Peladeau, PQ come out swinging post debate
Pierre Karl Peladeau and Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois during a press conference in Montreal, Friday, March 21, 2014. (DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE/QMI Agency)
MONTREAL-- With a little more than two weeks to go in the Quebec provincial election, the Parti Quebecois is trying to backtrack on sovereignty and double down on the economy and their divisive charter of values.
"Mr. Couillard wants you to think that this election is about a referendum," Premier Pauline Marois said about the Liberal leader. "That is false. There won't be a referendum until Quebecers are ready for one. It is not their priority right now, and nor is it mine."
Marois said that the priority right now is to strengthen Quebec's economy, and to adopt the charter of values.
At a Friday news conference the PQ leader was flanked by star candidates Pierre-Karl Peladeau, the former head of Sun Media's parent company Quebecor Media, and by Bernard Drainville, the architect of the charter which would ban overt religious symbols from Quebec's public institutions.
"If I had run Quebecor the way the Liberals want to run Quebec," Peladeau said," I would have lost my business and been fired...Returning to Liberal rule would be terrible for Quebec's economy."
Peladeau consistently criticized the Liberals on the economy, saying "they left us $60 billion in debt" and are responsible for the loss of more than 150,000 manufacturing jobs.
"Quebecers deserve more than that," Peladeau said.
The former businessman, who was tapped by the PQ to help firm up their economic credibility, said Friday that "if there's one reason I got into politics, it was to create wealth and more jobs for Quebec."
When Peladeau stepped down from Quebecor nearly three weeks ago, he told a news conference that he was "a sovereigntist," and that he decided to enter politics to "help give his three children a country they can be proud of."