Montreal City Hall is in some hot water once again. If you remember way back in 2017, Montreal hosted the Formula E race. Generally, reactions ranged from "meh" to "grab your pitchforks" to "wtf is a Formula E?" Whichever category you fell into, here's a quick reminder: Formula E is a car race, similar to Formula 1 but with electric cars.
TL;DR Montreal is in some hot water after Formula E lawyers sue the administration for $25 million. Mayor Valerie Plante has hired a legal team that'll cost taxpayers $600K.
The former mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, thought it was a good idea to bring this race to our shores for summer 2017. He hired an Evenko subsidiary, MCE, to handle the ticketing. MCE and city officials went ahead with the planning, against the advice of the city's inspector general.
As per tradition, the city bungled the plans. To top it off, MCE burnt through a $10 million dollar line-of-credit, gave away more than 40% of the tickets for free, and spent another $20 or so million to recoup lost profits and time. After the race, MCE declared bankruptcy and disappeared from existence. Yikes.
Valérie Plante, Montreal's current mayor, cancelled the race shortly after she won the election, calling it a "waste of money" and "poorly planned." While most of Montreal agreed with her, FEO, Formula E's organizing committee, didn't. They state that they suffered $21 million in damages as a result, according to the Montreal Gazette. The race was supposed to run over a whole weekend in July for the next two years. Needless to say, FEO was not happy.
Flash forward to the present, and the city is getting sued for $25 million dollars in damages by FEO. Plante recently hired legal aid that will cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of $600K, saying that she wouldn't be freightened by "entertainment multi-millionaires."
Should Montreal have proceeded with the original plans? Perhaps. But with an estimated cost of $40 million to build a temporary race track and improve the infrastructure around the area, I can think of better things to spend money on. Heated sidewalks anyone? Oh right, that'll never happen.