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Relay torch on Tory run?

The federal Liberal party claims the Olympic torch relay is taking acircuitous route to ensure it hits as many Conservative ridings aspossible.

The federal Liberal party claims the Olympic torch relay is taking a circuitous route to ensure it hits as many Conservative ridings as possible.

The Opposition says the torch relay will be celebrated in 91 Conservative-held ridings, 20 Liberal ridings, 17 NDP ridings and 17 Bloc Québécois ridings.

VANOC denies the Conservative government had any input into the torch relay route.

Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray said on Thursday the Liberals will look “into the torch relay planning process to ensure there was no partisan Conservative interference.”

“It appears upon first glance that the relay disproportionately favours the Conservatives, stopping in 62 per cent of Tory ridings,” she said in a release. “In contrast, the torch will stop in only 12 per cent of Liberal constituencies, 13 per cent of NDP and 10 per cent of Bloc Québécois ridings.”

NDP MP Pat Martin also joined in, saying it doesn’t look like a coincidence.

“Clearly, there was some monkey business in making sure we, the opposition MPs, don’t get to share in the glory of the torch run,” Martin said.

The Conservatives said the opposition complaints were off the mark.

“This torch relay route was designed 100 per cent by VANOC, not the government,” Heritage Minister James Moore told MPs.

Andrea Shaw, VANOC’s vice-president of sponsorship and marketing, said in a statement: “Our primary goal was to bring the Olympic Flame to as many Canadians as possible and we are pleased that approximately 90 per cent of the population will be within a one-hour drive of the route.

“The route planning was not based whatsoever on political ridings,” Shaw said.

 
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