The extension of the contract between the various levels of government and the Formula 1 Group (FOG) will benefit the telecom company Bell, according to estimates by the opposition parties yesterday, which was not read by the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre FitzGibbon, who had wanted to extend the agreement for several more years.
While studying the Economy Ministry’s appropriations, Mr Fitzgibbon was questioned at length about the importance of extending an F1 contract in Montreal for the years 2030-2031, at a cost of $ 51 million for both levels of government, at the same time that Bell bought the Octane Group, the event’s promoter in recent years.
Liberal Representative Carlos Letau said he was “very uncomfortable” to see a “multinational company with a strong back” suddenly appearing in the picture. According to him, Bell did not need Quebec taxpayer money to participate in the adventure.
But, according to Minister Fitzgibbon, the beneficiaries of the contract are more than government levels – and funders, the City of Montreal and Tourism Montreal – not the promoters.
“To say the fallout will go to Bell […] We don’t understand what a Grand Prix is. Who are the benefits? Accommodation and tourism … 60 million dollars of GDP are the hot dogs, the tourists who come to Montreal. “Bell Canada, octane, whatever, the owner of the promoter will not get any of the profits,” said Mr. Fitzgibbon.
Five or ten years older
Moreover, he regrets not being able to negotiate a more significant contract extension.
“I, I wanted to be five or ten years old, I tried,” he said, stressing that there is a risk of losing the Grand Prix if there is no agreement on the reason for canceling the event this year. “The deal was perfect under the circumstances,” the minister commented.
For his part, Quebec Team member Solidere Vincent Marisal felt that the signed agreement was a blessed bread for Belle.
“they [F1] Come here because it pays off. […] New buyer [Bell] On arrival he buys this from Octane. It is more than 2 years older and funded by the Quebec government. […] Sustainability over time, isn’t that a certain value for the new buyer? […] Me, if I were Bill, I would die laughing! He said.
Questioned the repercussions
According to the minister, the Canadian Grand Prix is the most important event in Canada from a tourist point of view.
He estimated, “We have tax benefits for the Ministry of Finance of $ 10.6 million.”
Figures questioned by Rep. Leitau, Coylard’s finance minister.
“There are minor things, but you have to be a little careful. For the Grand Prix, there are 30,000-40,000 people from outside who come to Montreal and stay 4-5 days, which is very good. […] But Montreal receives 10-11 million tourists a year […]. I tell you, I’ve always been very suspicious of the repercussions, ” Mr. Leitau emphasized.