The Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador

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The Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador

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CONTENTSTHE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE................................................... 1CONTEXT .......................................................................................................................... 1People and Geography.............................................................................................. 2Business and Industry .............................................................................................. 3Social Considerations ............................................................................................... 6Labrador Transportation Initiative ........................................................................... 6Current Transportation Systems.............................................................................. 7Air ............................................................................................................................ 7Marine ..................................................................................................................... 8Road ...................................................................................................................... 10Winter Trail System.............................................................................................. 11Rail ........................................................................................................................ 12CONCLUSION................................................................................................................... 12FEEDBACK FORM ............................................................................................................ 15Route 510 entering Forteau with Point Amour Lighthouse in the background


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THE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURETransportation infrastructure enablesthe movement of people and goods fromone place to another. Well-functioningtransportation networks are criticalprerequisites to successful economiesand major influences on the quality oflife in a region. Infrastructure facilitateseconomic development and is essentialto investment, productivity andcompetitiveness. It is also a majorcontributing factor to quality of life byproviding citizens with access to qualitygoods and services, including healthcare and social services. People andinvestment are attracted to areas withwell functioning, high qualitytransportation infrastructure that allowsfor the efficient and cost-effectivemovement of goods, people andresources.According to Statistics Canada, in 2004commercial transportation (includingwarehousing) accounted for threeAirstrip and wharf in Nainpercent of Newfoundland andLabrador’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP). In 2005, capital investments(public and private) in transportationtotaled over 209 million dollars in theprovince, employing 11,200 people (5.2percent of total employment). Withrespect to personal expenditures, 14.5percent (or $1.4 billion - $2,774 percapita) of Newfoundlanders andLabradorians’ personal expenditureswent toward transportation.CONTEXTConcerns about transportation inLabrador are not new. Prior to theTrans Labrador Highway (TLH), roadsystems in Labrador were limited andthe alternatives were more costly thandriving. Over the past decade therehave been many studies on theopportunities and challenges associatedwith transportation in Labrador andmany ideas on how best to build onthem. In January 2005 Labrador hosted150 delegates at the combined AtlanticProvinces Transportation Forum andrd33 Annual Socio-EconomicConference of the Combined Councilsof Labrador. This provided delegateswith an opportunity to hear about someof the latest work in the area. One ofthe most recent studies in this provincewas conducted in the Fall of 2004 by theDevelopment of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document 1


Harris Centre of Regional Policy andDevelopment at Memorial University ofNewfoundland. The Harris Centreconvened four regional workshops anda provincial symposium on Growing theEconomy in Newfoundland andLabrador. Each workshop was asked tolist five priorities for action andparticipants at the Labrador workshopidentified transportation; includingmarine, air and road; as one of thesepriorities. Participants indicated thataccess to markets was key to growingthe economy in Labrador and thattransportation infrastructure andservices were at the foundation of this.Additionally, accessible and affordabletransportation is key to facilitatingaccess to health care, post-secondaryeducation, and social developmentthrough a variety of often ‘taken forgranted’ things, such as access to socialnetworks, travel and recreation, andgoods and services.In order to take action on this priority, itis necessary for Government to workwith key stakeholders to develop acomprehensive sustainable multi-modaltransportation plan for Labrador that isreflective of the current and future needsof the business community, as well asthe population as a whole. The Planmust also consider the geographic,demographic, and fiscal realities facingLabrador and the province overall.People and GeographyWhile the land mass of Labrador is twoand a half times as large as that of theisland of Newfoundland, it comprisesjust over five percent of the entirepopulation of the province and has only32 settlements dispersed throughoutthis vast geography. Much of Labradoris uninhabited and over 70 percent of itsresidents live in Labrador City/Wabush,Churchill Falls, or Happy Valley-GooseBay and surrounding areas. Theremaining 30 percent are dispersedthroughout small coastal communities.The population of Labrador hasdecreased from a high of 31,000 in 1991to its current population of 27,100 but itis anticipated that the population ofLabrador will remain relatively stablethroughout the next 15 years. WhileLabrador’s population as a whole hasdecreased during this time, the northernregion of Labrador saw an increase inpopulation over the same time periodand it is anticipated that it will continueto increase through 2020. Labrador’svast geography and small dispersepopulation present some uniquechallenges for transportation throughoutthe area, between Labrador and theIsland, as well as between Labrador andthe rest of Canada.2 Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document


14 , 0 0 012 , 0 0 010 , 0 0 08,000Population Projections By Economic ZoneLabradoranalysis of the demographics of thezones will be necessary in order to fullycomprehend how things such aspopulation aging, etc. may impact ontransportation need and usage.6,0004,0002,000Source:01986 1991 1996 2001 2006 2011 2016 2020Zone 1 - InukshukZone 3 - Cent ral LabradorZone 5 - Labrador St rait sZone 2 - HyronZone 4 - Sout heast ern AuroraEconomics and Statistics Branch, Dept. of FinanceMedium Scenario Projections, April 2006In order to fully appreciate the potentialdemand on the transportation system,one needs to consider what thepopulation will look like in the variousareas of Labrador in the future. Theprovince’s Economic Zones provide thebest basis for this analysis as they breakLabrador down into five distinct regions.The Inukshuk, Southeast Aurora andLabrador Straits Zones have very smallpopulations (3,200; 2,600; and 2,000;respectively) and this too is a significantfactor when planning for sustainabletransportation infrastructure andservices. While the population itself isnot anticipated to change to any degreeover the next 15 years, a more detailedLabrador is rich in aboriginal cultures.With this comes many opportunities andchallenges in the areas of language andgovernance. In addition to municipal,provincial and federal governments, therecently established NunatsiavutGovernment has a suite of jurisdictionssimilar to those of the ProvincialGovernment. This, coupled with theAboriginal art on display in the Nunatsiavut GovernmentBoardroomcreation of reserves and Band Councils,and the eventual resolution ofnegotiations with the Innu, will haveimplications for how Government plansfor development in Labrador.Business and IndustryLabrador’s economy has traditionallybeen reliant on raw resource extractionand the service industry, with littleemphasis placed on value-added orsecondary processing. Transportationnetworks are key to encouraging thistype of industrial evolution andDevelopment of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document 3


facilitating diversification and innovativejob creation.The major industries in Labrador aremines and energy (Iron Ore Company ofCanada, Wabush Mines, Voisey’s BayNickel Company, TorngaitUjaganniavingit Corporation and theUpper Churchill HydroelectricDevelopment), aerospace and defense,fish harvesting and processing, forestresources, and tourism. While themining sector in Labrador City andWabush provides its own railtransportation for iron ore export, otherindustries rely on the air, road andmarine transportation systems (withVoisey’s Bay using private marineshipping) for supplies, labour andaccess to markets. Thus, all of thesesectors have a major stake in thetransportation infrastructure throughoutLabrador. Expansion and developmentof small to medium size business isdependent on cost-effectivetransportation. Factors like availabilityand quality of transportationinfrastructure all affect these industries.The economic structure of Labradorvaries greatly by region. Labrador Cityand Wabush were each established inthe 1960s following the discovery of ironore in area. The mining sector is thedominant employer in Labrador Westand this has been expanding into otherregions in recent years. The miningsector is quickly becoming a majorindustry in northern Labrador with thedevelopment of the Voisey’s Bay nickel,copper and cobalt deposits. ChurchillFalls was also established in the 1960s,with the Upper Churchill HydroelectricDevelopment beginning operation in1971 after five years of construction.Hydroelectric generation is the mainindustry in the town and most workerswork for Newfoundland and LabradorHydro. Activity in this sector couldexpand rapidly if the Lower Churchilldevelopment proceeds.Happy Valley-Goose Bay expandedrapidly during World War II (WWII) dueto the establishment of an Americanmilitary base in the area. This base wasused primarily as a refueling stop forAmerican flights on route to Europe.Following WWII, the base wastransformed into a flight training baseand, over time, Canadian, American,British, German, Dutch, Italian, andother air forces conducted flight trainingat the base. Today, the town's economyis relatively diversified. In addition tomilitary operations, Happy Valley-GooseBay serves as the central point for mostpublic and financial services inLabrador; is the main tourism contactpoint for hunting and fishing lodgeoperators; functions as the mainshopping and consumer goods locationfor coastal Labrador residents; is hometo one of Labrador’s three public collegecampuses (with a second locatednearby in North West River); and, isemerging as the local distribution andservice point for Voisey's Bay.Recently, the municipality of HappyValley-Goose Bay has been engaged ina process to identify alternate uses forexcess infrastructure at 5 Wing GooseBay. The purpose of this exercise is tofind uses for properties and land no4 Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document


longer required for military or othergovernment use. One of the ideasbeing explored is the concept of usingthe infrastructure, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay's strategic location, as partof a larger transshipment operation tomove goods and services to and fromCanada's north and the wholecircumpolar region.The economy along coastal Labrador,on the other hand, has historically beenheavily reliant on the fishery and thefishery continues to be the largestemployer in coastal areas; with majorfish plants located in L'Anse au Loup,Mary's Harbour, St. Lewis,Charlottetown, Black Tickle, Cartwright,Pinsent’s Arm, Postville, Makkovik andRegional Diversification Strategy,including its plans for Labrador. TheDepartment of Labrador and AboriginalAffairs is also developing a NorthernStrategic Plan for Labrador. Thus, theDepartment of Transportation andWorks must work with these otherdepartments/secretariats to ensure thata Sustainable Transportation Plan forLabrador is in keeping with these otherstrategies and developed to supportGovernment’s priorities for economicdevelopment in Labrador. Additionally,Artist rendition of proposed Gull Island Hydro DevelopmentFish Processing Facility in MakkovikNain. Crab, shrimp and turbot are theprimary species harvested. Morerecently, economic activity hasincreased in the tourism, forestproducts, and mining sectors (Voisey'sBay and the Dimension Stone Industrynear Nain) and opportunities exist toexpand each of these industries.In March 2005 the Department ofInnovation, Trade and RuralDevelopment released Government’swe need to assess private industry’splans for development, expansion ordownsizing in Labrador in order todetermine how these plans will affectdemand in the area. An integralcomponent of the Plan will involveensuring that we are proactive in beingprepared to meet the needs of thefuture. The development of newtransportation infrastructure can nothappen overnight, but rather, can takeup to 10 or 15 years from the design tocompletion. Coupled with this is the factthat the development of newtransportation infrastructure is a verycostly venture and often involves longtermnegotiations with the FederalGovernment in order to secure sufficientfunding. Thus, it is important forGovernment to plan now for the future.Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document 5


Social ConsiderationsIn addition to economic considerations,a transportation plan will also need totake into account Government’s futureplans for the K-12 and postsecondaryeducation system, as well as for healthservices. The construction, expansionor closure of facilities within either thehealth or education systems couldgreatly affect the use of the variousmodes of transportation infrastructure.The Department of Health andCommunity Services and its fourRegional Integrated Health Authoritiesare currently in the process of workingon sustainable location of services plansLabrador Health Centre, Happy Valley-Goose Bayfor each of the regions, as well asseparate projects to plan for keyexpansion areas in such things as longtermcare. The development of atransportation plan must take all ofthese things into consideration inconjunction with these key departments.Labrador Transportation InitiativeThe Government of Newfoundland andLabrador and the Government ofCanada signed the $340 millionLabrador Transportation InitiativeAgreement in March of 1997. ThisAgreement resulted in the transfer of theLabrador coastal marine service,including two vessels (MV Sir RobertBond and MV Northern Ranger), to theProvince from the Federal Government.In January 1998, the funds were placedin the Labrador Transportation InitiativeFund.The Fund was established to completePhases I (upgrade the road fromWabush to Happy Valley-Goose Bay)and II (construction of the road from RedBay to Cartwright) of the Trans LabradorMV Northern RangerHighway; to assume full provincialresponsibility for the Labrador coastalferry services; and, to finance Labradortransportation initiatives such asimprovements to wharf facilities,upgrading community roads andconstruction of community road links. It6 Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document


was, however, recognized from thebeginning that there would not besufficient resources in the Fund tocomplete Phase III (construction of theroad from Happy Valley-Goose Bay toCartwright) of the Trans LabradorHighway and additional funds wouldhave to be found.Current Transportation SystemsAirThree airlines provide regularlyscheduled service to Labrador: AirLabrador, Provincial/Innu Mikun Airlines,and Air Canada Jazz. Air Labrador andProvincial/Innu Mikun Airlines providepassenger and cargo service withinLabrador and between the Island andHappy Valley-Goose Bay, Wabush,Churchill Falls and the Labrador Straits(through Blanc Sablon, Quebec). AirCanada Jazz provides service betweenHappy Valley-Goose Bay and Halifax,as well as between Wabush andMontreal. Air Labrador provides servicebetween Happy Valley-Goose Bay andMontreal, Quebec City and Sept-Îlesand Provincial Airlines provides servicebetween Wabush and Sept-Îles.Labrador has 17 airports (13 of whichare coastal community airstrips), themajority of which are gravel. There arealso a number of small air chartercompanies operating throughoutLabrador.With the completion of Phases I and II ofthe Trans Labrador Highway, retainingthe level of flight service that Labradorhad become accustomed to became areal issue. Airlines expressed the desireto reduce flights to the area due todecreased usage and increasing costs,and this is only anticipated to increasewith the completion of Phase III. Thehigh cost of air travel has a substantialimpact on the costs of goodstransported by air. The Provincial andFederal Governments provide subsidyprograms to offset the higher cost offlying perishable goods into Labrador’scoastal communities. While the Federalsubsidy is available all year round, theProvincial subsidy is provided whenmarine transport services aresuspended due to winter ice conditions.Labrador has traditionally been astrategic location for flight training,refueling and the testing of aircraftengines. Happy Valley-Goose Bay hashad a high reliance on internationalmilitary flight training as well as trans-Atlantic refueling. Wabush, on the otherhand, is one of three sites approved forcold weather testing of aircraft engines.Maintenance of the airports in HappyValley-Goose Bay and Wabush are keyfactors for all of these activities.Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document 7


MarineFive marine vessels currently serveLabrador, two (MV Sir Robert Bond andMV Northern Ranger) are provinciallyowned while the others (MV Apollo, MVChallenge One and MV Astron) areprivately owned. All vessels areoperated by private operators undercontract with the Provincial Government.Passenger and freight ferry services areprovided through 13 ports in Labradorand one in Blanc Sablon, Quebecserving the Labrador Straits and theLower North Shore of Quebec.The MV Northern Ranger providespassenger and limited freight servicefrom Happy Valley-Goose Bay to thecommunities on the north coast, whilethe MV Astron provides the majority ofthe freight service to this area. The MVChallenge One provides passenger andfreight service to the communities ofWilliams Harbour and Normans Bay.The MV Sir Robert Bond provides auto,passenger and freight service betweenthe Island, Cartwright and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The MV Apollo providesauto, passenger and commercial truckservice between the Island and theLabrador Straits through Blanc Sablonin Quebec.Marine services are provided toLabrador at a cost of over 20 milliondollars annually and are highlysubsidized (over 70%) by Government,MV Sir Robert Bondwith only 5.7 million dollars in revenuebeing realized through both passengerand freight services.During the 2005/06 season, nearly90,000 passengers traveled on the fourpassenger vessels serving Labrador -11,300 on the MV Sir Robert Bond;71,400 on the MV Apollo; 6,400 on theMV Northern Ranger; and 750 on theMV Challenge One. The Bond and theApollo also carried over 28,100passenger automobiles (4,100 and24,000, respectively) during 2005/06.The Apollo also carried just over 3,000trucks and tractor trailers.8 Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document


Happy Valley-Goose Bay◄ 3,815► 4,088▲ 1,585▼ 1,499Passengers x Direction, 2005▲ 539▼ 458▲ 66▼ 36Cartwright▲▼ 752▲ 35,605▼ 35,836Lewisporte▲ 272▼ 264When one examines the type of freighton these routes, the largest volume (byweight) of products leaving the Islandand going to Labrador areconstruction/building materials, food anddrinks. With respect to freight leavingLabrador, the largest volumes arevehicles, fresh and chilled food (mostlyfish) and drop trailers. Movement offreight within Labrador is comprised ofmostly packaged goods, vehicles andheavy equipment/trailers; with largeamounts of construction/buildingmaterials and food (non-chilled) alsobeing shipped from Happy Valley-GooseBay and Cartwright to the North Coast.While the Straits ferry service is not afreight service, per se, it did carry justover 3,000 trucks and tractor trailers in2005/06.Over 47 million pounds of freight wereshipped by the Bond, Trans Gulf,Ranger and Challenge One during2005/06; with 24.6 million poundsleaving the Island and going to variousregions of Labrador; 8.9 million poundsleaving Labrador and coming to theIsland; 1.8 million pounds movingbetween Cartwright and Happy Valley-Goose Bay; 5.6 million pounds leavingHappy Valley-Goose Bay or Cartwrightand going to the North Coast; and, 2million pounds leaving the North Coastand going to Happy Valley-Goose Bayor Cartwright. Of the 24.6 millionpounds of freight leaving the Island, 62percent was destined for Happy Valley-Goose Bay or Cartwright and 38 percentwas headed to the North Coast.▲ 9.3▼ 2.0Happy Valley-Goose Bay▲ 15.0▼ 6.8Freight x Direction, 2005(Millions of pounds)▲ 5.1▼ 1.8◄ 0.7► 1.2▲ 0.5▼ 0.2Cartwright▲▼ 0.02Lewisporte▲ 0.3▼ 0.1Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document 9


Like the air service in Labrador, therequirement for and location of ferryservice in Labrador needs to beexamined in anticipation of thecompletion of the Trans LabradorHighway. A main issue for the Provinceis, that while the Federal Governmenttransferred one-time funding to theProvince in 1997 through the LabradorTransportation Initiative Agreement, thisis not sufficient to maintain theinfrastructure and continue to subsidizecost over the long-term.RoadThe road structure in Labrador iscurrently comprised of nearly 875kilometers of the Trans LabradorHighway (TLH); with an additional 285kilometers to be completed by Fall 2009.In September of 2005, the ProvincialGovernment was successful in havingthe TLH designated as part of theNational Highway System (NHS). Thiswas a very significant step for theProvince, since the TLH is now eligiblefor federal funding. Additionally, theProvincial Government is responsible forclose to 260 kilometers of communityaccess and local roads. Annualmaintenance of these 1,133 kilometersof road is provided by the ProvincialGovernment at an average annual costof $5,600 per kilometer.Roads in Labrador Under Provincial ResponsibilityRoadTotal Km.Km.SurfacedKm. GravelDesignationTLH - Labrador West to HappyValley-Goose Bay - Route 500TLH - Red Bay to CartwrightJunction - Route 510TLH Phase III – Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Cartwright (underconstruction) - Route 510554 36 518 NHS321 79 242 NHS285 - 285 NHSLabrador West - Wabush AccessRoadCentral Labrador - VariousRoutesSouthern Labrador – VariousRoutes2 2 -64 46 18192 7 185CommunityAccess/LocalCommunityAccess/LocalCommunityAccess/Local10 Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document


Once again, a main issue for theProvincial Government is fundingupgrades and maintenance, includingsnow clearing. While the FederalGovernment provided funds to developthe Trans Labrador Highway, thesefunds were insufficient to completePhase III, let alone maintain andupgrade the TLH over time. As well, theProvincial Government will needsignificant funds to support themaintenance and upgrading of thecommunity road infrastructure in the 32settlements scattered throughoutLabrador. One main issue that thetrucking industry in Labrador hasapproached the Provincial Governmenton is that marine service is subsidizedwhile the trucking industry is not and thecost to transport goods by road will thusbe higher unless the ProvincialGovernment explores ways to addressthis discrepancy.Snow blowers on Route 510 between Lodge Bay and RedBayWinter Trail SystemLabrador also has an extensive wintertrails system, comprised of 1,366kilometers of transportation trails - 827on the south coast and 529 on the northcoast (plus an additional 1,024 km. ofrecreation trails). In 2005/06, theProvince allocated $240,00 0 to theLabrador Grooming Subsidy to providesupport to regions along the north andsouth coasts of Labrador formaintenance of these ‘winter roads’.The funds allow continued access forcommunities that do not have yearroundroad connections to other areasof Labrador.The subsidy is admin istered by theDepartment of Labrador and AboriginalAffairs. Grooming opera tions on thenorth and south coasts of Labrador arecurrently being overseen by LabradorWinter Trails Inc. (LWT) in collaborationwith community councils anddevelopment associations, whererelevant. LWT was formed in 1998 tooversee the development of a worldclass, quality winter trail systemthroughout Labrador.Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document 11


RailWhile Newfoundland and Labrador nolonger has a province-wide railwaysystem, the Iron Ore Company ofCanada (IOC) operates a 418 kilometerrailroad, the Quebec North Shore andLabrador Railway (QNS&L). TheQNS&L was built by IOC to move ironore from the remote Quebec andLabrador interior to Sept-Îles, but alsoprovides regularly scheduled, yearround passenger service to the area.Passenger service is subsidized by theFederal Government due to the remotenature of the communities along theroute, with 80 percent of the passengerstraveling between Sept-Îles andSchefferville, Quebec. Wabush Minesalso has an agreement with IOC for useQuebec North Shore and Labrador Railway (QSN&L)of the railway to transport its ore toSept-Îles.CONCLUSIONThis is an exciting time for Labrador withmany developments occurring in recentyears and many more planned for thefuture. As transportation infrastructuretakes many years to plan andimplement, now is the time to plan for 10to 15 years into the future. TheGovernment of Newfoundland andLabrador is committed to planning nowfor the future and invites you to help usin this endeavour!12 Development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document


YOUR INPUT IS IMPORTANT TO U S!We invite you to play a role in the development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan forLabrador. The Plan is intended to be forward looking and plan for Labrador’stransportation needs in 2009 and beyond - once all phases of the Trans LabradorHighway are complete. With this is mind, we would like you to tell us who you are,what area or point of view you represent, your challenges, and solutions so that we canbest plan to meet Labrador’s evolving transportation needs over the coming decades.We invite individuals or organizations to complete the attached Feedback Form orforward written submissions to the Department at the address below. Additionally, theDepartment will be consulting with key stakeholders over the coming weeks to obtaininput on the development of the Plan.Please provide us with your input! We look forward to hearing from you.Labrador Transportation PlanPolicy and Planning DivisionDepartment of Transportation and WorksPO Box 8700St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6Fax: 1-709-729-3418E-mail:ltp@gov.nl.caDevelopment of a Sustainable Transportation Plan for Labrador: Consultation Document 13


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FEEDBACK FORM1. Please start by telling us who you are and what area or sector you represent.2.In your opinion, what economic and/or social development will occur inLabrador over the next couple of decades and what demands will this place onthe transportation system and why?


3. What do you feel are some of the benefits of the current transportation system(road, marine and air) in Labrador?4. What do you feel are some of the disadvantages of the current transportationsystem (road, marine and air) in Labrador?5. How frequently do you travel on the Trans Labrador Highway?


6. Have you encountered any issues while traveling on the highway in Labrador,and if so, what are they?7. How frequently do you use the Labrador marine services?8. Have you encountered any issues while traveling utilizing marine services inLabrador, and if so, what are they?9. How frequently do you travel by air from Labrador?


10. Have you encountered any issues while traveling by air from Labrador, and ifso, what are they?11. If you were to institute changes to the current transportation system inLabrador to prepare for 2009 and beyond, what would they be and why?


12. Are there any other comments that you would like to share with us?THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO RESPOND.WE APPRECIATE YOUR INPUT!


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