The president of the Quebec Manufacturers’ Association, Richard Le Hir, has announced he wants to run for the Parti Quebecois in the next provincial election, expected in September. He resigned from his position with the business lobby in mid-March to seek the party’s nomination in the riding of Iberville, southwest of Montreal.

But the 46-year-old lawyer has already walked into controversy.

Half a dozen PQ militants staged a demonstration outside the restaurant where he announced his plans. They said the nomination should go to a resident of the riding and not Le Hir, who is not from the area.

Le Hir is an ardent defender of Hydro-Quebec’s plans to build megaprojects in the North.