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Encyclopedia > Power Corporation

Power Corporation is a major Canadian company with interests in a number of industries, such as media, pulp and paper, and finance. Companies it owns include the La Presse newspaper in Montreal and the Consolidated Bathurst pulp and paper firm. The company is controlled by Paul Desmarais, Sr.. The company has long been a close ally of the Liberal Party of Canada, although former or current members of other Canadian political parties have also worked for Power Corp. A brief summary of the connections between Power Corp. and those with political power in Canada is below.

  • Current Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, was hired in the 1960s to work for Paul Desmarais, Sr. by Maurice Strong. Martin became President of Canada Steamship Lines, a subsiduary of Power Corp., and in 1981 Desmarais sold the company to Martin and a partner. Martin went on to make his personal fortune as an owner of CSL.
  • Former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien sat on the board of Power Corp. subsiduary Consolidated Bathurst Inc. in the late 1980s before he became the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Chrétien's daughter France is married to the son of Paul Desmarais, Sr., André. Also Chretien's chief of staff Eddie Goldenberg worked in the past for Power Corp.
  • Former Prime Minister of Canada, the late Pierre Trudeau, served in the mid-1990s on Power Corp.'s international advisory board. Trudeau's assistant Ted Johnson also worked for Power Corp. During the Trudeau administration Michael Pitfield held a variety of positions in government but during his time in the private sector he was at one time a Vice-Chairman of Power Corp. and is currently listed as a Director Emeritus.
  • Former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney also has a relationship with Power Corporation. Mulroney friend Ian MacDonald described Desmarais as “Mulroney’s mentor in the business world.”, and it is believed that Mulroney has done legal work for Power Corp. since the end of his term as Prime Minister. Additionaly former Mulroney Minister of Transport Don Mazankowski is currently Power Corp.'s company director.
  • Former Premier of Quebec Premier Daniel Johnson, Jr. worked for Power Corp. from 1973 to 1981 and in the last three years of this term was a Vice-President in the company.

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