Valerie Plante Cancels Controversial Formula E Race

Mayor Valerie Plante is holding a news conference Monday to discuss the future of the Formula E race in Montreal.

If the race is cancelled, the city will have to pay millions in penalties to break the three-year commitment between Montréal it's electric and Formula E.

Stating that the 2018 event would cost the people of Montreal an enormous amount of money, she said, "This is where we draw the line".

Financial woes incurred by the event's organizers meant that it could not be sustained forever. But it used public funds, and last year's race left a deficit of millions of dollars, according to Radio-Canada.

During Plante's election campaign, she said the race - agreed under former mayor Denis Coderre - would either be relocated to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve or cancelled altogether due to unpaid bills and chaos caused by road closures. They're expected to be weak, since figures released just before the November 5 municipal election showed only 25,000 tickets were sold and 20,000 were given away to boost attendance numbers.

Plante says the only way the race can return is for the city to clean house and work on a better business model.

"My administation is willing to make risks and to invest money to promote Montreal and to attract worldwide events but not without a serious business case".

Montreal's first edition of the Formula E event cost taxpayers untold millions and disrupted the east end of downtown Montreal for weeks before and during the event. The administrators of Formula E told me they couldn't bridge the gap for 2018 because they are accountable to their stakeholders, I reminded them that we are accountable to the people of Montreal.

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