Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Parti Quebecois leader Pierre-Karl Peladeau announces his resignation at a news conference, Monday, May 2, 2016 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

There is recognizable symmetry to Pierre Karl Péladeau's surprise exit from the political stage.

His unexpected arrival in politics in the spring of 2014 – right fist famously raised, promising a quick march to Quebec independence – didn't add up to much, though the gesture did help sink his party in that year's provincial election.

His abrupt, tearful leave-taking, announced on Monday at a Parti Québécois office adjacent to his estranged wife Julie Snyder's production company, may have a greater impact than anything he actually did in the National Assembly.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Péladeau's resignation, for family reasons (he and Ms. Snyder have two young children, and their marriage and its breakdown have been highly public), was widely rumoured on social media Monday. Confirmation came first through TVA news – part of the media empire he controls, and which he stubbornly refused to place in a completely blind trust. It was one of many self-inflicted injuries in his brief, frantic political career.

Ordinarily, a PQ leader's retreat to the shadows is cause for federalist celebration. But Mr. Péladeau – tin-eared, volcanically tempered, organizationally inept – was the best argument against voting PQ. Premier Philippe Couillard is surely lamenting the resignation: The stoutest barrier to the PQ replacing his unpopular Liberals has been removed.

The PQ is as famous for knifing its leaders as it is for embracing its latest saviour. The main federalist fear has to be the party finally seeing the sense in electing a unifier capable of rallying the sovereigntist movement, which atomized further in the Péladeau era.

Brought in to bolster the PQ's business cred, Mr. Péladeau managed to anger traditional allies like the student and union federations, alienate party stalwarts, and churn through staff. After initially standing as a natural heir to Jacques Parizeau's separatists-in-a-hurry tradition, he soon veered to more moderate ground. He succeeded in pleasing no one.

Historians will place his stewardship of the PQ in the pantheon of leadership mediocrity; at 353 days, Mr. Péladeau is the briefest-serving leader in the party's 50-year history, and the only one not to lead it into an election.

He will be missed, by federalists most of all.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies