16, 2017, with Brian Mulroney remaining as chairman.[3]

Political career[edit]

On 9 March 2014, Péladeau announced his candidacy for that year's election as a star candidate for the Parti Québécois in the riding of Saint-Jérôme, which is contiguous with the Montreal exurb of the same name just north-east of Mirabel Airport. He was not previously known to be a sovereigntist, although with pronouncements such as the fact that he wants "Quebec to be a country" and that he is "in it for sovereignty" he promptly established himself as such.[10] The federal government chose in early March not to comment on Péladeau's decision to embrace the PQ and Quebec sovereignty.[7] "We have no intention of getting involved in a provincial election," said Denis Lebel, federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs,[7] and since October 2008 the Minister of Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec in Stephen Harper's government.

Quebec Liberal leader and Leader of the Opposition Philippe Couillard, as did Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault, felt that if the PQ won another term, it would be a severe conflict of interest for the owner of half the media outlets in Quebec to be a government backbencher.[11] Comparisons between Péladeau and Silvio Berlusconi have been seen.[10] Péladeau had in 2010 refused to meet with John Gomery, president of the Conseil de presse du Quebec, over his withdrawal from the Conseil of two of Quebecor's newspapers, the Journal de Montréal and the Journal de Québec.[12]

Péladeau's selection alienated voters on several fronts. He had a reputation for being a union-buster due to his frequent use of lockouts, a significant liability both in a province that is 40 percent unionized and in a party that has long billed itself as a social democratic party.[13] At the same time, his unabashed support for sovereigntism alienated many voters who did not want to vote on the sovereignty issue again. Indeed, according to The Globe and Mail, the PQ's poll numbers flatlined soon after Péladeau announced his candidacy and never recovered.[14]

Péladeau was narrowly elected in the Saint-Jérôme riding with 37 percent of the vote.[13] His first day at the National Assembly was on 26 May 2014, eight days after a bike accident in the Eastern Townships left him with four fractures.[15]

Following much speculation, Péladeau officially entered the Parti Québécois leadership race in November.

Péladeau's wealth and status as principal shareholder of Québecor, the province's largest media firm, were leading issues during the campaign. Pierre Céré questioned if Péladeau was "buying himself a political party" shortly before dropping out of the race.[16] The Péladeau campaign outspent the second place candidate, Alexandre Cloutier, by over five times, spending a total $415,000, with Cloutier spending $79,598.[17]

PKP in the Château Dufresne, during celebrations of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in 2015.

Péladeau's decision to spend $20,000 chartering a plane, a first for a Québec leadership election, caused Bernard Drainville to question whether Péladeau was using his wealth to an unfair advantage.[18]

On 15 May 2015, Péladeau was elected leader of the Parti Québécois with 57% of party votes.

On 26 November 2015, he created controversy when he implied First Nations and other groups could negotiate secession from an independent Quebec. This went against his party's longstanding position that an independent Quebec's borders would remain the same. He later retracted his statement.[19]

He resigned his posts on 2 May 2016.[20]

Personal life[edit]

He was in a long-term relationship with Julie Snyder, which produced two children, Thomas (born 2005) and Romy (born 2009).[21] Their separation was announced in December 2013, but the couple later reconciled and were married on 15 August 2015 in Quebec City, Quebec.[8][22][23][24] They separated again in January 2016, less than five months after their marriage.[25]

Péladeau divorced in 2016 and dated, Lucie Laurier, a Canadian actress, for awhile.

His girlfriend Marie-Christine Couture was discovered dead in October 2016 at her home in Montreal. Police theorize it was from suicide.[26]

His current partner, Pascale Bourbeau, gave birth to a son, Henri Raphaël, in 2020.[27]

He also has another child, Marie (born 2000), who was born of his previous union with Isabelle Hervet, a native of France.[22]

In 2019, Forbes estimated his net worth to be about $1.8 billion.[28]


  1. ^ a b "Pierre Karl Péladeau: King of Quebec - Macleans.ca". www.macleans.ca. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  2. ^ Grescoe, Taras (24 April 2001). Sacre Blues: An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec. Random House, Inc. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-55199-081-1. Retrieved 5 August 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b "Pierre Karl Péladeau returning as Quebecor's CEO". The Globe and Mail. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ radio-canada.ca: "Isabelle Péladeau meurt dans un accident" 24 Nov 2013
  5. ^ https://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec-election-lisee-admits-he-flirted-with-communism-in-university
  6. ^ https://www.macleans.ca/economy/business/the-king-of-quebec/
  7. ^ a b c d e f G+M: "Media mogul Péladeau to run for Parti Québécois in election" 9 Mar 2014
  8. ^ a b c d e G+M: "How Péladeau’s PQ bombshell will lead to aftershocks in Ottawa" 9 Mar 2014
  9. ^ a b cbc.ca: "Peladeau to step down as Quebecor head" 14 Mar 2013
  10. ^ a b G+M: "King Karl and the PQ’s courting of business" (Cousineau) 10 Mar 2014
  11. ^ radio-canada.ca: "Péladeau dit qu'il se pliera aux règles d'éthique" 10 Mar 2014
  12. ^ radio-canada.ca: "Péladeau décline l'invitation de Gomery" 14 Jul 2010
  13. ^ a b "Pierre Karl Péladeau to serve with ‘passion’". The Gazette, 8 April 2014.
  14. ^ Tu Thanh Ha, "Three reasons the PQ lost, and Couillard’s biggest challenge". The Globe and Mail, 8 April 2014.
  15. ^ Dougherty, Kevin. "Péladeau returns to work in National Assembly after accident". The Gazette. 26 May 2014. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015.
  16. ^ Authier, Philip (8 May 2015). "Leadership candidate Céré says PQ has lost touch with its roots". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 20 October 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Authier, Philip (17 September 2015). "PKP's leadership campaign comes up short $132,000 as opponents crank up heat over Québecor ownership". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 20 October 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ Authier, Philip (21 January 2015). "Péladeau hits political turbulence on plans to use campaign plane". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 20 October 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "PKP's gaffe: If Canada is divisible, why isn't Quebec?". National Post. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Pierre Karl Péladeau quits as Parti Québécois leader". CBC News. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ http://globalnews.ca/news/1653221/pierre-karl-peladeau-to-wed-julie-snyder/
  22. ^ a b lapresse.ca: "Pierre Karl Péladeau et Julie Snyder se séparent" 10 Jan 2014
  23. ^ "Canoe.ca: "Julie Snyder et PKP en voie de réconciliation" 27 May 2014". Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  24. ^ https://vancouversun.com/news/national/Julie+Snyder+more+than+Pierre+Karl+Peladeau+partner+weapon/11169557/story.html
  25. ^ Scali, Dominique (25 January 2016). "Rupture pour Julie et PKP". Journal de Montréal. Retrieved 25 January 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/10/13/suicide-suspected-in-death-of-pladeaus-girlfriend.html
  27. ^ "Le premier enfant du couple Pascale Bourbeau et Pierre Karl Péladeau". Le Journal de Montréal (in French). Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  28. ^ "Pierre Karl Péladeau". Forbes. Retrieved 30 September 2018.