PKP casts shadow on PQ caucus meeting

The more-or-less vague suggestion that former Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau might be plotting a political comeback was all anyone seemed to want to talk about as the party's caucus met in Shawinigan on Wednesday.

Jean-François Lisée, who succeeded Péladeau as PQ leader last year, suggested on Wednesday he has been in contact with Péladeau about his eventual return.

"He knows this in private and now in public that if he chooses to come, the door is open," Lisée said.

What's unclear, though, is whether he would be content to be just another MNA, or whether he would once again have leadership aspirations.

Péladeau resigned as leader in May 2016, after only a year on the job, to tend to family issues. One of those issues was a custody battle over the two children he has with his ex-wife, television host Julie Snyder.

But in an interview with Radio-Canada earlier this week, Péladeau suggeted the issue was resolved.

'The answer is yes": Lisée

Speaking to reporters, Lisée said unequivocally that Péladeau would be welcomed back to the PQ fold, if he chose to return.

"Now he says that his custody issue is resolved so it's entirely his decision to come back or not, so since the question is asked, would I like to have Pierre Karl Peladeau as part of my team? The answer is yes," said Lisée. "Why? He's a businessman, he's for independence, he's forceful, he's determined...you know, what's not to like?"

Since his resignation, Péladeau has funded an institute designed to sell Quebecers on the merits of Quebec independence, and recently, he's been much more active on social media with political statements.

Meanwhile, with the party firmly settled in third place in public opinion polls with an election coming up on Oct. 1, the PQ is launching a new ad campaign aimed at highlighting the difference between themselves and the other parties.

"This election is going to be between on one side the Liberals and the CAQ who want to weaken the state, who will create a situation of permanent austerity and the Parti Quebecois wants to have a stronger state, a flexible state, but in good shape to give services to the young, to elderly, to patients, to family," said Lisée.

Meanwhile, he says he isn't putting much stock in those polls, suggesting the final result in eight months could be a surprise.

"I'm not saying they're not showing the situation as it is. What I'm saying is that they are not good predictors of what will happen. If they were Tom Mulcair would be prime minister of Canada, Hillary Clinton would be president of the United States and a guy named [François] Fillon would be president of France," he said.