Pierre Karl Péladeau analysis in point form

Pierre Karl Péladeau

To say that Pierre Karl Péladeau’s announcement that he’s running for the Parti Québécois was a bombshell would be an understatement. The announcement monopolized the news cycle on Sunday and again on Monday. We’re still talking about it because of its implications. Canada’s largest newspaper chain is owned by a separatist. A media mogul is running for office, and everyone expects the media he owns to stay objective on the matter. And his selection is a huge risk for the PQ, which can ride his economic bona fides to power or see itself torn apart by ideological differences (whether or not it wins a majority).

His media outlets insist in French and in English that he has no control over them. Sun News handled the news straight, declaring that they too are not under Péladeau’s control. Here’s Brian Lilley and here’s Lorrie Goldstein. (Ezra Levant is fighting a libel lawsuit and hasn’t been on the air.)

There are news stories and analyses of Péladeau all over the place, but here are a few that are worth reading: 

Other tidbits to keep in mind about Péladeau’s candidacy:

30 thoughts on “Pierre Karl Péladeau analysis in point form

  1. Tan Abbott

    At the time I write this, PKP seems to already be feeling the effects. Despite getting support from Les Belles Meres to retain his shares, the market closed with Quebecor taking a loss on the day (both A and B shares).

    Note to PKP: when Bloomberg speaks, LISTEN.

    When the people speak (yes, the “little” people) you might want to listen too: http://separatistliesexposed.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/how-to-shut-down-pierre-karl-peladeau-the-pq/

    After all the heat the PLQ took for being so supposedly corrupt, I don’t think Marois’ team is going to be let off the hook one this one, especially since they attacked David Whissell so vehemently for his “conflict of interest.”

    Reply
  2. Lorne

    The Journal De Montreal already supports the separatists, I hardly think they will start being objective now that the owner is running for the separatists.

    Reply
  3. Karine76

    Two thoughts:

    – Whycome anglo media didn’t know that the owner of the Sun News chain was a sovereignist? Has everyone forgotten the brouhaha when Quebecor tried to purchase the Financial Post and Diane Francis pretty much said over my dead body because of PKP’s political views? Anyone?

    – I find it ironic now how all the Quebecor journos and columnists are butthurt because they’re being accused of being PKPs mouthpieces when they level the same accusations towards La Presse and the Desmarais family or about Rad-Can being a shill for federalism (even though the latter seems to be a PQ recruiting ground).

    In any case, it has made the elections a lot more interesting to follow.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Whycome anglo media didn’t know that the owner of the Sun News chain was a sovereignist?

      Because he never said he was. The fact that people called him a sovereignist doesn’t mean he is one. People say a lot of things about a lot of people.

      – I find it ironic now how all the Quebecor journos and columnists are butthurt because they’re being accused of being PKPs mouthpieces when they level the same accusations towards La Presse and the Desmarais family or about Rad-Can being a shill for federalism (even though the latter seems to be a PQ recruiting ground).

      It’s been pointed out by a few that if this was André Desmarais running for the Liberals, the péquistes and Journal de Montréal crowd would be up in arms.

      Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      One more point: is it a coincidence that the Journal is being distributed again at metro stations?

      I don’t see how the Journal de Montréal’s distribution strategy would be related to Pierre Karl Péladeau’s decision to run for office.

      Reply
  4. Karine76

    I really wish all my thoughts on this would just come at once… So what I hope is my last point isn’t about PKP but about Rad-Can’s election coverage, or more pointedly the fact that Patrice Roy, the 6pm newsreader has been the lead anchor/journalist for the last couple of elections and not Céline Galipeau. Shouldn’t she be front and centre?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Patrice Roy, the 6pm newsreader has been the lead anchor/journalist for the last couple of elections and not Céline Galipeau. Shouldn’t she be front and centre?

      There’s no law requiring it. Galipeau’s job is to anchor the 10pm newscast, so maybe Radio-Canada prefers she focus on that. TVA’s face-à-face debates were moderated by Pierre Bruneau, not Sophie Thibault. While both networks have their big names, I don’t think either has really adopted a there-is-only-one-face-of-news mentality.

      Reply
      1. John

        Roy was also parliamentary correspondent in Québec City and Ottawa; while Galipeau was mostly a foreign correspondent.

        Reply
  5. Dilbert

    Wow, this is a great example of how low things can go, and why things are going to shit fast in Canada (especially Quebec).

    PKP should only be allowed to run as a candidate at the same moment that he resigns his position from Quebecor and moves all of his holding in the media company (and it’s parent holding companies) either into trust or puts them on the auction block. Does it sound extreme? Think a little and you will see why.

    Any journalist working for any Quebecor media company is unlikely to write anything bad about his boss. It would be a pretty risky step to be the reporter that reveals that his boss (and political candidate) has done X or Y or Z wrong that violates the law or creates a conflict of interest. That reporter would likely lose their job in the future for doing it. Thus, the media is muzzled by the conflict of interest, and that media represents the source of new for the majority of Quebec francophones (between the newspapers, TVA, TVA Nouvelles, etc).

    Of course, that protection be definition now extends to the entire PQ, as the boss wouldn’t be pleased if someone exposed something that derailed his ride to a position as the vice premiere or perhaps a key ministry (like the “seperated Quebec CRTC”). Anyone speaking up might as well commit hari kari shortly thereafter, they are pretty much as good as gone.

    Given that his candidacy can and likely already has affected how the population will be told about this election, there really isn’t much else to do except to force him out of the company by emergency measure, and to requiring that he loses all control (and all potential for future control) of the media empire.

    Anything less turns this election into a sham from end to end, a black eye for democracy, and an insult to the Quebec people. Then again, I expect nothing less from Marios and the PQ, desperate as they are to retain power no matter what the cost.

    Canada and Quebec have sunk another notch down the ladder, rapidly approaching banana republic status.

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  6. emdx

    Quebecor’s ownership of media in Canada could come under question if Péladeau reaches his goal of independence. The CRTC doesn’t allow broadcasters (like Sun News Network) to be owned by non-Canadians, and Canadian tax laws make it impractical for print media (like the Toronto Sun or 24 Hours) to be owned by non-Canadians.

    Why should it be a problem? Péladeau can very well keep his canadian citizenship once Québec separates.

    And no, Canada will not prevent anyone from doing so, unless it mightily wants to piss off millions of immigrants who have dual citizenship…

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  7. CraigMc

    Apart from the two Sun News network links you provided, that network has conspicuously gone silent on the whole PKP involvement in the Quebec election. Normally this wouldn’t be seen as much, but Sun News has made it their stock and trade to “poke the bear” and churn out sensationalist stories, and separatism seems to be one of their favorite bulls-eyes. So when a network curiously dances all around the elephant in the room, that too speaks volumes about “journalistic impartiality”. Not covering a candidate to protect oneself (or the candidate) isn’t any better than the media using its power to promote said candidate.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Apart from the two Sun News network links you provided, that network has conspicuously gone silent on the whole PKP involvement in the Quebec election.

      I watched Sun News the day after Péladeau’s announcement. It was a segment in almost every program that day.

      Reply
  8. Dilbert

    For that matter, let’s add this: if the only leadership debate is on TVA, do you really think that any of the questions asked of Pauline will be anything but softballs?

    This situation taints the entire election from end to end, without exception. The Quebec electoral board needs to step in and stop this nonsense.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      For that matter, let’s add this: if the only leadership debate is on TVA, do you really think that any of the questions asked of Pauline will be anything but softballs?

      If Radio-Canada doesn’t air a leaders’ debate, that will be a far greater issue. As for the independence of TVA journalists, I expect the situation to be awkward, but I don’t expect them to throw their journalistic integrity out the window when everyone’s watching for that.

      Reply
      1. Dilbert

        They can hang onto their journalistic integrity while pulling the punches. Make a list of questions, select the ones that the PQ can answer favorably, don’t ask the ones that they might flub, and you still can proudly wear the journalist badge without fear. Yet the public loses out, and that is really key here.

        Even if Rad-Can has a debate as well, it won’t be as watched or have as much influence as that on TVA. You can also imagine that the Quebecor media group will of course parrot out the message of the leaders debate in the key of PQ, which means of course that most French Quebecers will receive a wonderfully one sided message.

        it’s a disgrace, a sham.

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        1. Fagstein Post author

          They can hang onto their journalistic integrity while pulling the punches.

          I seriously hope the standards of professional journalism haven’t fallen that low.

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          1. Dilbert

            Sadly, if you only read Quebecor Media sites, you would think that the PQ had a great first week of the campaign and that nobody else even really exists.

            It’s stunning to read it from afar and realize just how slanted things have become.

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        2. Josh

          So, debates in the QC election are not like those in other provinces I know of (where multiple networks air the same TV show)? Rather, they’re more like primary debates in the US – CNN holds one, then MSNBC, etc, etc?

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            So, debates in the QC election are not like those in other provinces I know of (where multiple networks air the same TV show)?

            Quebec does have a multiple-network debate. It airs Thursday March 20 at 8pm, on Radio-Canada, RDI and Télé-Québec. But TVA has stopped participating in those debates, apparently preferring their own style of a series of one-on-one debates. V, the other French network, doesn’t air them, I guess because it doesn’t have a news department and prefers to try to get some audience for its entertainment shows instead.

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  9. mephistau

    M. Fagstein, ça fait plusieurs jours que je cherche cette réponse. J’ai confiance d’avoir une réponse intelligente de votre part. Et vous pouvez me répondre en anglais, pour plus de nuances de votre part, si vous le voulez.

    On s’entend que si PKP est ministre, ça met les journalistes/chroniqueurs/éditorialistes(?) de Quebecor dans une position inconfortable. On peut donc dire que dans un monde idéal, cela ne devrait pas arriver. Disons que ça arrive.

    Ma question: quelle est la différence entre PKP propriétaire (en fiducie) de Quebecor et Desmarais propriétaire de Gesca/Power Corp (non en fiducie). Car Mulroney, Charest, Chrétien, Martin, Sabia, Rousseau; ce sont des…. disons des proches des Desmarais. Par exemple, Charest a été invité à Sagar et Sebia a été “convoqué” au bureau de Power après avoir été nommé à la caisse. Que les puissants puissent parler au premier-ministre, bravo! Mais quand Obama a voulu parler à Buffet, il a invité Buffet à la maison blanche. Il n’a pas été convoqué par lui.

    Bref, en quoi est-ce que PKP est plus influent en tant que ministre que les Desmarais en tant que puppet masters? Et en quoi un journaliste de Quebecor devrait avoir plus peur de critiquer le PQ qu’un journaliste de Gesca devrait avoir peur de critiquer le PLQ?

    Et s’il n’y a pas de différence, alors est-ce que tous les propriétaires de journaux/médias devraient vendre leurs actifs? Et à qui?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      On s’entend que si PKP est ministre, ça met les journalistes/chroniqueurs/éditorialistes(?) de Quebecor dans une position inconfortable.

      Non. Les journalistes de Québecor sont déjà dans une position inconfortable

      quelle est la différence entre PKP propriétaire (en fiducie) de Quebecor et Desmarais propriétaire de Gesca/Power Corp (non en fiducie).

      Il y a beaucoup de nuances (Péladeau était plus actif dans les fonctions de Québecor Média que les Desmarais était chez Gesca), mais disons que en gros, il y a pas beaucoup de différence, et si André Desmarais se présente en politique, ça serait une situation délicate pour les journalistes de Gesca.

      Car Mulroney, Charest, Chrétien, Martin, Sabia, Rousseau; ce sont des…. disons des proches des Desmarais.

      Mulroney est un proche de Péladeau aussi. Il siège sur le CA de Québecor et est même parrain de son fils.

      Bref, en quoi est-ce que PKP est plus influent en tant que ministre que les Desmarais en tant que puppet masters?

      La problème c’est pas que PKP (et Québecor) a trop d’influence sur la politique, c’est que la politique a trop d’influence sur les médias.

      Et s’il n’y a pas de différence, alors est-ce que tous les propriétaires de journaux/médias devraient vendre leurs actifs?

      Tous les propriétaires qui se présentent en politique, peut-être. Mais à qui, c’est difficile à dire.

      Reply
  10. mephistau

    Merci pour votre réponse M. Fagstein.
    La plus honnête, comme toujours, que j’ai lue sur un sujet de média.

    Vous gagnez à être connu.

    Reply
    1. mephistau

      Comme toujours, une réponse qui vaut la peine d’être lue.
      C’est rare, spécialement quand la question porte sur un média.

      Je suis honoré d’avoir été éclairé par votre réponse.

      Reply
    2. sco100

      C’t’un dieu, man!

      Sérieux, je n’ai jamais vu un blogueur/commentateur/journaliste mettre autant d’efforts pour conserver l’apparence d’objectivité et d’absence de conflit d’intérêt. Il force l’admiration à cet égard.

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        conserver l’apparence d’objectivité et d’absence de conflit d’intérêt

        Je sais pas si c’est mieux d’apparaître objective ou de l’être. Pour les conflits d’intérêt, c’est certain que j’en ai, mais je suis chanceux que The Gazette n’appartient pas aux grandes entreprises comme Québecor Média ou Bell Média.

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  11. Dilbert

    Clearly, it didn’t take long for this to become an issue:

    http://www.cjad.com/cjad-news/2014/03/23/quebec-elections-office-throws-cold-water-on-parti-quebecois-voter-theory

    The story, which a desperate PQ have latched onto like a life preserver, pretty much plays out perfectly. JdeM comes up with a story that is quickly shot down by facts, but in the time between the apparently wildy overstated story and the official reply, the PQ had multiple high profile Canadidates and Marois herself complaining about the election being “stolen”.

    There may be no connection, but the speed at which the PQ was all over this, seemingly totally prepared with talking points and all,makes you think that one tipped off the other.

    PQ shouldn’t scream too loud about an unfair election in light of things like this. It’s impressive to see how far they will go to cover up their own failings.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      The story, which a desperate PQ have latched onto like a life preserver, pretty much plays out perfectly. JdeM comes up with a story that is quickly shot down by facts, but in the time between the apparently wildy overstated story and the official reply, the PQ had multiple high profile Canadidates and Marois herself complaining about the election being “stolen”.

      That would sound pretty suspicious if it weren’t for the fact that this whole thing started with a story in Le Devoir.

      Reply
  12. Dilbert

    Well, done deal, he is elected.

    Now it’s time for the CRTC to wake up and take immediate action to separate the politician from the media empire, in the most strongest of terms possible.

    Reply

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