Media magnate and rookie politician Pierre Karl Péladeau is in hospital with broken bones after a bicycle crash in the hills of Quebec's Eastern Townships.
Mr. Péladeau, an avid cyclist, was riding near Mont-Orford provincial park Sunday when he hit a pothole in the paved road and crashed. No vehicles or other cyclists were involved in the accident, according to a statement by Mr. Péladeau's Parti Québécois.
Doctors were treating Mr. Péladeau, 52, at a Sherbrooke hospital on Tuesday for eight fractures, including to his collar bone, ribs and hip. A statement from the hospital said Mr. Péladeau was awake and alert when he arrived early Sunday evening. The local ambulance service said Mr. Péladeau's helmet was badly damaged in the crash.
The hospital has no timetable for the release of Mr. Péladeau, the majority owner of Quebecor Inc. who was supposed to make his first appearance as an elected member of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
"I was eagerly anticipating starting my parliamentary work," Mr. Péladeau said in a statement. "Unfortunately this accident will keep me bedridden for some time."
The injury of Mr. Péladeau, who is considered a contender for the leadership of the opposition PQ, comes at a difficult time for the party and his potential ambitions. Mr. Péladeau will eventually take the party lead on the economic and provincial finance files expected to dominate the spring sitting of the legislature.
"This will have an important impact. He is our point man on economic development," said PQ MNA Bernard Drainville. "The other MNAs will have to pick up the slack."
PQ interim leader Stéphane Bédard said Mr. Péladeau will not be present, but that he is still carrying on with work from his hospital bed.
"I am disappointed and sad. But the lucky thing is that it happened to someone who is in great shape with the strength of character that is his trademark," Mr. Bédard said.
Mr. Péladeau won a seat in Saint-Jérôme north of Montreal in the April 7 provincial election. He frequently takes part in long-distance charity rides, and his company is also a major sponsor of a cycling team.
The Sunday crash was not his first bicycle accident. In 2012, he showed up at a news conference with his arm in a sling after a collision with a car while riding in Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
With a report from Rhéal Séguin in Quebec City