Canadian government steps into GP row

The Canadian government has waded into the debate over the cancellation of the grand prix at Montreal and has appointed federal representative to a Quebec-led committee that plans to lobby F1 to keep the race

Canadian government steps into GP row

The Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has said that the government will not back down over new stringent tobacco laws that prevent the use of cigarette logos appearing on the cars. The representative, Marc Lafreniere, a deputy minister for the Economic Development Agency of Canada has been specifically briefed not to yield to any demands to the contrary.

"Like the (Quebec) provincial government said, there is no question of changing the law," Chretien said. "If a contractual arrangement can be reached, all the better. The law is the law. What do you want me to tell you?"

The Quebec government plans to form a committee with representatives from the federal and provincial governments as well as Montreal's tourism bureau and chamber of commerce. They want F1 to allow a similar exemption to the one France and Britain enjoys.

"If there's an 18th race it will be Montreal," International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew said. "We will do everything to save the grand prix - but we will respect the Canadian tobacco law."

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