Push for return of Canadian GP to Montreal

Negotiations are underway with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone for a potential return of the popular Canadian Grand Prix to Montreal in 2010, Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand confirmed Thursday.

QUEBEC — Negotiations are underway with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone for a potential return of the popular Canadian Grand Prix to Montreal in 2010, Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand confirmed Thursday.

Istanbul took Montreal’s spot on the circuit this year but this month’s race in Turkey was hamstrung by poor attendance.

“It’s common sense that Montreal should have a Formula One Grand Prix,” Bachand said. “You saw how many people were in Istanbul this month — 30,000 people. We get 300,000 for the entire weekend.”

Bachand told reporters that the federal and provincial governments are ready to kick in $5 million in financing while the City of Montreal is offering up another $5 million from a hotel tax to get the race back to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The finance minister says he’s confident but added that F1 has its own financial problems that need to be resolved.

“Everything is not settled. We have discussions that are still going on with Mr. Ecclestone. Until things are signed, they are not finalized,” Bachand said.

“I’m confident we’ll have the F1 back in Montreal next year.”

Former Montreal race promoter Normand Legault made similar remarks this week, hopeful that the race would be restored by 2011 at the latest.

The 2010 F1 schedule is to be unveiled before the end of the month.

Both the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and French GP were dropped this season after organizers failed to meet Ecclestone’s money demands.

Federal and provincial ministers as well as Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay attempted to convince Ecclestone to keep the race in Montreal, even travelling to England to meet with him.

But the Canadian event was dropped in favour of a new race in Abu Dhabi, despite Montreal being popular among drivers and teams.

The Turkish Grand Prix was handed Montreal’s dates for the first weekend in June.

The controversial Ecclestone was asking for payments of nearly $175 million over five years — too rich for Montreal organizers who felt the demands were outrageous.

Bachand said organizers are not looking for a one-time deal. They want a long-term commitment and a minimum five-year deal.

Just Posted

Parenting: Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience

Wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be unpleasant experience

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

TORONTO — The case of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard, who faces three… Continue reading

Fredericton woman recounts terrifying moments after gunshots rang out

FREDERICTON — She awoke to the crack of gunfire, the shots fired… Continue reading

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, McKenna says

OTTAWA — More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month