For example, concerns about the future of the pulp and paper industry prompted Power to sell Consolidated Bathurst for $1.5 billion and netted more than $1 billion in the process.
"Mulroney really impressed me. He signed the Free Trade Accord with the United States and Mexico," he told Le Point.
Desmarais has been called the most powerful businessman in Canada, gaining the ear of Pierre Trudeau, Paul Martin, Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, whose daughter is Nike Air Max 95 Safari Pack
Power Financial sold its shares of Montreal Trust to Bell Canada parent BCE Inc. for $547 million in 1989 because of reservations about the ability of a mid sized company to compete with Canada's large chartered banks.
After Sarkozy was elected president in 2007, he awarded Desmarais the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, France's highest order of merit that was established by Napoleon in 1802. Other recipients include Lech Walesa and Alexander of Russia.
bond with Paul Martin Jr., who some say viewed Desmarais almost as a father figure and mentor.
The bond between the two Franco Ontarians was enhanced when Martin purchased Canada Steamship Lines from Power.
Desmarais' strong political views led critics to accuse him of persuading his friend, Nicolas Sarkozy, to adopt a pro Canada foreign policy, when the French president professed his love for Canada during a recent visit to Quebec.
Desmarais had a special Air Max Bw Denim
Desmarais had the golden touch. He knew when to sell assets.
"My profound attachment to Canada stems from the great liberty and freedom that my ancestors were able to enjoy in building their lives in a new country, the same liberty and freedom which allowed me as a young French Canadian from Northern Ontario to realize his dream in building a business in all parts of Canada and abroad."
Asked about the key to his business success, Desmarais Air Max 95 Black And Gold simply responded: "I don't now. I seized opportunities that presented themselves."
Business tycoon Paul Desmarais Sr
His family said he died "peacefully" Tuesday evening at his country estate northeast of Quebec City surrounded by his family, including his wife and four children.
Through Gesca Ltee, Desmarais controls several daily newspapers, including La Presse, Montreal's prestigious broadsheet, and Quebec City's Le Soleil.
One of the Sarkozy's moves was to relaunch the stalled merger between the state owned gas company and the electric and gas utility Suez SA that is partially owned by Power Financial and partner Albert Frere's holding company.
Canadian Business magazine ranked Desmarais as the wealthiest Quebecer and Canada's seventh wealthiest person, with a fortune estimated at $4.4 billion.
By the time he handed daily operations of the company to his sons in 1996, Desmarais had seen Power's assets increase to $2.7 billion, from $165 million. Net earnings increased to $209 million from $3 million, and the market value of the company's shares increased from $61 million to $2.6 billion, for a compounded annual return of 16.4 per cent.
In a 2008 interview with French magazine Le Point, Desmarais described his identity.
"I was born a Franco Ontarian. I chose to live in Quebec. I am Canadian. Canada is my country. Quebec is my province."
"I respect greatly men of strong personalities. If I Cheap Nike Air Max 95 Womens
Although he had close ties with federal Liberals, he also held admiration for Conservatives.
married to Desmarais' son, Andre.
During his final annual meeting as chief executive in 1996, Desmarais explained his federalist views.
He shed assets outside the financial sector and created a separate publicly traded company Power Financial Corp. that controls Investors Group and Great West Lifeco Inc., which owns London Life and Canada Life.
Born in the Northern Ontario mining town of Sudbury in 1927, Desmarais was one of Canada's most powerful figures, straddling the worlds of business and politics.
With his company's diversified holdings in insurance, transportation, paper, media, and financial services, Desmarais was one of the most notable members of his province's business elite, often referred to as Quebec Inc.
had to name some, I'd say Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Franklin Roosevelt, Mao Tse Tung," he told L'actualite magazine in 1974.
"If I am the president of France today, it is thanks in part to the advice, the friendship and the loyalty of Paul Desmarais," Sarkozy said during the 2008 ceremony.
He helped to open the door to Canadian businesses in China by leading a commercial delegation there in 1978. However, it took eight years before Power Corp. launched a business venture there. It now invests in infrastructure projects in China through its stake in CITIC Pacific Ltd.
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