Canadian government joins lobbying effort

The Canadian Federal government is appointing a representative -- reported to be Martin Cauchon -- to support the Quebec provincial government's lobbying efforts to secure the 2004 Canadian Grand Prix. The race is in danger as F1 supremo Bernie...

The Canadian Federal government is appointing a representative -- reported to be Martin Cauchon -- to support the Quebec provincial government's lobbying efforts to secure the 2004 Canadian Grand Prix.

The race is in danger as F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has notified the promoter, Norman Legault, that the race is not the on the 2003 provisional calendar.

However, while the federal government is supportive of the efforts, it appears that it is dead set against changing the Canadian tobacco legislation, which forbids tobacco advertising from 2004, and against providing an exemption to Formula One.

"Like the [Quebec] government said, there is no question of changing the law," Chretien. "If a contractual arrangement can be reached, all the better.

"The law is the law," the soon-to-be-retiring prime minister continued. "What do you want me to tell you?"

"The Canadian Grand Prix is [...] important," said Immigration Minister Denis Coderre, who represents the Montreal riding of Bourassa. "But we've made choices as a society, including an anti-tobacco law."

Leagult believes that the best chance lies in convincing the teams to accept an 18th race, allowing the number of races with tobacco advertising permitted to stay constant.

The Canadian lobby group plans to travel to next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix for discussions with the team owners and manufacturers.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone