May 20, 2015 (Quebec City, QC) – Pierre Karl Péladeau, a billionaire media mogul and avid cyclist, known for his passion for Quebec’s independence, has been elected the new leader of the Parti Québécois. This also makes Péladeau the leader of the Official Opposition in Quebec’s National Assembly (provincial legislature). Surprisingly, Péladeau is also a political neophyte, first becoming elected in April 2014.
Péladeau’s critics and political opponents complain that he is too divisive, anti-union and short-tempered to handle the protocol and nuances of political life. But his great wealth, business connections, fervent cries for Quebec’s independence and photogenic looks convinced 57.6 per cent of delegates at a May 15 party convention to vote for Péladeau on the first ballot. He won over two leadership rivals, Alexandre Cloutier (29.2%) and Martine Ouellet (13.2%).
Péladeau, 53, is also known as a cyclist and as an important financial backer of cycling. A media company that Péladeau holds majority shares in, Quebecor, co-sponsors the Garneau-Quebecor UCI continental men’s road team. The company also sponsors the Granfondo Garneau-Cascades between Quebec City and Trois Rivières in August.
In May of 2013, Quebecor acquired Gestev, the company that organizes the renowned Mont Ste-Anne World Cups and other top level events in the Quebec City region and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Previously, Quebecor was also an official media partner of the former La Québécoise and La Montréalaise cyclosportive events organized around the GP Cycliste Quebec and Montreal WorldTour races in September, but these cyclosportive events were cancelled for 2015.
Péladeau holds degrees in philosophy and in law. He not only gives corporate support to cycling, but in 2012 joined Ironman Pierre Lavoie for 410km of a 1,000km charity ride over 72 hours and apparently is in quite good shape. In May 2014, Péladeau was badly injured while riding his bicycle but has since fully recovered.