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The Minister of Tourism says she is “embarrassed” by the problems of organizing the Grand Prix

Photo: Ryan Remiorz The Canadian Press Quebec Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx, during an announcement in Montreal on February 5

Alex Fontaine

Published yesterday at 5:25 p.m.

  • Quebec

“I am very embarrassed by the international image of Quebec and Montreal,” said Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx on Wednesday upon her arrival at a meeting of the Council of Ministers. She added that she was “ashamed” of the organizational difficulties that occurred during the last Canadian Grand Prix, which took place from June 7 to 9.

Problems accessing the site, flooded paddocks and muddy parking are among the complications encountered by the organizers. The difficulties were such that the CEO. of the Formula 1 circuit, Stefano Domenicali, apologized to the team leaders, reported Monday the specialized magazine Autosport.

The Octane Group, which organizes the race, also apologized in a written statement, according to Motorsport. The organizers particularly deplore poor communication with the Société de transport de Montréal, which erroneously announced the cancellation of Friday's free practice sessions due to rain.

The group is “under scrutiny” due to weekend complications, Pole Position magazine said Monday.

“I have had conversations with some people and we will have more in the coming days,” said Ms. Proulx. “My job, as Minister of Tourism, is to bring tourists to Quebec. So the image of Quebec, the image of Montreal, is my jobto ensure that it is perfect internationally, particularly in an event like the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix, where I have 1 billion viewers. So yes, I'm uncomfortable and I didn't like what I witnessed this weekend. »

She recalls that Quebec is a major funder of the event, contributing nearly $5.5 million. In April 2021, the governments of Canada and Quebec reached an agreement with the circuit to ensure the holding of the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix until 2031, in return for public investments of tens of millions of dollars.

The minister refrained from commenting on the saga of the four crowded terraces on Peel Street which were closed by the Montreal Fire Department (SIM) on the Friday evening before the race . A SIM employee was suspended following the events, while the City of Montreal tries to shed light on what happened.

The new paddocks of the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit were inaugurated in 2019, but still suffered from water infiltration problems. In 2023, the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau, responsible for the premises, affirmed that these problems had “almost all been resolved”.

The next Canadian Grand Prix will take place from June 13 to 15, 2025 at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit, on Notre-Dame Island.

With Marie-Michèle Sioui< /i>

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116