Sunday, November 16, 2008

F1 Burnout Leaves Charest's Olympic Promises in the Dust

Formula One bids Montreal, Charest's dreams of sporting glory, adieu

Last week, Quebec Jean Charest tried to scrounge additional support for his party in the Quebec City area by promoting a Quebec City Winter Olympics as a realistic goal.

The failure of other sports-related election-time gambits aside, the recent cancellation of Montreal's Canadian Grand Prix certainly doesn't bode well for Charest in this context.

When Edmonton, a city considered to be far less glamourous than Montreal, can run an Indy event successful enough to ensure its long-term survival, the inability of Charest to ensure the survival of a similar race in Montreal should be far less than encouraging.

After all, a city like Montreal -- considered by many to be one of the world's cultural capitals, and rightfully so -- should have no trouble securing such an event. And if Montreal can't maintain a long-established spot on the Formula One schedule, Quebec City's ability to coordinate an event on a much grander scale simply has to be considered suspect.

Charest's failure to deliver a breakthrough in retaining the event is also, inevitably, a strike against his ability to deliver the Winter Olympics.

At least maybe now Charest can get down to focusing on real policy in this ill-considered provincial election.

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