Pierre Karl Péladeau can be MNA and media mogul, ethics commissioner rules

Quebec's ethics commissioner says Parti Québécois MNA Pierre Karl Peladeau does not have to put his vast media holdings in a blind trust.

Ethics commissioner says Péladeau is not breaking any rules by keeping controlling stake in Quebecor media

Pierre Karl Péladeau would have to put his Quebecor media holdings in a blind trust only if he ever became a cabinet minister or premier, the ethics commissioner ruled. (Radio-Canada archives)

Quebec's ethics commissioner has ruled that PartiQuébécoisMNA Pierre Karl Péladeau does not have to put his vast media holdings in a blind trust.

In a decision Tuesday, the National Assembly's ethics commissioner Jacques Saint-Laurent said Péladeau is not breaking any rules if he holds on to his controlling stake in Quebecor media.

Saint-Laurent said MNAs have a responsibility to avoid conflicts of interest, but the system is self-policing. If Péladeau​ ever became a cabinet minister or premier, then he would have to put his holdings in a blind trust.

Péladeau has already pledged to do that if he's ever elected leader of the PQ.

CAQ motion still on the table

The status of a proposed law put forward by the Coalition Avenir Québec is still up in the air.

The motion proposes to make it illegal for any MNA to be a majority shareholder in a media company.

Such a law would force Péladeau to sell his controlling stake in Quebecor.

Péladeau has vowed he would never do that, adding that such a law would be unconstitutional.

On Tuesday morning in the National Assembly, there appeared to be a compromise when the Liberals suggested submitting the motion to Quebec's press council for an expert opinion. All the parties agreed with the idea.

But Tuesday afternoon, the press council released a statement saying it would not get involved.

“The Quebec Press Council cannot accept the mandate of the government … because it is not in the nature of the council to conduct a study that falls within parliamentary ethics," the statement said.