Controversial MNA Pierre Karl Peladeau is once again in hot water over an ethical issue.

The Parti Quebecois MNA and media mogul admitted Friday morning that he tried to use his political power to influence the sale of Mel's Studio to a company he owns.

Mel's Studio is a large TV and film facility that has been used for everything from the the latest X-Men movie to Quebecois TV productions such as La Voix and Star Academie.

Peladeau said he has known the owners and directors of Mel's Studio for years, since he was the chair and president of Quebecor, a company which owns multiple TV stations in Quebec.

His wife, Julie Snyder, is a media power in her own right with her company, Productions J, creating TV shows which air on the Quebecor-owned channel TVA.

Peladeau said when he learned Mel's studio was up for sale he wanted to make sure it remained in the hands of Quebecers.

"At the urging of the directors of this company I simultaneously informed the management of Quebecor and of Investment Quebec of the risk that another company from Quebec would be in foreign hands," wrote Peladeau in a Facebook post.


According to an article in La Presse only two companies were interested in purchasing Mel's Studio, with one of them being Quebecor, the other being a U.S. company named Clearlake Capital.

Peladeau owns the majority of voting stock in Quebecor, but resigned as the company's chair and president earlier this year.

He said, however, that his goal in involving Investment Quebec was never to favour the company he used to control.

"My actions were solely motivated by my conviction of the importance of keeping a Quebec company in our hands," wrote Peladeau.

Peladeau admits his action's appear to be a conflict of interest and he will contact the Ethics Commissioner to see what can be done about the situation.

Articles 15 and 16 of the National Assembly's Code of Ethics say MNAs must refrain from acting in their private interests, and article 25 says they are not allowed to vote or debate on any matter in which they have a direct financial interest.


A Member must not place himself or herself in a situation where his or her private interests may impair independence of judgment in carrying out the duties of office.


When carrying out the duties of office, a Member must not (1) act, attempt to act or refrain from acting, so as to further his or her private interests or those of a family member or non-dependent child, or to improperly further another person’s private interests; or (2) use the position of Member to influence or attempt to influence another person’s decision so as to further the Member’s private interests or those of a family member or non-dependent child, or to improperly further another person’s private interests.


A Member who knowingly has a private financial interest, not shared by the other Members or the general public, in a matter that is being discussed in the National Assembly or a committee of which he or she is a member must, if present, publicly and without delay declare the general nature of the interest and withdraw from the meeting or sitting without participating in debate or voting on the matter.

The Member must also inform the Secretary General of the National Assembly and the Ethics Commissioner.

This week the National Assembly passed a non-binding motion saying that MNAs are not allowed to have a controlling interest in media companies.