The Canadian Grand Prix will return to the calendar after a deal was struck between organisers and local authorities regarding funding the Montreal race. The date has provisionally been set for June 13, 2010.
It had been axed in 2009 as a result of a dispute over funding , but the event's future for the next five years was secured on Friday as a result of an annual investment of around US$13 million from the government and the local tourist board.
"The return of Formula One to Montreal attests to our sustained efforts and determination," explained Montreal's mayor, Gerald Tremblay. "This win-win deal falls in line with the terms we set and the taxpayer's ability to pay and will create stability for the next five years."
"All three levels of government have worked together tirelessly over the past few months to bring the grand prix back to Montreal, while acting in a financially responsible manner," added Quebec's finance minister, Raymond Bachand. "With this agreement in hand, I am delighted that our efforts have finally succeeded."
Justifying the large input from the regions tourist boards, the city's minister for tourism said that the race had more impact than any other sporting event in the country with more than 25% of the 300,000 spectators coming from abroad.
The event was listed as a provisional entry on the 2010 calendar but confirmation has been a long time coming. The deal appeared to be in jeopardy in October when Bernie Ecclestone said he was losing patience with the organisers. He reportedly demanded a written agreement from the Canada Revenue Agency agreeing that he would not be liable to pay local taxes on the public money granted to the event, since British taxes would also be paid. Canadian law allows tax to be reimbursed once proof of tax payment elsewhere had been received, but Ecclestone had no interest in waiting several months for the repayment.
The race did not take place in 2009 after the circuit organisers failed to meet Ecclestone's demands, meaning the season did not hold a single round in North America. It has been rumoured that this was one of many reasons behind the withdrawal of manufacturers from the sport - three of which have pulled the plug on their F1 operations this year.