Lewis Hamilton gets third consecutive Canadian Grand Prix pole with new lap record

Overwhelmed, almost tearful, Lewis Hamilton said on Saturday night that he was “shaken and speechless” at receiving a race helmet worn by his idol Ayrton Senna in tribute to his emulation of the Brazilian’s 65 pole positions. The gift, bestowed by Senna’s family moments after he had delivered the fastest lap ever seen here at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, moved him so profoundly that he claimed it meant more than any of his vast collection of trophies.

“I didn’t actually possess any of Ayrton’s artefacts,” Hamilton explained. “For his family to send me this is more special than anything else I have. I am just honoured to be honoured by them.”

The vivid yellow helmet, worn by Senna at Silverstone in 1987 in his Lotus phase, was his reward for an essentially faultless display on Montreal’s Île Notre-Dame, as he produced what he called a “sexy lap” to eclipse title rival Sebastian Vettel by over three tenths.

The roars of the Quebecois fans, as his stunning time of 1 min 11.459 sec flashed up on the giant screens, could have been heard across the St Lawrence Seaway. For this was not merely a peerless performance, but a precious slice of history, as Hamilton elevated himself alongside the man universally regarded as the master of the single, flying lap.

Hamilton has consistently invoked Senna as his inspiration, recalling how he was first drawn to him by the lurid colour of his helmets and that he tried to emulate his aggression and audacity as soon as he grasped a steering wheel.

In Monaco in 1988, Senna beat his fellow McLaren driver Alain Prost by 1.4 sec in perhaps the closest display to perfection that F1 has witnessed. It was difficult not to detect echoes on Saturday in the breathtaking nervelessness of Hamilton as he swept within inches of Montreal’s Wall of Champions, en route to a time that even Vettel could hardly hope to match.

“I would come home from school and say, ‘If I’m ever lucky enough to get to F1, I want to emulate Ayrton,’” Hamilton said. “Honestly, I can’t ­believe it.” Looking across at the vanquished Vettel, who still leads the championship by 25 points, and team-mate Valtteri Bottas in third, he reflected: “This has been the hardest season of my career, racing against these two great drivers. I can’t remember having had such an intense moment. We can’t always be perfect, but today I got as close as I could.”

Under azure summer skies in Montreal, the cat-and-mouse tussle between Ferrari and Mercedes showed little sign of abating. The Silver Arrows appeared to have addressed some of the tyre issues that bedevilled their weekend in Monte Carlo last month.

For Hamilton, the chance to bracket himself with Senna was his only concern. He had described the very possibility as “unreal”, and his ­decisive lap to take pole here had the same other-worldly quality. His first effort of 1-11.791 was staggering enough, even if Vettel came within four thousandths of a second. But with one final blast Hamilton went better again, in the clearest sign yet that the tussle between the two pre-eminent drivers of their generation was poised to run and run.

Lewis Hamilton with the race-worn helmet donated by the family of Ayrton Senna, after he matched the Brazilian drivers 65 pole positions

Credit:
Mark Thompson/Getty Images North America

It was another exasperating afternoon for McLaren, with Stoffel Vandoorne unable even to advance beyond the first qualifying phase. There is a palpable sense that the team’s patience is starting to be tested by the Belgian rookie, who has yet to claim a point this season. “One tenth would have been enough, Stoffel,” his race engineer said over the in-car radio. “I’m sure you had that in you.”

Lance Stroll, the first Canadian to compete in his home race since Jacques Villeneuve in 2006, also fell by the wayside early for Williams, managing only 16th as his dismal debut campaign continued.

It was a day, too, when rumours were rife in the paddock that Nico Rosberg could yet be persuaded to make a dramatic return with Ferrari. The reigning champion had suggested he would keep his distance from F1 after his shock retirement last December but has been far more visible of late, even conducting post-race interviews in Monaco. Now Toto Wolff, team principal at Mercedes, has raised the tantalising possibility that Rosberg could be enticed back to the track full-time.

“I’ll give you a little confidence,” Wolff said, during his annual Canadian lunch with local media. “I would not be surprised to see Nico running one day at Ferrari or elsewhere. He’s only 31, he’s still young.”

Are you ‘really’ happy with P5, Max?

Verstappen: “I think P5 was the best. we knew that this circuit isn’t out favourite and the Mercedes and Ferraris can turn up their engine a bit more which we can’t. I think 5th was always the target.

“I wasn’t completely happy with the car as we changed a few things in the set-up.”

Have you caught your breath yet?

I forgot to say earlier, what an amazingly classy touch from the Senna family to present Hamilton with the helmet. 

Who’s a happy boy, then?

What an afternoon

Niki Lauda on Lewis’ superb lap: “We did not expect that he could go that quick. 1:11.7 was a big surprise. 

“The car was good, he was perfect and thank God the Ferraris are behind.”

I think there is something in my eye

The Senna family have given Lewis Hamilton a race worn helmet for matching the record. He now has the joint second highest number of poles in history behind Schumacher.

Lewis Hamilton receives race-worn helmet from Ayrton Senna’s family, for matching his 65 pole positions

Credit:
Sky Sports F1

Our Montreal pole sitter

“You are the ones who make this GP as special as it is for us. 

I was gunning, I was pushing. I’ve got great support out here and I just wanted to give them a great lap.”

“It was a sexy lap!”

Yes it was Lewis.

The top ten

Hamilton will start on pole, followed by Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Massa, Perez, Ocon and Hulkenberg. 

HAMILTON TAKES POLE IN MONTREAL

Vettel has held onto his P2 but today is all about Hamilton breaking the lap record with a 1:11.459, matching Senna’s all-time number of pole positions, and equalling Schumacher’s number of poles in Canada. 

That definitely ended better than it started. 

Hammertime

Hamilton goes faster with a 1:11.439. Bottas can’t improve on his time as Vettel attempts to know the Mercedes off top spot.

Just over a minute left

All ten cars are out on the track as Hamilton attempts to match Senna’s record of 65 pole positions. It would be his sixth at Canada. 

He leads from Vettel, Bottas. Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo,  Massa, Perez, Ocon and Hulkenberg. 

Four minutes left

Vettel the only car out on track as he manages to go second with just 0.004s between him and Hamilton. The distance is probably less than a metre. 

Four thousandths of a second. 

Seven minutes left

Hamilton leads from Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Massa, Perez, Ocon and Hulkenberg.

All cars are out on the ultrasofts with half a second between Hamilton and Raikkonen in third.

First times

Vettel sets a 1:12.791 and Hamilton goes faster with a 1:11.791. Bottas follows that and goes second. 

Hamilton’s time is a new record!

Ten minutes left

All the cars are out on the track for the top ten shootout.

Q3 underway

Lewis Hamilton would match Ayrton Senna if he gets pole position today, at a track where he has won five times. 

Those pesky pinkies

Another good weekend ahead for Force India with Perez and Ocon in P8 + P9. 

Wehrlein update

The Sauber driver has apologised to his team after he damaged the car when he clipped the grass.

Q2 provisional places

Last minute movement and drama

Bottas moves into second above Raikkonen.

Kvyat has a puncture but he was out after ending the session in P11. He appeared to his the wall and ther will be some work to do on the car.

Bottom five is Kvyat, Alonso, Sainz, Grosjean and Palmer. 

One minute left

Kvyat, Sainz, Alonso, Grosjean and Palmer need to improve on their current laps otherwise their day is over. 

Time for one lap each guys.

Just over three minutes left

Everyone out on the track except Vettel. 

Ricciardo and Verstappen seem to finally have found their pace as they sit in P5 and P6 respectively. 

Hamilton leads with a 1:12.496

Six minutes left

Alonso: “I have less power than Q1.”

I guess you could say normal service is resumed over at McLaren. 

Currently Kvyat, Sainz, Alonso, Palmer and Grosjean will be out at the end of the session.

Tyres

Everyone is out on the ultrasofts so it looks like Ferrari were just keen to see what kind of times they would get on the supersofts ahead of race day. 

Eight minutes left

Hamilton sets the fastest time of 1:12.496 ahead of Raikkonen, Bottas, Vettel and Ricciardo. 

Vettel’s lap is ruined after he loses control of the car. 

Hollywood royalty in the house, well track

Michael Douglas enjoying the hospitality.

Micheal Douglas at the Canadian Grand Prix

Credit:
Sky Sports F1

Q2 underway

All the cars are out on the track except for Alonso which makes me nervous. I don’t know how many more ,miserable Fernando memes my eyes can take. 

Q1 provisional places

Q1 is over

Well that was a disappointing end to the session. 

Bottas leads form Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen, Massa, Perez, Ocon, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Alonso. 

11th was Grosjean, Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Palmer and Sainz. 

The drivers ending their day in Q1 are Vandoorne, Stroll, Magnussen, Ericsson and Wehrlein. 

Double yellows

Wehrlein is out and his rear wing is off the car so anyone trying to get that final flying lap is out of luck. He clips the grass and his day is over. 

The other four of the bottom four have all halted their laps as they had to slow down. It looks like Vandoorne, Stroll, Magnussen and Ericsson will be joining him for an early bath. Or coffee. Whatever they fancy.

A couple of minutes left

The top three of Bottas, Hamilton and Vettel are in the pits. 

Stroll, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Ericsson and Wehrlein are all at risk of dropping out as Palmer moves up to P14.

Tricky from Kimi

The Finn has just kissed the wall but looks like he has escaped without any damage. He’s told the garage that he is struggling with his front tyres and he remains in P8 so far. 

Five minutes left

Here’s how the top ten look at the moment

The top ten with five minutes of Q1 left

Credit:
Formula1.com

Seven minutes left

We are into the 1:12 as Hamilton goes fastest only to be pushed into second by Bottas. The Prancing Horses are the only team on the supersofts.

Dropping out

As it stands the cars who will end their day here will be Hulkenberg – who is yet to set a time, Wehrlein, Grosjean, Magnussen and Ericsson.

Nine minutes left

Hamilton goes second on the ultrasofts which seem the slower of the two.

Bottas leapfrogs his teammate and Vettel to go top

He leads from Vettel, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Ocon, Massa, Alonso and Perez. 

Tyre update

Both Ferraris are on the supersofts with Vettel now setting a 1:13.046. Everyone else is on the ultras. 

11 minutes left

Raikkonen goes faster than his teammate with a 1:13.548, with Vettel .239s behind. There is a lot of traffic with 17 cars out on track. 

Alonso sets the third fastest time with Kvyat, 
Sainz, Massa, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Stroll and Wehrlein making up the top ten. 

Grosjean is moaning again – this time about grip but it’s unlikely he is the only one struggling. 

14 minutes left

We’ve got 13 cars out on the track as they look to get some heat into those tyres. It’s a pretty warm day in Montreal so they may only need on lap before they can set a decent time. 

Sainz is first with a 1:14.785, but we expect everntual times to be in the 1:13 region.

Q1 starts

The drivers are ready, the teams are ready and so are we. 

Let’s see who will end Saturday with a smile on their face as the two toro rosso’s head out onto track with both drivers on the ultrasofts.

Predict the Podium

There is still time to take me on and say who you think will be the top three tomorrow afternoon. No prizes but who doesn’t love bragging rights?

Five minutes to go…

Here’s how everyone ended the final practice session:

Some update news

The Williams and Force India now have the revamped Mercedes power unit so it will be interesting to see if they can get themselves higher up the grid this weekend. 

15 minutes to go…

You know the drill. 

Get the snacks in, get comfortable and get ready to see whether it will be a Silver Arrow or a Prancing Horse on pole.

The Villeneuve’s and the Canadian Grand Prix

Canada is the seventh on the list having held 48 Grand Prix’, the first in 1967. 

The country has only produced one World Champion – Jacques Villeneuve in 1997; and has only seen one Canadian national win at home – his father, Gilles in 1978.

The track was named after Gilles after his tragic death in Belgium in 1982.

Here’s some more on the family’s history with the sport.

Jenson’s threat

It appears that Jenson Button’s threat to pee in Fernando Alonso’s seat has given some Lewis Hamilton fans a few ideas. 

From 20 to 25, or more

There has been a lot of talk this week about the possible extension of the F1 calendar, with suggestions that there may be as many as 25 circuits in a season. 

Christian Horner of Red Bull, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are amongst those who have expressed concern with Liberty Media’s plans. 

They are said to want at least four US-based F1 races with Miami, New York and Las Vegas tipped to be the locations. 

Alonso said: “If there are 25 or 26 races maybe it’s good in one aspect, but bad in other aspects. At this point of my career I consider a good quality of life is more important than to do more seasons in F1.

“So if the calendar stays between 20 or 21, I will be happy to continue. If it’s increasing like NASCAR where they have 40 or 50 races, it is not for me. It is better for other drivers.”

With Hamilton adding: “I understand what Fernando is saying and I tend to agree with him.”

Local boy Lance

Lance Stroll has a had a tricky start to his Formula One career with a best finish of P11 in Russia. He ended 16th in Spain and has failed to finish his other four races. 

Our Chief Sports Feature Writer, Oliver Brown, delved further into the teenager’s life here. 

45 mins to go…

Qualifying will start at 6:00pm and as normal we will lose the five slowest cars at the end of the first two sessions, before a top ten shootout to get our pole sitter. 

After six races

So the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be our seventh of the season and unlike previous years we actually have a competition on our hands. 

Here’s how they stand following their weekend in Monaco.

What happened earlier

If you didn’t see practice, here’s a round-up of all the action from FP3:

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel laid down an ominous marker to Lewis Hamilton after he stormed to the top of the timesheets in final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel, who holds a 25-point lead over Hamilton in the title race, ended the session here at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve more than a third of a second clear of the Mercedes driver.

Indeed Hamilton, a winner in Canada on five occasions and seeking one further pole position to match his childhood hero Ayrton Senna, had to settle for third on Saturday morning with Kimi Raikkonen slotting in behind his Ferrari team-mate.

Ferrari secured their first front-row lockout in nearly a decade at the last round in Monaco – and on this morning’s evidence at least – would once more appear to hold a clear advantage over Hamilton’s Mercedes team ahead of qualifying later on Saturday.

Vettel’s impressive lap of one minute and 12.572s was enough to finish nearly three tenths ahead of Raikkonen with Hamilton 0.354s off the pace. Valtteri Bottas, in the sister Mercedes, was fifth in the order behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso saw his return to the Formula One paddock plagued by further reliability issues on Friday, but a clear run for the 35-year-old Spaniard placed him 12th in the running.

British driver Jolyon Palmer was 15th, more than half a second adrift of his Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg who finished sixth, while Lance Stroll – the 18-year-old rookie whose motor racing career has been bankrolled by his fashion billionaire father Lawrence – was only a lowly 18th in front of his home crowd.

Meanwhile, a one-minute silence will be observed ahead of tomorrow’s race in memory of those killed and injured in last Saturday’s terror attack in London.

Canadian Christine Archibald, who hailed from British Colombia, was the first victim to be named after the attack and the promoters of this weekend’s Montreal race have called on Formula One to hold the tribute in her honour.

British team Williams are also running #London on the front of their cars.

Hello Montreal

Good afternoon and welcome to live updates of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Go to Source

Lewis Hamilton ‘shaken and speechless’ as he receives Ayrton Senna’s helmet after another Canadian Grand Prix pole

Overwhelmed, almost tearful, Lewis Hamilton said on Saturday night that he was “shaken and speechless” at receiving a race helmet worn by his idol Ayrton Senna in tribute to his emulation of the Brazilian’s 65 pole positions. The gift, bestowed by Senna’s family moments after he had delivered the fastest lap ever seen here at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, moved him so profoundly that he claimed it meant more than any of his vast collection of trophies.

“I didn’t actually possess any of Ayrton’s artefacts,” Hamilton explained. “For his family to send me this is more special than anything else I have. I am just honoured to be honoured by them.”

The vivid yellow helmet, worn by Senna at Silverstone in 1987 in his Lotus phase, was his reward for an essentially faultless display on Montreal’s Île Notre-Dame, as he produced what he called a “sexy lap” to eclipse title rival Sebastian Vettel by over three tenths.

The roars of the Quebecois fans, as his stunning time of 1 min 11.459 sec flashed up on the giant screens, could have been heard across the St Lawrence Seaway. For this was not merely a peerless performance, but a precious slice of history, as Hamilton elevated himself alongside the man universally regarded as the master of the single, flying lap.

Hamilton has consistently invoked Senna as his inspiration, recalling how he was first drawn to him by the lurid colour of his helmets and that he tried to emulate his aggression and audacity as soon as he grasped a steering wheel.

In Monaco in 1988, Senna beat his fellow McLaren driver Alain Prost by 1.4 sec in perhaps the closest display to perfection that F1 has witnessed. It was difficult not to detect echoes on Saturday in the breathtaking nervelessness of Hamilton as he swept within inches of Montreal’s Wall of Champions, en route to a time that even Vettel could hardly hope to match.

“I would come home from school and say, ‘If I’m ever lucky enough to get to F1, I want to emulate Ayrton,’” Hamilton said. “Honestly, I can’t ­believe it.” Looking across at the vanquished Vettel, who still leads the championship by 25 points, and team-mate Valtteri Bottas in third, he reflected: “This has been the hardest season of my career, racing against these two great drivers. I can’t remember having had such an intense moment. We can’t always be perfect, but today I got as close as I could.”

Under azure summer skies in Montreal, the cat-and-mouse tussle between Ferrari and Mercedes showed little sign of abating. The Silver Arrows appeared to have addressed some of the tyre issues that bedevilled their weekend in Monte Carlo last month.

For Hamilton, the chance to bracket himself with Senna was his only concern. He had described the very possibility as “unreal”, and his ­decisive lap to take pole here had the same other-worldly quality. His first effort of 1-11.791 was staggering enough, even if Vettel came within four thousandths of a second. But with one final blast Hamilton went better again, in the clearest sign yet that the tussle between the two pre-eminent drivers of their generation was poised to run and run.

Lewis Hamilton with the race-worn helmet donated by the family of Ayrton Senna, after he matched the Brazilian drivers 65 pole positions

Credit:
Mark Thompson/Getty Images North America

It was another exasperating afternoon for McLaren, with Stoffel Vandoorne unable even to advance beyond the first qualifying phase. There is a palpable sense that the team’s patience is starting to be tested by the Belgian rookie, who has yet to claim a point this season. “One tenth would have been enough, Stoffel,” his race engineer said over the in-car radio. “I’m sure you had that in you.”

Lance Stroll, the first Canadian to compete in his home race since Jacques Villeneuve in 2006, also fell by the wayside early for Williams, managing only 16th as his dismal debut campaign continued.

It was a day, too, when rumours were rife in the paddock that Nico Rosberg could yet be persuaded to make a dramatic return with Ferrari. The reigning champion had suggested he would keep his distance from F1 after his shock retirement last December but has been far more visible of late, even conducting post-race interviews in Monaco. Now Toto Wolff, team principal at Mercedes, has raised the tantalising possibility that Rosberg could be enticed back to the track full-time.

“I’ll give you a little confidence,” Wolff said, during his annual Canadian lunch with local media. “I would not be surprised to see Nico running one day at Ferrari or elsewhere. He’s only 31, he’s still young.”

Are you ‘really’ happy with P5, Max?

Verstappen: “I think P5 was the best. we knew that this circuit isn’t out favourite and the Mercedes and Ferraris can turn up their engine a bit more which we can’t. I think 5th was always the target.

“I wasn’t completely happy with the car as we changed a few things in the set-up.”

Have you caught your breath yet?

I forgot to say earlier, what an amazingly classy touch from the Senna family to present Hamilton with the helmet. 

Who’s a happy boy, then?

What an afternoon

Niki Lauda on Lewis’ superb lap: “We did not expect that he could go that quick. 1:11.7 was a big surprise. 

“The car was good, he was perfect and thank God the Ferraris are behind.”

I think there is something in my eye

The Senna family have given Lewis Hamilton a race worn helmet for matching the record. He now has the joint second highest number of poles in history behind Schumacher.

Lewis Hamilton receives race-worn helmet from Ayrton Senna’s family, for matching his 65 pole positions

Credit:
Sky Sports F1

Our Montreal pole sitter

“You are the ones who make this GP as special as it is for us. 

I was gunning, I was pushing. I’ve got great support out here and I just wanted to give them a great lap.”

“It was a sexy lap!”

Yes it was Lewis.

The top ten

Hamilton will start on pole, followed by Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Massa, Perez, Ocon and Hulkenberg. 

HAMILTON TAKES POLE IN MONTREAL

Vettel has held onto his P2 but today is all about Hamilton breaking the lap record with a 1:11.459, matching Senna’s all-time number of pole positions, and equalling Schumacher’s number of poles in Canada. 

That definitely ended better than it started. 

Hammertime

Hamilton goes faster with a 1:11.439. Bottas can’t improve on his time as Vettel attempts to know the Mercedes off top spot.

Just over a minute left

All ten cars are out on the track as Hamilton attempts to match Senna’s record of 65 pole positions. It would be his sixth at Canada. 

He leads from Vettel, Bottas. Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo,  Massa, Perez, Ocon and Hulkenberg. 

Four minutes left

Vettel the only car out on track as he manages to go second with just 0.004s between him and Hamilton. The distance is probably less than a metre. 

Four thousandths of a second. 

Seven minutes left

Hamilton leads from Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Massa, Perez, Ocon and Hulkenberg.

All cars are out on the ultrasofts with half a second between Hamilton and Raikkonen in third.

First times

Vettel sets a 1:12.791 and Hamilton goes faster with a 1:11.791. Bottas follows that and goes second. 

Hamilton’s time is a new record!

Ten minutes left

All the cars are out on the track for the top ten shootout.

Q3 underway

Lewis Hamilton would match Ayrton Senna if he gets pole position today, at a track where he has won five times. 

Those pesky pinkies

Another good weekend ahead for Force India with Perez and Ocon in P8 + P9. 

Wehrlein update

The Sauber driver has apologised to his team after he damaged the car when he clipped the grass.

Q2 provisional places

Last minute movement and drama

Bottas moves into second above Raikkonen.

Kvyat has a puncture but he was out after ending the session in P11. He appeared to his the wall and ther will be some work to do on the car.

Bottom five is Kvyat, Alonso, Sainz, Grosjean and Palmer. 

One minute left

Kvyat, Sainz, Alonso, Grosjean and Palmer need to improve on their current laps otherwise their day is over. 

Time for one lap each guys.

Just over three minutes left

Everyone out on the track except Vettel. 

Ricciardo and Verstappen seem to finally have found their pace as they sit in P5 and P6 respectively. 

Hamilton leads with a 1:12.496

Six minutes left

Alonso: “I have less power than Q1.”

I guess you could say normal service is resumed over at McLaren. 

Currently Kvyat, Sainz, Alonso, Palmer and Grosjean will be out at the end of the session.

Tyres

Everyone is out on the ultrasofts so it looks like Ferrari were just keen to see what kind of times they would get on the supersofts ahead of race day. 

Eight minutes left

Hamilton sets the fastest time of 1:12.496 ahead of Raikkonen, Bottas, Vettel and Ricciardo. 

Vettel’s lap is ruined after he loses control of the car. 

Hollywood royalty in the house, well track

Michael Douglas enjoying the hospitality.

Micheal Douglas at the Canadian Grand Prix

Credit:
Sky Sports F1

Q2 underway

All the cars are out on the track except for Alonso which makes me nervous. I don’t know how many more ,miserable Fernando memes my eyes can take. 

Q1 provisional places

Q1 is over

Well that was a disappointing end to the session. 

Bottas leads form Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen, Massa, Perez, Ocon, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Alonso. 

11th was Grosjean, Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Palmer and Sainz. 

The drivers ending their day in Q1 are Vandoorne, Stroll, Magnussen, Ericsson and Wehrlein. 

Double yellows

Wehrlein is out and his rear wing is off the car so anyone trying to get that final flying lap is out of luck. He clips the grass and his day is over. 

The other four of the bottom four have all halted their laps as they had to slow down. It looks like Vandoorne, Stroll, Magnussen and Ericsson will be joining him for an early bath. Or coffee. Whatever they fancy.

A couple of minutes left

The top three of Bottas, Hamilton and Vettel are in the pits. 

Stroll, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Ericsson and Wehrlein are all at risk of dropping out as Palmer moves up to P14.

Tricky from Kimi

The Finn has just kissed the wall but looks like he has escaped without any damage. He’s told the garage that he is struggling with his front tyres and he remains in P8 so far. 

Five minutes left

Here’s how the top ten look at the moment

The top ten with five minutes of Q1 left

Credit:
Formula1.com

Seven minutes left

We are into the 1:12 as Hamilton goes fastest only to be pushed into second by Bottas. The Prancing Horses are the only team on the supersofts.

Dropping out

As it stands the cars who will end their day here will be Hulkenberg – who is yet to set a time, Wehrlein, Grosjean, Magnussen and Ericsson.

Nine minutes left

Hamilton goes second on the ultrasofts which seem the slower of the two.

Bottas leapfrogs his teammate and Vettel to go top

He leads from Vettel, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Ocon, Massa, Alonso and Perez. 

Tyre update

Both Ferraris are on the supersofts with Vettel now setting a 1:13.046. Everyone else is on the ultras. 

11 minutes left

Raikkonen goes faster than his teammate with a 1:13.548, with Vettel .239s behind. There is a lot of traffic with 17 cars out on track. 

Alonso sets the third fastest time with Kvyat, 
Sainz, Massa, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Stroll and Wehrlein making up the top ten. 

Grosjean is moaning again – this time about grip but it’s unlikely he is the only one struggling. 

14 minutes left

We’ve got 13 cars out on the track as they look to get some heat into those tyres. It’s a pretty warm day in Montreal so they may only need on lap before they can set a decent time. 

Sainz is first with a 1:14.785, but we expect everntual times to be in the 1:13 region.

Q1 starts

The drivers are ready, the teams are ready and so are we. 

Let’s see who will end Saturday with a smile on their face as the two toro rosso’s head out onto track with both drivers on the ultrasofts.

Predict the Podium

There is still time to take me on and say who you think will be the top three tomorrow afternoon. No prizes but who doesn’t love bragging rights?

Five minutes to go…

Here’s how everyone ended the final practice session:

Some update news

The Williams and Force India now have the revamped Mercedes power unit so it will be interesting to see if they can get themselves higher up the grid this weekend. 

15 minutes to go…

You know the drill. 

Get the snacks in, get comfortable and get ready to see whether it will be a Silver Arrow or a Prancing Horse on pole.

The Villeneuve’s and the Canadian Grand Prix

Canada is the seventh on the list having held 48 Grand Prix’, the first in 1967. 

The country has only produced one World Champion – Jacques Villeneuve in 1997; and has only seen one Canadian national win at home – his father, Gilles in 1978.

The track was named after Gilles after his tragic death in Belgium in 1982.

Here’s some more on the family’s history with the sport.

Jenson’s threat

It appears that Jenson Button’s threat to pee in Fernando Alonso’s seat has given some Lewis Hamilton fans a few ideas. 

From 20 to 25, or more

There has been a lot of talk this week about the possible extension of the F1 calendar, with suggestions that there may be as many as 25 circuits in a season. 

Christian Horner of Red Bull, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are amongst those who have expressed concern with Liberty Media’s plans. 

They are said to want at least four US-based F1 races with Miami, New York and Las Vegas tipped to be the locations. 

Alonso said: “If there are 25 or 26 races maybe it’s good in one aspect, but bad in other aspects. At this point of my career I consider a good quality of life is more important than to do more seasons in F1.

“So if the calendar stays between 20 or 21, I will be happy to continue. If it’s increasing like NASCAR where they have 40 or 50 races, it is not for me. It is better for other drivers.”

With Hamilton adding: “I understand what Fernando is saying and I tend to agree with him.”

Local boy Lance

Lance Stroll has a had a tricky start to his Formula One career with a best finish of P11 in Russia. He ended 16th in Spain and has failed to finish his other four races. 

Our Chief Sports Feature Writer, Oliver Brown, delved further into the teenager’s life here. 

45 mins to go…

Qualifying will start at 6:00pm and as normal we will lose the five slowest cars at the end of the first two sessions, before a top ten shootout to get our pole sitter. 

After six races

So the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be our seventh of the season and unlike previous years we actually have a competition on our hands. 

Here’s how they stand following their weekend in Monaco.

What happened earlier

If you didn’t see practice, here’s a round-up of all the action from FP3:

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel laid down an ominous marker to Lewis Hamilton after he stormed to the top of the timesheets in final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel, who holds a 25-point lead over Hamilton in the title race, ended the session here at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve more than a third of a second clear of the Mercedes driver.

Indeed Hamilton, a winner in Canada on five occasions and seeking one further pole position to match his childhood hero Ayrton Senna, had to settle for third on Saturday morning with Kimi Raikkonen slotting in behind his Ferrari team-mate.

Ferrari secured their first front-row lockout in nearly a decade at the last round in Monaco – and on this morning’s evidence at least – would once more appear to hold a clear advantage over Hamilton’s Mercedes team ahead of qualifying later on Saturday.

Vettel’s impressive lap of one minute and 12.572s was enough to finish nearly three tenths ahead of Raikkonen with Hamilton 0.354s off the pace. Valtteri Bottas, in the sister Mercedes, was fifth in the order behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso saw his return to the Formula One paddock plagued by further reliability issues on Friday, but a clear run for the 35-year-old Spaniard placed him 12th in the running.

British driver Jolyon Palmer was 15th, more than half a second adrift of his Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg who finished sixth, while Lance Stroll – the 18-year-old rookie whose motor racing career has been bankrolled by his fashion billionaire father Lawrence – was only a lowly 18th in front of his home crowd.

Meanwhile, a one-minute silence will be observed ahead of tomorrow’s race in memory of those killed and injured in last Saturday’s terror attack in London.

Canadian Christine Archibald, who hailed from British Colombia, was the first victim to be named after the attack and the promoters of this weekend’s Montreal race have called on Formula One to hold the tribute in her honour.

British team Williams are also running #London on the front of their cars.

Hello Montreal

Good afternoon and welcome to live updates of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

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Mnuchin Plays Nice With Canada Amid Tensions Over America First

(Bloomberg) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin downplayed differences with Canada as the two nations prepare to reframe their trading relationship and the Canadian government charts a course that relies less on American leadership.

The U.S. wants to make sure any revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement is also “good for the Canadian economy,” Mnuchin said in a joint press conference with Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Friday in Ottawa. Canada welcomes the chance to update the two-decade old accord, said Morneau.

“We have a very close relationship with Canada and will continue to do so,” said Mnuchin.

Mnuchin received a warm welcome during his visit despite growing differences over policy approaches. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed deep disappointment at President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate-change pact, and Trudeau’s government has promised to seek a larger global leadership role as the U.S. pulls back.

The renegotiation of Nafta is another cloud hanging over the relationship. The official start of talks to revamp the deal, which also includes Mexico, are due to begin as early as mid-August when U.S. domestic consultations are concluded. The stakes are high — Trump has threatened to scrap the deal that shapes a large share of North American trade if he can’t secure better terms for U.S. companies and workers.

Trade Disputes

On lingering trade disputes over dairy and lumber, Mnuchin said: “We talked about those issues today. We’re comfortable those issues will be addressed together. They are a relatively small part of the trade.”

The U.S. earlier this year imposed duties on Canadian lumber, reigniting a longstanding trade spat, and Trump has complained about Canadian protections for dairy farmers.

The meeting marked the first bilateral visit to Ottawa by a U.S. Treasury secretary in 10 years. It was Mnuchin’s fifth meeting with Morneau, who was the first finance minister to meet with the new Treasury secretary in Washington after he was sworn in.

The trip was a family affair with Mnuchin’s fiancee, Louise Linton, joining for meetings with Mornaeu’s wife, Nancy McCain. The pair, both dressed in white, spent the day touring the National Gallery of Canada and attending presentations on culture and women’s issues. Mnuchin also met with other members of Canada’s cabinet and business leaders, and attended an event held by the Business Council of Canada.

Read more: Canada pivots away from U.S. in embracing multilateralism

During the G-20 finance ministers’ meeting in Germany in March — Mnuchin’s first international foray as Treasury chief — Canada was said to have smoothed relations between the U.S. and the rest of the group as the global community struggled to digest Trump’s America First message, according to G-20 officials at the meeting. Mnuchin later quipped that the meetings were the G-19 versus one: the U.S.

Canadian officials also helped diffuse similar tensions surrounding the U.S.’s emerging protectionist stance during the G-7.

Trump has rattled global capitals since taking office, drawing sharp criticism from Germany and France for his withdrawal from the Paris climate-change accord and his attacks on the effectiveness of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The situation hits even closer to home for Canada, which shares the world’s longest international border with the U.S. and is heavily reliant on it for trade and security.

–With assistance from Andrew Mayeda

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

GE wants to unload its iconic light bulb business

GE factory jobs move from Wisconsin to Canada

GE factory jobs move from Wisconsin to Canada

Thomas Edison may not think this is a bright idea: General Electric is trying to rid itself of the light bulb business that has symbolized the company for 125 years.

GE, a conglomerate cofounded by Edison, told employees on Thursday it has put the iconic lighting business up for sale.

U.S. Trade Panel Rules Bombardier Sales May Hurt Boeing Business

(Bloomberg) — A U.S. trade court ruled that Boeing Co.’s commercial jet business may have been harmed by sales of passenger planes by Bombardier Inc. at less than fair value. The court decision allows Boeing to continue pressing for tariffs against its Canadian competitor.

The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Friday that there’s reasonable indication that Boeing’s business may have been hurt or threatened by Bombardier sales in the U.S. of its C Series jets.

The Commerce Department is investigating separately whether to impose duties on the Bombardier planes. A negative ruling by the ITC would have ended the two investigations. Before the U.S. imposes any duties, the ITC would still have to issue a final ruling on the question of how Boeing’s business was affected.

Boeing has accused Bombardier of selling its C Series jets in the U.S. at “absurdly low” prices, while benefiting from unfair government subsidies in Canada. The U.S. planemaker asked the ITC in April to find that the company has suffered injury to its business at the hands of Bombardier and to recommend that the Commerce Department slap duties on the C Series.

Bombardier’s widely traded Class B stock tumbled 7.1 percent to C$2.37 at the close in Toronto, the most since June 27, 2016. Boeing was little changed at $190.03.

Planemaker Disputes

The tussle echoes longstanding U.S.-Europe disputes stemming from the rivalry between Boeing and Airbus SE. A World Trade Organization panel found Friday that billions of dollars in government subsidies that flowed to Boeing now comply with international rules, except for tax breaks from the state of Washington that continue to disadvantage Airbus.

“The ITC and WTO ruling are scaring people but I don’t buy that,” said Nicholas Heymann, an analyst with William Blair & Co. “Ultimately it’s not going to prohibit the commercial success of the C Series, as I see it.”

Bombardier spokesman Mike Nadolski said in an email that the company had expected the preliminary ITC decision given “the very low bar for Boeing in this first step of the process” and that a more detailed review will show Boeing’s claims are baseless.

The allegations opened a new front in trade tensions between the U.S. and Canada, which have intensified since President Donald Trump took office vowing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The U.S. earlier this year imposed duties on Canadian lumber, reigniting a longstanding dispute, and Trump has complained about Canadian protections for dairy farmers. Talks to revamp Nafta are expected to start after mid-August.

Seeking Customers

Following the ruling on Friday, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government will defend Bombardier’s interests, adding that a review is underway over military procurement that relates to Boeing.

Tariffs could hurt Bombardier’s efforts to win customers for its largest-ever jetliner. The last major firm order for the plane — Delta Air Lines Inc.’s for at least 75 jets — dates to April of last year.

Boeing said that sale set a “new, low price ceiling” that was depressing its U.S. jetliner prices. The Atlanta-based carrier agreed to purchase the cutting-edge Bombardier jets for $19.6 million apiece, less than the $33.2 million cost of manufacturing the airplanes, Boeing said. Bombardier disputes the $19.6 million figure.

The Canadian government earlier this year pledged C$372.5 million ($275 million) to Bombardier to finance two jet programs, including the C Series. Last year, Quebec’s provincial government invested $1 billion in the jetliner.

(Updates with analyst comment in seventh paragraph.)

–With assistance from Frederic Tomesco

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

U.S. treasury secretary sought to ease business, trade concerns during Ottawa visit

With far tougher talks on the horizon, President Donald Trump’s treasury secretary offered up some reassuring words Friday in Ottawa on the U.S.-Canada relationship.

In his first official visit to the national capital, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with senior members of the Trudeau cabinet and took part in roundtable meetings with business leaders.

The agenda featured a number of cross-border topics that could have a significant impact on the Canadian economy, including U.S. tax reform and trade issues surrounding sectors from lumber to dairy to energy.

Mnuchin, a former hedge fund manager, has now met with Canadian counterpart Finance Minister Bill Morneau five times since he was sworn in a few months ago. And with NAFTA talks on the horizon, more delicate discussions are surely ahead.

Trump has called the 23-year-old NAFTA the worst trade deal the U.S. has ever negotiated and has pledged to scrap the agreement if it can’t be renegotiated to his satisfaction.

Formal talks have yet to begin and it remains unclear how the deal, which is deeply important to both economies, might be retooled.

After Friday’s meetings, Mnuchin sought to ease concerns, but said it was still premature to get into specifics about what Washington’s eventual asks might look like.

“I think whatever we do, our objective is to make sure that this is positive for the U.S. economy and positive for the Canadian economy to continue to allow the commerce that we have between us,” he told a news conference.

“We had many very productive both political and economic discussions. As I said, this is one of our most important relationships.”

Freeland-Trudeau

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland used a speech to the House of Commons Tuesday to outline the Liberal government’s strategy on foreign policy, particularly in the face of the changing U.S. priorities under President Donald Trump. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Since Trump’s election win, the Bank of Canada and Canadian business leaders have repeatedly expressed concerns about the uncertainty related to potential protectionist measures in the U.S., as well as Trump’s tax-reform proposals.

Some business leaders fear that corporate tax cuts under discussion in the U.S. could hurt Canadian competitiveness.

Morneau said his meetings with Mnuchin shed more light on some of these unknowns.

“What we heard today from Secretary Mnuchin is a resolve to move forward on tax reform in the United States and an agenda for trying to get at that (done) as rapidly as possible,” Morneau said.

“And that’s positive from our standpoint, because that clarity is good.”

Canada’s relationship-building exercise with the new U.S. administration has involved most members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet. In an effort to build stronger bonds, senior ministers have been making frequent visits to Washington since Trump took office.

Several of them, including Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, also joined Morneau at Friday’s meetings.

Morneau and Mnuchin also discussed infrastructure investments, trade in services, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing regimes and cybersecurity.

They also spoke about the future of cross-border energy trade, Mnuchin noted, but he refused to elaborate on Trump’s sharp complaints in April about Canadian energy.

Mnuchin on Trump and Canada1:15

The president added energy to his list of long-running trade irritants with Canada — dairy and lumber are among them — without offering any additional details.

Mnuchin said he was “comfortable” dairy and lumber would be addressed together because they’re a relatively small part of the trading relationship. Energy, he said, is a big part of cross-border trade and more discussions are still needed.

Mnuchin did offer some details in one area that could surface during NAFTA talks: a possible provision to address currency manipulation.

He said monitoring currency manipulation is critical — and he added he believes Canada shares the U.S. view on the issue.

“I think this is less of an issue between us and more of an issue of the significance that we both feel this is very important to both our economy and the Canadian economy,” said Mnuchin, whose trip to Ottawa was the first by a U.S. treasury secretary in a decade.

Earlier in the day, Mnuchin participated in a roundtable with about 20 business leaders in Ottawa.

John Manley, head of the Business Council of Canada, said Mnuchin acknowledged he was aware the U.S. had a trade surplus with Canada when it came to goods, and said the Trump administration is primarily concerned with trade deficits.

“I think he made everybody feel a little bit easier,” said Manley, whose group hosted the meeting and who called the tone positive, though unlikely to fully ease the concerns of participants.

“He’s among the globalists in the administration, so perhaps not as directly a threat to things like NAFTA as others might be,” he continued.

“But everyone knows that this hasn’t landed yet. It is a fact that the president of the United States described NAFTA as the worst deal ever.”

U.S. treasury secretary seeks to ease business, trade concerns in Ottawa visit

OTTAWA — With far tougher talks on the horizon, President Donald Trump’s treasury secretary offered up some reassuring words Friday in Ottawa on the U.S.-Canada relationship.

In his first official visit to the national capital, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with senior members of the Trudeau cabinet and took part in roundtable meetings with business leaders.

The agenda featured a number of cross-border topics that could have a significant impact on the Canadian economy, including U.S. tax reform and trade issues surrounding sectors from lumber to dairy to energy.

Mnuchin, a former hedge fund manager, has now met with Canadian counterpart Finance Minister Bill Morneau five times since he was sworn in a few months ago. And with NAFTA talks on the horizon, more delicate discussions are surely ahead.

Trump has called the 23-year-old NAFTA the worst trade deal the U.S. has ever negotiated and has pledged to scrap the agreement if it can’t be renegotiated to his satisfaction.

Formal talks have yet to begin and it remains unclear how the deal, which is deeply important to both economies, might be retooled.

After Friday’s meetings, Mnuchin sought to ease concerns, but said it was still premature to get into specifics about what Washington’s eventual asks might look like.

“I think whatever we do, our objective is to make sure that this is positive for the U.S. economy and positive for the Canadian economy to continue to allow the commerce that we have between us,” he told a news conference.

“We had many very productive both political and economic discussions. As I said, this is one of our most important relationships.”

Since Trump’s election win, the Bank of Canada and Canadian business leaders have repeatedly expressed concerns about the uncertainty related to potential protectionist measures in the U.S., as well as Trump’s tax-reform proposals.

Some business leaders fear that corporate tax cuts under discussion in the U.S. could hurt Canadian competitiveness.

Morneau said his meetings with Mnuchin shed more light on some of these unknowns.

“What we heard today from Secretary Mnuchin is a resolve to move forward on tax reform in the United States and an agenda for trying to get at that (done) as rapidly as possible,” Morneau said.

“And that’s positive from our standpoint, because that clarity is good.”

Canada’s relationship-building exercise with the new U.S. administration has involved most members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet. In an effort to build stronger bonds, senior ministers have been making frequent visits to Washington since Trump took office.

Several of them, including Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, also joined Morneau at Friday’s meetings.

Morneau and Mnuchin also discussed infrastructure investments, trade in services, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing regimes and cybersecurity.

They also spoke about the future of cross-border energy trade, Mnuchin noted, but he refused to elaborate on Trump’s sharp complaints in April about Canadian energy.

The president added energy to his list of long-running trade irritants with Canada — dairy and lumber are among them — without offering any additional details.

Mnuchin said he was “comfortable” dairy and lumber would be addressed together because they’re a relatively small part of the trading relationship. Energy, he said, is a big part of cross-border trade and more discussions are still needed.

Mnuchin did offer some details in one area that could surface during NAFTA talks: a possible provision to address currency manipulation.

He said monitoring currency manipulation is critical — and he added he believes Canada shares the U.S. view on the issue.

“I think this is less of an issue between us and more of an issue of the significance that we both feel this is very important to both our economy and the Canadian economy,” said Mnuchin, whose trip to Ottawa was the first by a U.S. treasury secretary in a decade.

Earlier in the day, Mnuchin participated in a roundtable with about 20 business leaders in Ottawa.

John Manley, head of the Business Council of Canada, said Mnuchin acknowledged he was aware the U.S. had a trade surplus with Canada when it came to goods, and said the Trump administration is primarily concerned with trade deficits.

“I think he made everybody feel a little bit easier,” said Manley, whose group hosted the meeting and who called the tone positive, though unlikely to fully ease the concerns of participants.

“He’s among the globalists in the administration, so perhaps not as directly a threat to things like NAFTA as others might be,” he continued. 

“But everyone knows that this hasn’t landed yet. It is a fact that the president of the United States described NAFTA as the worst deal ever.”

Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press




Now is the time to make a Canada-India trade deal happen

Goldy Hyder is president and chief executive officer of Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

With the Canada-EU free-trade deal concluded, the Trans-Pacific Partnership on life support and the NAFTA renegotiations in flux, now is the time for Canada to prioritize a trade deal with India. Given the scope of India’s economic growth and the size of its population, there is no other market that can offer Canada a comparable return on any investment. Now, it is up to Canadian businesses to push the federal government to complete a Canada-India free-trade deal.

India’s potential seems limitless, which is why Canada launched free-trade talks with India in November, 2010. Yet today, more than six years later, we are still stuck at the table trying to seize the enormous economic benefits.

Indian companies clearly see the opportunities from increased trade with Canada. This past week, a delegation representing 150 Indian companies visited Canada in a concerted effort to identify new opportunities for bilateral investment and trade.

So why do we hear so little about Canada-India bilateral trade? How is it we aren’t pushing to complete talks when the need for diversification has never been greater?

To its credit, the Trudeau government has said India is a priority market – the Liberal’s election platform, the federal budget and key ministerial mandate letters all identify it as such. And in recent months, several Canadian officials have visited India, including Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

Despite these visits, it has been more than a year since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Washington and pledged to boost our bilateral economic partnership. Although it’s tempting to blame government for any lack of progress, the real culprits are those business leaders who continue to focus exclusively on the United States, Europe, China and Japan.

Without question, those four are crucial trade and investment markets for Canada, but they are all distracted by domestic or regional issues and shouldn’t be given greater priority than India.

While it may be that governments negotiate trade and investment agreements, it is businesses who profit from them. When businesses don’t push for trade deals, governments don’t pursue them.

Of course, many have done so in the case of India. The Canada India Business Council, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and the Canada India Foundation have long been proponents of strengthened ties. The message is clear: Canada must move swiftly to secure “first mover” advantage. We must move quickly in India or risk being left behind as others, such as Germany and France, pass us by.

For his part, Mr. Modi’s interest in Canada remains strong. During their meeting in April, 2016, he told Mr. Trudeau that Canada and India were “made for each other.” Not only are our two economies complementary, there is tremendous work we can do together in vital sectors such as energy, agriculture and agri-food, education and information technology.

As a sign of his seriousness, Mr. Modi has sent one of his country’s highest-profile diplomats, Vikas Swarup, to serve as India’s high commissioner in Ottawa – an inspired choice. Sensing an absence of awareness about India in Canada, Mr. Swarup has made it his diplomatic mission to educate and inform Canadian business leaders about the trade and investment opportunities available in India.

In addition to this laudable goal, Mr. Swarup must correct those misinformed about the barriers to greater labour mobility between Canada and India – obstacles that have stymied innovation.

Nobody denies the difficulty and complexity of finalizing progressive trade, investment or labour mobility agreements, especially with protectionist populism on the rise all around the globe. Canada and India are in no way immune from these virulent trends, but the best protection against protectionism is to demonstrate the value of international trade and foreign investment.

In this, the private sector again has a critical role to play. Business leaders cannot expect political leaders to do all the heavy lifting to communicate the potential merits of increased bilateral trade. Middle-class, middle-age and middle-income Canadians cannot be expected to automatically accept or assume the benefits, for them or their families, of securing greater access to India.

We are in an age when public support from the private sector is essential. Business leaders must take responsibility for building support for their corporate goals and commercial priorities. Canada and India share a number of assets and attributes, including common languages, similar legal principles and comparable financial systems. Let’s work to build on that strong foundation.



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Emmanuel Jal, A Child Soldier-Turned-Entrepreneur, Explains How Refugees Help Canada

Emanuel Jal was a child soldier in South Sudan. Now he’s a Canadian businessman. In between, he’s been an acclaimed rapper, author, and documentarian, and he also co-starred in a film with Reese Witherspoon.

“I came to Canada with nothing, and now I have three businesses that employ Canadians,” Jal says proudly, using his personal journey as an example of why we should welcome refugees to Canada. “They know where they come from so when they get here and get an opportunity — boom! — that’s it.”

That is certainly how Jal has lived since escaping his past as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, 20,000 or so young children left alone in a war zone, where he later became AK-47-wielding soldier — at the age of eight.

emmanuel jal
Emmanuel Jal performing at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, U.S. March 17, 2017(Photo: Reuters)

“When my country was torn by the war, we kept running from one place to another. My mom died, my uncles, my aunties. You walk in the wild for days and you can’t even remember what happened,” Jal says of his youth during the Second Sudanese Civil War.

His dad gave him up to enlist in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army while Jal joined a convoy of Lost Boys en route to a refugee camp in Ethiopia.

“I came to Canada with nothing and now I have three businesses that employ Canadians.”
— Emmanuel Jal

“I had to walk hundreds and hundreds of miles. Some children died of starvation, some died of dehydration. Some were eaten by wild animals. When we arrived in Ethiopia, we thought we were going to go to a better place [but] the refugee camp was run by rebels.

“The UN thought they were running it — in the daytime it was UN, but the nighttime, it was the rebels. So we got taken to a training camp and that’s where I became a child soldier.”

lost boys of sudanYoung Sundanese “lost boys” in a refugee camp in 1992 (Photo: Getty)

Jal is telling me this while sitting in the teacher’s lounge of Central Toronto Academy, a high school with a number of refugee students and a refugee principal. He’s just finished a performance in the auditorium during which he told the students about his past.

On Saturday, he’ll be performing again at his We Want Peace Concert Celebrating Refugees which also features Jal collaborator Nelly Furtado as well as Faarow, a duo featuring Somali refugee sisters.

The concert at Harbourfront’s Fleck Dance Theatre is raising funds for his own charity, Gua Africa, which builds schools in East Africa and gives scholarships to young Sudanese refugees, and Matthew House, an organization that provides shelter for asylum seekers in Toronto.

emanuel jalEmmanuel Jal tells a Toronto school about his refugee experience using stories, raps and spoken-word (Photo: Joshua Ostroff )

He remained a child soldier in what is now South Sudan for four years, he says.

“I was in the war for two reasons, to revenge and I wanted a bike. That’s what made me want to have a gun. And when you have a gun, you have respect and you can eat. You can just walk into any village and haul your gun, and get food,” he says.

“Children don’t know you die once. The beat of an AK-47 is addictive, it’s fun. The only part that is not fun is when you lose your friends. You think they’re going to come back tomorrow but that’s it. Kids don’t understand death.”

He was eventually rescued by a British aid worker and smuggled to Kenya, where he wound up living in a Nairobi slum after the worker died in a car accident. But this was where he found his calling by combining hip-hop music and political activism, which led to a hit song in Kenya.

“Canada is saying, we have a lot of immigrants, we have space for you — come. That was really powerful.”
— Emmanuel Jal

Unable to return to his homeland, Jal made it to the UK in 2005, where he remained for several years, releasing the 2008 album “War Child” as well as a documentary of his life with the same name, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Audience Choice Award. An autobiography followed the the next year.

Jal arrived in Canada in 2012, where he soon found himself co-starring in “The Good Lie,” a film about Sudan’s Lost Boys that co-starred Reese Witherspoon and had its world premiere in his new hometown’s Toronto International Film Festival. He landed some songs on the soundtrack, too, including “Scars,” his duet with Furtado.

He has since opened up a cafe in Toronto called Jal Gua, which helps support his charity, and launched a dietary supplement for vegans, also called Jal Gua. It means “walk in peace” in the Naath language and contains a blend of Sorghum and Moringa, thousands-year-old staples of African cuisine.

He still runs his own record label — this spring he performed at the SXSW music festival’s ContraBand Showcase, featuring artists from countries included in Donald Trump’s travel ban — and mentors young refugees who came to Canada as unaccompanied minors and live at Matthew House.

Jal has been moved by the reception has has seen Canada give refugees over the past few years.

“It shows the generosity of the people, the conscience of the Canadians, to accommodate people who are running away from difficult environments. Canada is saying, we have a lot of immigrants, we have space for you — come. That was really powerful,” he says.

“Other countries’ people are scared, especially the U.S. But even though the neighbour was not really welcoming, Canada stood by what they believe in.”

emmanuel jal
Emmanuel Jal promoting his film ‘The Good Lie’ in 2014. (Photo: Getty)

Of course, he is aware that not all Canadians have been on the same page when it comes to accepting refugees, but he blames that mostly on misconceptions.

“[People think] that they (refugees) are coming to take our jobs, they are desperate people, needy people, violent people, dirty people, sick, traumatized. But people forget the resilience; they are human beings that have survived. And the journeys they have overcome, we can learn a lot from it; we can learn courage, we can learn faith, we can learn resistance, we can learn endurance, we can learn loyalty. We can learn so much from each and every refugee.”

“People forget the resilience; [refugees] are human beings that have survived. And the journeys they have overcome, we can learn a lot from it.”
— Emmanuel Jal

And while they can contribute their talents and stories, like he has, Jal points out another important lesson that we could all take to heart.

“[Refugees] can inspire Canadians to be grateful for what they have. People don’t know to be grateful. You wake up and there’s no bomb here. You wake up and nobody’s coming to arrest you in your house. You get sick and you have a free hospital,” he says of the “little things” we take for granted.

“Gratitude is the key for enjoying peace.”

Canada’s path forward during turbulent times

Canada-United States relations in 2017

First, Quebec separatism. Now, U.S. separatism. Fortunately, separatism is something Canada knows how to handle.

Canada is behind three big eight-balls: an economy not yet fit for the future; real U.S. trade risks; and a possible Canadian unity problem from pipelines. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could now simultaneously face all three of these challenges. Canada must get its economy back on a strong track, particularly with a United States in political turmoil led by a wounded president, and Alberta/B.C. could be the new unity challenge.

The United States is the long-term problem

U.S. President Donald Trump is a high-risk president. He will not change. Reliable relationships are not possible, and if you get too close to him, you could get badly burned. What Mr. Trump says matters less than what he does; the internal and external push-backs matter even more. The underlying sources of the deep and persistent division in his country will take years to sort out.

Canada has a unique combination of U.S. strengths – an unmatched understanding of dealing with a difficult, powerful neighbour as well as broad and positive continuing relationships with key institutions and individuals there. Americans in general know Canadians lend a hand when they need it. How Canadians use these connections matters. Ottawa, so far, has reached out well. Other Canadian communities, starting with business, need to address the big picture better and leverage Canada’s particular positions in the United States where it counts.

Canada in an America-first world

Global fundamentals within and between countries will be a primary world challenge over the next 25 years. Canada probably has the best chance of succeeding in a Trump America-first world. Trade and services current flows between the two countries are in broad balance (right now, Canada is in deficit). When you take into account net investment-income flows, Canada has always been in overall current account deficit with the United States. Canadian imports matter in politically-key U.S. states. A retaliatory Canadian border tax on non-business tourism, for example, in big Trump states (e.g. Florida and Arizona) would quickly hurt politically.

Trade is not the only area affecting Canada’s relationship with the United States. Canada has important North Atlantic Treaty Organization, North American Aerospace Defense Command and Group of Seven relationships as well as close security working arrangements with the United States. Mr. Trump may be learning this this is not a world where going it alone works.

Canada, from its beginnings, has experienced the best and worst of the United States. For its part, the United States has often recognized the asymmetrical relationship means that Canada sometimes needs exemptions from U.S. global policies. In the current fear- and enemy-driven U.S. politics, Canada is not seen as an enemy or a people to be feared.

Canada has a lot to work with

Canada can help Mr. Trump get political wins that also work for Canada. Ottawa got off to as good a start as possible – not just with Mr. Trudeau’s Washington visit, but in mobilizing long-standing relationships with both U.S. government and non-government players.

The challenge is to use the above talking points with all kinds of U.S. contacts. The Canadian business community, in particular, must use and create opportunities to tell these stories. If all parties work hard on the Canada side, the outcome can become a win-win story for both countries – economically and politically. It can be done but won’t be easy.

Canada always has to play the long game with the United States. Between 1945 and Sept. 11, 2001, both countries were closely aligned on most things. But on many fundamentals, Canada and the United States are very different: mutual accommodation versus division; persuasion versus force; use of collective effort versus extreme individualism; and openness to the use of government versus an overwhelming distrust.

U.S. strengths in postwar era

The United States after 1945 had two great abilities: to attract almost everyone from everywhere (though not Russia or China, initially) to its larger purposes; and to get others to follow. No other country in history can match that record.

Canada can help Mr. Trump and the United States get back to these strengths. It also needs to bring these strengths to a new vision and a new global order. Only the United States can lead this.

Every era ends in overreach or underreach. The years from 1945 to 2000 were largely productive. The way forward is not to undermine, but to build on their achievements. Churchill said he looked backward to get a better view of the future.

If the United States in the 1980s and 90s had looked backward, it would have had a better sense of what had worked so well and avoided much of the Reagan/George W. Bush overreach that must now be undone, and the dangerous kind of Trump underreach on climate change and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The NAFTA challenge

A major strength for Canada is it is part of North America, but the basic imbalance within the North American free-trade agreement is a problem: NAFTA trade disproportionately benefits Mexico, which has big surpluses with its partners. U.S. politics and the United States’ and Canada’s global current account deficits will make it impossible to continue the disproportionate trade surpluses Mexico has with each.

Any NAFTA renegotiation has to start from the fundamental balance of Canada-U.S. economic relations and the fundamental imbalance of Mexico’s economic relations with its two NAFTA partners. The three countries have become economically intertwined, and so it will not be easy for the United States to avoid doing itself more harm than good on its Mexican flank.

There is merit in the Mexican President’s idea of a stronger North America opposite a rising Asia, but it is one which would have to be based on a vision shared by all three countries. Mexico will have to do some heavy trade lifting to make that happen.

North America’s large current-account deficits are supporting the rest of the world by importing their goods and exporting jobs to them – an untenable situation given the current U.S. political landscape. Canada is right to want to keep NAFTA, but it cannot do for Mexico what Mexico must do for itself to get a better three-way balance.

How best to cope with the United States

Canada has had an unstable United States to deal with several times in the past, such as the threats that came from the American War of Independence, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. But if war comes today, it will be over trade. The trade wars of the thirties brought global depression and the Second World War.

The big countries could not then find the shared vision or project to move from the old world before 1914 to a new global one. Today, with the world once again in the midst of huge and troubling transitions, the challenge for Canada, North America and Western Europe is how best to move forward with a divided and unpredictable United States embroiled in a bumpy process of withdrawal from overreach.

What ideas and steps should guide Canada’s diplomacy with a strongman U.S. President who has been steadily weakened since his inauguration and is now wounded – possibly fatally?

Most politicians are more driven by pain avoidance (losing) than pleasure-seeking (winning). Mr. Trump’s driving force is the pleasure of winning – as both he and others see it.

Canada’s way forward is to explore all the possible positives and negatives for Mr. Trump. The pain that matters is any that impacts Mr. Trump directly or indirectly. Diplomacy that works requires the opposing side to understand the political pain an agreement can help avoid. Canada’s strongest approach to the contentious trade issues surrounding NAFTA – softwood lumber, a border tax and a “Buy America” policy – is to know more about everything that matters to us than the other parties do; and, second, to have and optimize the best set of relevant relationships.

Negotiating amid the chaos

Chaos was something Mr. Trump could always manage as a businessman. Chaos does not work so well for the White House. The firing of former FBI director James Comey is a good example, with its confused and conflicting stories. This erratic messaging is impossible for both the White House staff and everyone else to handle.

The combination of multiple Russia problems and an out-of-control White House will make it difficult to move anything forward in Washington, including NAFTA renegotiation. This stalemate makes the task of Canadian and Mexico negotiators decidedly high-risk and, at some point, perhaps impossible. Amid all this chaos, slow will likely be better than fast.

What Canada must do

Canada needs to work harder on doing everything it can to build its economy. Its biggest shortcomings of the past 12 years have been living beyond its means; the failure to build an economy that is better suited to the future; and the failure, in the post-Brexit and Trump world, to adopt policies that will attract the “best people” to drive a successful private sector. A stronger private-sector-driven economy will make it easier for Canada to live through a self-centred United States – and prepare for a possible fight ahead.

Mr. Trump is cornered by a combination of economics and politics. There is no money for his election promises. Right now, with the Russian investigation and a chaotic White House, he’s lost the presidential leverage that hard congressional politics require. With the President and Congress all under the Republican banner, if the United States cannot pull itself together now, when will it? Fortunately for Canada, this turmoil may be its greatest protection against a bad NAFTA outcome – a border tax and Buy America.

Mexico has got itself through its share of foreign economic crises. The NAFTA review comes at a time of domestic political stresses that will be very difficult for Mexico. Canada and the United States could help more if their current accounts with other countries could get better. Canada so far has not been destabilized by U.S. political turmoil. Its stronger politics and economics make it less vulnerable to destabilization than Mexico. All three partners will have to help improve the Mexican NAFTA imbalance in a way that strengthens stability in each.

Canada needs both a pain-exaction and a pleasure-giving strategy. Its task now is to know how to execute it. It must also put its mind to a post-NAFTA renegotiation vision and project for North America more suited to the world ahead.

William A. Macdonald is a corporate lawyer turned consultant with a long history of public service and social engagement.




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