Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Montreal GP organizers cancel free opening day

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MONTREAL -- Protester threats in Montreal have forced organizers of the Canadian Grand Prix to cancel the free opening day of the event.

Formula One fans were to have had access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve at the open house event Thursday. Instead the event was scrapped due to security concerns.

Francois Dumontier, president of the Canadian GP, said in a statement Sunday that organizers had no choice in the cancellation.

"Considering the various disruption threats made public recently, the free admission and the naturally openness character of the open house day, revealed some risks that we could not neglect," said Dumontier.

"Under these circumstances, cancelling the 'Open House' day was the only action we could take."

The student group CLASSE has suggested the race could be used as a platform for the demonstrations over tuition fees. On Saturday, group spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said it would use the event as a forum to raise its grievances with the province, but wouldn't prevent people from going to the race.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 4, 2012 C6

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