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Péladeau the controversial:
Seven moments from
his PQ leadership

Parti Quebecois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau reacts during a news conference in Montreal, Monday, May 2, 2016, where he announced he is quitting politics for family reasons.

Parti Quebecois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau reacts during a news conference in Montreal, Monday, May 2, 2016, where he announced he is quitting politics for family reasons.

RYAN REMIORZ/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Pierre Karl Péladeau cited his parental duties as he stepped down Monday from his all-too-brief stint as leader of the Parti Québécois. But from the moment he decided to run for public office, it had been a bumpy ride, with many seeing him as a polarizing figure bereft of the skills or temper to thrive in politics.


Even when he was just an opposition backbencher who aspired to the leadership, Mr. Péladeau had repeatedly made headlines for the wrong reason, underlining his lack of experience and tone deafness.


Here are seven controversial moments that punctuated his brief time in politics:


Parti Quebecois candidate Pierre Karl Peladeau speaks at a news conference while Leader Pauline Marois, right, looks on, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Levis.

Parti Quebecois candidate Pierre Karl Peladeau speaks at a news conference while Leader Pauline Marois, right, looks on, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Levis.

JACQUES BOISSINOT/THE CANADIAN PRESS

March 2014: Péladeau the separatist

Introduced as a PQ star candidate in the provincial election, Mr. Péladeau pledged that his main goal was "to make Quebec a country," then pumped his fist, in a move that dominated the media coverage and gave fodder to his Liberal rivals.

At a campaign event three days later, a reporter asked Mr. Péladeau about a potential conflict of interests from a $14-million government contract to a Québecor subsidiary. "I'll answer that," then PQ Leader Pauline Marois said as she pushed her star candidate away from the lectern.

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From the archives: How will Ottawa react to Péladeau's PQ candidacy?

1:34

July 2014: Péladeau and the conflict of interest

During a legislature committee meeting, Mr. Péladeau urged the government to intervene in a business deal involving his family business.

He wanted the Quebec government to thwart the potential sale of the Montreal post-production film company Vision Globale to an American fund. The other bidder for Vision Globale was Mr. Péladeau's Quebecor Inc.

The National Assembly Ethics Commissioner Jacques Saint-Laurent investigated and eventually ruled that Mr. Péladeau had breached the ethics code of Quebec lawmakers. Mr. Saint-Laurent however said there was no need for sanctions because Mr. Péladeau appeared to have acted in good faith.

Quebec Opposition MNA Pierre-Karl Peladeau smiles while surrounded by reporters as he arrives at a caucus meeting, Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at the legislature in Quebec City.

Quebec Opposition MNA Pierre-Karl Peladeau smiles while surrounded by reporters as he arrives at a caucus meeting, Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at the legislature in Quebec City.

JACQUES BOISSINOT/THE CANADIAN PRESS

November 2014: Péladeau and the Bloc Québécois

At a Parti Québécois youth gathering in his home riding of Saint-Jérôme, Mr. Péladeau asked whether the federal separatist party, the Bloc Québécois, was still needed in Ottawa. Days later, Mr. Péladeau had to backtrack and stated that the Bloc remained "quite relevant."

Mr. Péladeau also complained that during that controversy a reporter from La Presse had asked him for comments by calling his personal cellphone number.

"Do you personally call politicians on their cellphones?" he asked other reporters during a media scrum. They answered yes in unison.

January 2015: Péladeau plays language police

While in Rouyn-Noranda, Que., for a party meeting, Mr. Péladeau attended a music festival. He yelled "En français!" at the band Groenland because it performed in English. "You're in the wrong place," lead singer Sabrina Halde shouted back.

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Mr. Péladeau's press aide, Marc-André De Blois, later told reporters that his boss got confused because the band's on-stage banter was in French and he wasn't aware they sang in English.

Pierre-Karl Peladeau, middle, attends a Parti Québécois debate with candidates Martine Ouellet, left, and Pierre Céré at Quebec City's Laval campus on March 18, 2015.

Pierre-Karl Peladeau, middle, attends a Parti Québécois debate with candidates Martine Ouellet, left, and Pierre Céré at Quebec City's Laval campus on March 18, 2015.

JACQUES BOISSINOT/THE CANADIAN PRESS

March 2015: Péladeau on immigration

During a candidates' debate at Laval University, Mr. Péladeau said Quebec should hurry to achieve its independence before the opportunity is lost because too many federalist-leaning immigrants have been admitted.

"We won't have 25 years ahead of us to achieve this. With demographics, with immigration, we're certainly losing a riding each year," he said. He apologized the following day.

From the archives: Péladeau reiterates independence push in first speech as PQ leader

0:50

May 2015: Péladeau on Maclean's

PQ leadership candidate Pierre Céré, who had complained about Mr. Péladeau being a media-owning politician, told Maclean's magazine that he once was confronted by an angry Mr. Péladeau, who swore at him and asked "What's your price?"

Questioned by reporters, Mr. Péladeau neither confirmed nor denied the incident but mocked the Maclean's writer.

"I have nothing to say about articles in Maclean's," Mr. Péladeau told reporters. "I have nothing to say about the pamphleteer named Martin Patriquin," he added, pronouncing the name first in French, then repeating it with an English accent.

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Quebec Opposition Leader Pierre-Karl Peladeau speaks during the question period at the Quebec legislature, Tuesday Nov. 3, 2015.

Quebec Opposition Leader Pierre-Karl Peladeau speaks during the question period at the Quebec legislature, Tuesday Nov. 3, 2015.

CLEMENT ALLARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

November 2015: Péladeau and aboriginal independence

Invited to a PQ council meeting, Ghislain Picard, the regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Quebec and Labrador, gave an address where he said aboriginal people had the right to separate from an independent Quebec.

Questioned about Mr. Picard's comments, Mr. Péladeau didn't stick to the PQ's historical view that Quebec is not divisible. The PQ Leader said instead that the issue is "open to dialogue."

Later that evening, the party has to issue a statement restating its traditional position.


MORE FROM THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Citizen Péladeau Les Perreaux charts the PQ leader's uneasy transition from business to politics. (for subscribers)

Tearful Pierre Karl Péladeau steps down as Parti Québécois leader

2:04

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