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Julie Snyder on Pierre Karl Péladeau, marriage and politics

The day before Pierre Karl Péladeau tendered a stunning resignation as the leader of the Parti Québécois, his longtime partner spoke openly about the end of their marriage and their sacrifices when he made the leap into politics.

Interview with prominent Quebec host aired day before Péladeau quit as Parti Québécois leader

Julie Snyder on Tout le monde en parle

5 years ago
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Julie Snyder on Tout le monde en parle 1:16

The day before Pierre Karl Péladeau tendered a stunning resignation as the leader of the Parti Québécois, his longtime partner spoke openly about the end of their marriage and their sacrifices when he made the leap into politics.

In a rare appearance on Radio-Canada's popular French talk show Tout le monde en parle, Julie Snyder said the couple tried to work out their differences but were currently going through a challenging divorce mediation.

"Pierre Karl was my country," Snyder said.

Péladeau stepped down on Monday, less than 24 hours after Snyder's interview aired. With tears in his eyes, he cited family as the reason behind his decision to leave the political arena.

The Quebecor media baron had only been at the helm of the sovereignist party for a year after winning the leadership in May 2015.

'It's very, very intense'

Snyder told host Guy A. Lepage that she gave her all to Péladeau while he was running for leadership of the PQ. 

"It's called a leadership race, not a leadership spa," Snyder said. "It starts well before the official announcement and it's very, very intense."

Pierre-Karl Péladeau and Julie Snyder on the day he was elected to lead the Parti Québécois. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Politics took a toll on the family even before Péladeau was elected and on the couple's relationship in the months that followed. 

Snyder described being curled up on her balcony the day after Péladeau won the race with a coffee and cigarette in hand.

"I was shocked, I was emptied," Snyder said. "That's when I realized that politics was violent."

However, when asked if Snyder would still vote for the PQ after ending her relationship with Péladeau, she stood by her beliefs.

"Just because we are separated doesn't mean I am separated from my convictions."

'I hope we can be a good example'

In January, the couple announced their separation just five months after a lavish wedding in Quebec City in front of their children, family and friends.

"That day, after the birth of my children, was the best day of my life," Snyder said. "It was what always dreamed of."

"I was hoping for that day for a long time  — in spite of the crises, in spite of Quebecor."

Pierre Karl Péladeau and Julie Snyder hug after getting married. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Over the course of 10 years, Péladeau and Snyder had two children together and even came back together after separating in August 2014.

For Snyder, she said the two are trying to set a good example for Thomas, 10, and Romy, seven, as they work through the end of their relationship.

"Mediation is a big challenge," Snyder said. "We're working hard."

"Our children learn a lot by example — I hope we can be a good example."

With files from Radio-Canada, Benjamin Shingler, Jonathan Montpetit and Molly Kohli

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