SAINT-BRUNO-DE-MONTARVILLE, - Media baron Pierre Karl Peladeau says he will not sell his Quebecor shares even if he is told to do so by the province's ethics commissioner.
The Parti Quebecois candidate said he will consult the commissioner if he is elected April 7 so they can discuss the risks of conflict of interest between his company's operations and those of the government.
In announcing his candidacy Sunday, Peladeau said he has resigned as vice-chairman of Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B) and will place his investments in a blind trust.
Premier Pauline Marois said at a news conference with Peladeau today that he will have to abide by the ethics commissioner's demands.
But Peladeau is insisting he won't sell his Quebecor shares even if Jacques Saint-Laurent tells him to.
Quebecor's controlling shareholder says he wants to ensure that the company's head office remains in Quebec.
"I have no intention of selling my shares,' he told the news conference.
"The proxy who will receive the mandate to manage the trust will have clear and precise guidelines â€” and selling Quebecor is out of the question."
Peladeau has rejected suggestions his entry into politics could represent a conflict of interest, given his powerful presence in the province's media landscape.
Quebecor, founded by Peladeau's father, has a number of holdings in Quebec, including tabloid newspaper Le Journal de Montreal, the French-language TVA television network and the Videotron cable company.
It also owns the Sun tabloids and the Sun News Network in English Canada.
Peladeau says Sun News and his other media holdings can "say whatever they want" about the PQ and the push for an independent Quebec.