“Today,” an emotional Pierre Karl Péladeau told a press conference this afternoon, “I stand in front of a lack of alternatives that forces me to make a choice, a terrible choice between my family and my political project … our political project. I chose my family. I regret to announce that I am quitting my functions as leader of the Parti Québécois, as leader of the official opposition, and as member of the National Assembly for St Jerome. I take this decision for the well-being of my children. I have to be an example to them.”
With those words, Péladeau left Quebec’s political class — OK, make that anyone in the province with a TV set — in a state of open-mouthed shock.
Péladeau was not just another politician. The scion of a wealthy publishing family, before entering politics Péladeau presided over a media empire — TV stations, newspapers, magazines and the Videotron cable service. He was married to a beautiful TV star and producer, Julie Snyder, with whom he had two children, aged 11 and 7. He handily won the leadership of the PQ with 57 per cent of the vote on May 15, 2015 — less than a year ago.
Péladeau was larger than life, melding business, politics and celebrity in one tempestuous teapot. But in recent months, that pot started boiling over. Even though the provincial Liberal government of Premier Philippe Couillard had imposed two years of economic austerity and suffered the disgrace of seeing a top cabinet minister embroiled in a conflict-of-interest scandal, Peladeau couldn’t manage to put a dent in Couillard’s poll numbers.
Last week, Péladeau replaced his chief of staff and shook up his inner circle. His up-and-down relationship with Snyder had foundered yet again; five months after their marriage last August, they’d separated.
Read the full article on iPolitics here: Well, that was quick. After Péladeau, what becomes of the PQ?