Pauline Marois and the traditionally pro-labour Parti Québécois have turned their backs on the working class, say Québec Solidaire candidates, by recruiting media baron Pierre Karl Péladeau to run in St. Jerome.
A handful of QS' union-affiliated candidates held a news conference today at Square Victoria, facing Quebecor headquarters
"The PQ has made room for a fierce union-buster; one of the most determined," QS Mercier MNA Khadir said. "He tried repeatedly over the years to break the union movement."
QS pointed to numerous labour conflicts, including those involving the Journal de Montréal and Québec, where Péladeau's Quebecor Media avoided breaking anti-scab laws by creating news agency QMI to provide content for the newspapers that locked-out workers couldn't. Péladeau broke the spirit of the scab law, Khadir said.
"When 253 workers were in the streets, Le Journal was continuing to be produced like nothing was wrong because there were scabs (at Quebecor Media)," said QS Bourget candidate and former CSN union executive Gaétan Châteauneuf. "It's a sad day for workers."
"We're saying to progressives and workers, that your place is now with Québec Solidaire."
Péladeau said Monday that he would refuse to sell his shares in Quebecor, even if the National Assembly's ethic's commissioner ruled that it would be necessary; he is offering to put the shares in a blind trust.
Whether or not to sell the shares is a false debate, Khadir said, because Péladeau would still have disproportionate influence in Quebec media.
"Péladeau knows his interests...he's one of the most powerful men in media and one of the richest men in Quebec...He will be one of the most influential politicians in Quebec and he knows what's in his best interests...the PQ is giving him the steering wheel of government."
Some on social media, including entrepreurs like renowned restaurateur David McMillan, are calling on a boycott of Quebecor products like Videotron cable service.
Videotron is currently offering the La Première documentary for free on its 'on demand' TV service; it was made by Yves Desgagnés, who was named recently as a consultant by the PQ for this election campaign. The production company that helped work on the film, Les Productions J, is owned by Julie Snyder, Péladeau's wife, who has hosted PQ events and helped found the pro-Charter of Values 'Janettes' movement. Her firm's headquarters and the PQ's are located side-by-side in a Papineau Ave. office complex.