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Underground UBC-Broadway SkyTrain needs to be regional priority


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#1 mr.x

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:53 PM

A great read: http://www.vancitybu...line-ridership/


Explains why UBC-Broadway SkyTrain is worth the money and needs to be done now, and why it should take priority over Surrey. Very captivating read.

Edited by mr.x, 04 March 2013 - 11:05 PM.

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#2 Hyzer

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:02 PM

I want one down Fraser Highway to Langley before UBC. Maybe if UBC payed for like half or something, then do it first. But if not...
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#3 Ghostsof1915

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:06 PM

My question is if half my money I pay in gas per litre is taxes. And it goes to the government, and there's a surcharge from parking going to government where is this tax revenue going?

It sure isn't going to improve transit.

Edited by Ghostsof1915, 04 March 2013 - 11:07 PM.

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#4 Hyzer

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:10 PM

My question is if half my money I pay in gas per litre is taxes. And it goes to the government, and there's a surcharge from parking going to government where is this tax revenue going?

It sure isn't going to improve transit.


It's lining good 'ol Christy's wallet.
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#5 bolt

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:47 PM

It's lining good 'ol Christy's wallet.


Balanced budget thanks to user fees and crown corp fire sales
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#6 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:18 AM

Such a great read. This has so many long term benefits to it. Even with student's not getting housing at UBC, this would help a lot. I've never understood why the eastern side of Vancouver never had skytrains linking.
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#7 Lancaster

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:28 AM

You can always tell whether a city is truly world class by how good the public transit is. Vancouver is far from world-class.

I also am never able to understand why it's so costly in both time and money to build transit in Vancouver. I go Japan often and a lot of their stuff are from the 80/90's and yet they're still way better than whatever that was built for the Canada Line. Wouldn't it be better to just buy the stuff from Japan, thus eliminating the R&D involved? We already know their standards are already higher than here anyways.
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#8 Wetcoaster

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:42 AM

According to Province Metro View columnist Jon Ferry now is not the time to be spending on unaffordable megaprojects as the $2.5-billion-and-counting Broadway SkyTrain Line while the economy remains in a weakened state and recovery is still on the horizon.

With the economy still fragile and an NDP government in waiting, the last words anyone in the real work world wants to hear are: let's raise taxes.


But that's what Metro Vancouver mayors and councillors seem desperate to do, or at least to get Victoria and Ottawa to do for them. And, boy, do they seem in a pissy mood.


On Thursday, the Mayors Council on Regional Transportation was tearing a strip off B.C. Transportation Minister Mary Polak over her understandable pre-election reluctance to give the green light to the highly unpopular road/carbon/sales taxes the mayors want to impose.


"It appears that political expediency rather than sound governance practice is the underlying premise," huffed Richard Walton, the North Vancouver District mayor who doubles as the council's chairman, claiming the current TransLink management setup left him and his pals virtually powerless.


Then on Friday, Metro Vancouver chairman Greg Moore, the Port Coquitlam mayor, and Vancouver Coun. Ray Louie, the metro vice-chairman, whined to Ottawa about a 25-year-long "infrastructure deficit" of "rusting bridges, crumbling roads, crowded buses and subways" -- saying Metro Vancouver supports a national municipal call to fix it with "stable, predictable, long-term funding."


And what will be the source of that stable cash flow? Taxes in one form or another, of course.


Moore and Louie insist they're not asking for money for "frills or nonessentials." But in recent years B.C. municipalities have been far from models of financial restraint, with civic spending far outstripping inflation.

Indeed, several of the 22 metro municipalities still seem to be on spending sprees.


Or at least they're frittering away so much of taxpayers' money on big, fat municipal paycheques and wasteful green schemes they appear to have little left for the basics, such as filling potholes and making roads safer and less congested for the majority of road users, not just the cycling in-crowd.


The B.C. Liberals, meanwhile, may have screwed up many things over the past dozen years. But no one could fault them for a lack of major transportation projects -- from the new Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges to the Canada and Evergreen transit lines and the revamped Sea-to-Sky Highway.


As for the metro mayors' complaints about TransLink's weird governance setup, they've conveniently forgotten the reason it was introduced in 2007 was that then-transportation minister Kevin Falcon was fed up with their constant bickering over the Canada Line ... as were most ratepayers.


The bottom line now is we're living in an age of austerity, and there's only so much money to go around. And taxpayers don't care whether it's municipal, regional, provincial or federal bureaucracies trying to extract it from them. They just want them all to stop.


So, instead of hyping such unaffordable megaprojects as the $2.5-billion-and-counting Broadway SkyTrain Line, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and his ilk must ditch their caviar transit schemes and dreams ... and their juicy metro committee attendance fees.


Or at least they should put them on hold until the real economy, not the green dream machine, is firmly back on track.

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#9 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:40 AM

John Ferry is a fool and it's clear from line one. During down times it's the BEST time to build mega projects. Not only are they the cheapest to build at those times the contribution to the economy is maximised.

That said if Vancouver wants to have a transit line perhaps Vancouver should be paying the Lion's share.

With everyone getting a chip in their car not too hard to implement a congestion charge for the downtown core.

Simply charge 2-3 bucks to enter the downtown core during all the peak times of transit. Use all that money to fund the extension.

Would it get it all the way to UBC? Probably not, but it would certainly move it along the road.
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#10 inane

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:50 AM

Ferry bitches and moans about everything, he's just an old ignorant clown.

KPMG just released a study regarding this: http://www.myuna.ca/...-272013-pdf.pdf
It makes sense economically on top of all the other good reasons.

And here's a report on office vacancy near transit: http://www.joneslang...ansit-Index.pdf
Office space close to transit has a far lower vacancy rate than office space without access to rapid transit.
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#11 J.R.

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:20 AM

My question is if half my money I pay in gas per litre is taxes. And it goes to the government, and there's a surcharge from parking going to government where is this tax revenue going?

It sure isn't going to improve transit.

It's lining good 'ol Christy's wallet.


It's called "health care" kids. A cavernous black hole for your tax dollars.

Really what needs to happen is a complete system overhaul of government. There is so much wasteful bureaucracy and inefficiency in government and government programs (health care being the biggest) that tax dollars simply get burned up before they even get to the programs/people.

There's plenty of tax dollars to do many things including health care and transit. We just need a more efficient means to apply those dollars.

And I agree, if we had properly managed finances both at the city and provincial levels in the GVRD, now would be the perfect time to be building up infrastructure of things like UBC, Coquitlam and Surrey/Langley sky train.

Edited by J.R., 05 March 2013 - 10:21 AM.

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#12 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:59 AM

Ferry bitches and moans about everything, he's just an old ignorant clown.

KPMG just released a study regarding this: http://www.myuna.ca/...-272013-pdf.pdf
It makes sense economically on top of all the other good reasons.

And here's a report on office vacancy near transit: http://www.joneslang...ansit-Index.pdf
Office space close to transit has a far lower vacancy rate than office space without access to rapid transit.


There's no need to justify the cost of a line to UBC (or at least to Arbutus) since the Bline alone carries enough people to justify a transit line already.

Just need to find the money in a politically passable way.

Ergo put a congestion charge downtown to pay for the sky train west expansion. Should be able to get to Arbutus at least with a downtown toll.

And for the south of Fraser as we upgrade all the crossings (next up Putello which should make a handy profit that can go to transit) we start by putting in the ever delayed Bline service down Fraser and King George highways and then build from there as is the standard we have followed all over the lower mainland.

To get extra money and make for some neat bus routes connect Bridgeview Drive in Surrey with King Edward in Coquitlam and end the where the new Putello should go option by building both. That way people doing from Surrey to Coquitlam will have no reason to go via New West and people going form New West to Surrey would have no reason to go via Coquitlam.

And of course as you go West fixing the Alex Fraser and the Tunnel you get excess revenue put towards further expanding transit.

And of course if we need more bridge tolls you build the Vancouver Bypass connecting Tannery area of the SFPR up to Boundary road via the number 8 road corridor and put a toll on that as well.


Since tolling is on the table one would think the province might consider tossing us a dime or two from the Port Mann tolls as well. If they don't we can always undercut them with our new bridges.....
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#13 22Sedinery33

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:04 AM

Very good read indeed, hopefully more people come to realize that this needs to be done now :)
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#14 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

Very good read indeed, hopefully more people come to realize that this needs to be done now :)


How do you plan on paying for it?

Remember, angry voters hate taxes....
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#15 inane

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:18 AM

How do you plan on paying for it?

Remember, angry voters hate taxes....


Voters hate taxes, so what? We tax them anyway. We need leaders, not pussies.
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#16 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

Voters hate taxes, so what? We tax them anyway. We need leaders, not pussies.


Man up and run on your platform of taxes to fund transit then. See how well that works out for you.

Heck, if the mayors want tax money so bad they can raise property taxes (a power they already have) to get the money. But they don't. Is EVERY mayor in the region a "feline" as you put it? Not one leader in the bunch?

Or are they just not stupid enough to cut their nose to spite the face?
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#17 inane

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:27 AM

Man up and run on your platform of taxes to fund transit then. See how well that works out for you.

Heck, if the mayors want tax money so bad they can raise property taxes (a power they already have) to get the money. But they don't. Is EVERY mayor in the region a "feline" as you put it? Not one leader in the bunch?

Or are they just not stupid enough to cut their nose to spite the face?


This is a regional problem, if the mayor of Port Coquitlam raises taxes to fund transit, it doesn't make a difference if the others don't. We have a regional body (Translink) for a reason. The problem is that regional body is at the mercy of the Province who is just sitting on their ass doing nothing. Which is worse than anything because not only does nothing get done, they leave the possibility that something might get done. I think if the Provincial government, whoever it was said 'we're going to raise taxes by x and it is going to go directly to transit' people would be ok with that. THe problem is you raise taxes that go into general revenue that just disappear into a black hole.

Or don't even raise taxes, take gambling money, smoking tax, small toll on all the roads, whatever, there are many ways to get the funding. There's always money when you need to expand roads--it's never a problem to find billions for new pet road projects. Why is that?
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#18 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:35 AM

This is a regional problem, if the mayor of Port Coquitlam raises taxes to fund transit, it doesn't make a difference if the others don't. We have a regional body (Translink) for a reason. The problem is that regional body is at the mercy of the Province who is just sitting on their ass doing nothing. Which is worse than anything because not only does nothing get done, they leave the possibility that something might get done. I think if the Provincial government, whoever it was said 'we're going to raise taxes by x and it is going to go directly to transit' people would be ok with that. THe problem is you raise taxes that go into general revenue that just disappear into a black hole.

Or don't even raise taxes, take gambling money, smoking tax, small toll on all the roads, whatever, there are many ways to get the funding. There's always money when you need to expand roads--it's never a problem to find billions for new pet road projects. Why is that?


If you want to fix the black hole I would recommend major overhauls to healthcare. Get over the obsession with the US and think Sweden or Germany. Good luck with that btw.

The last "pet road project" ended up creating a (soon to be massive inflow of money) toll.

Ergo my plan to put in profitable road projects (don't even ask the province) as a way to generate income.

You will never convince the province to put in policies that piss off the majority of people (drivers) that doesn't at least have a silver lining for them. As noted people expect silver linings at no cost at all.
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#19 inane

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:44 AM

If you want to fix the black hole I would recommend major overhauls to healthcare. Get over the obsession with the US and think Sweden or Germany. Good luck with that btw.

The last "pet road project" ended up creating a (soon to be massive inflow of money) toll.

Ergo my plan to put in profitable road projects (don't even ask the province) as a way to generate income.

You will never convince the province to put in policies that piss off the majority of people (drivers) that doesn't at least have a silver lining for them. As noted people expect silver linings at no cost at all.


One of the latest pet projects has a toll, SFPR does not. Hwy 1 does not.

Your strategy if build build build roads to pay for future transit is just stupid. You lock the region into car dependancy. You ignore reports like I linked that state office space wants transit, residential wants transit. You're stuck in the 50's Ron. Time to move on.
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#20 Blame Obama

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:48 AM

abby sky train please!!!!!
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#21 theo5789

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:49 AM

You can always tell whether a city is truly world class by how good the public transit is.  Vancouver is far from world-class.

I also am never able to understand why it's so costly in both time and money to build transit in Vancouver.  I go Japan often and a lot of their stuff are from the 80/90's and yet they're still way better than whatever that was built for the Canada Line.  Wouldn't it be better to just buy the stuff from Japan, thus eliminating the R&D involved?  We already know their standards are already higher than here anyways.


I don't have stats or anything for certain, but I'll venture a guess in that it's because of labour costs with the unions. Therefore the budget is balanced by cost-cutting everything else of quality. As for time, if you're being paid well and by the hour, would you be in a rush to finish quickly?
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#22 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:49 AM

One of the latest pet projects has a toll, SFPR does not. Hwy 1 does not.

Your strategy if build build build roads to pay for future transit is just stupid. You lock the region into car dependancy. You ignore reports like I linked that state office space wants transit, residential wants transit. You're stuck in the 50's Ron. Time to move on.


Your stuck in fantasy land. Time to get real.

Using tolls as a demand management tool is not a path to locking a region into car dependency. Especially when the (potentially very large) profits from these bridges is used to fund transit alternatives.
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#23 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:52 AM

abby sky train please!!!!!


Ya right.

Maybe, (and I really mean maybe) if they put in a Fraser Highway Bline you could have one every hour or so go all the way to Abbottsford. Maybe.

And in that scenario not only would just getting to Langley mean a fourth transit zone I would put Abby in the fifth one so if you were going all the way downtown I would say it would be about a 12 dollar fare one way.
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#24 inane

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:52 AM

Your stuck in fantasy land. Time to get real.

Using tolls as a demand management tool is not a path to locking a region into car dependency. Especially when the (potentially very large) profits from these bridges is used to fund transit alternatives.


Tolls as a demand management tool is fine, building a whole swath of new roads to get those tolls is locking the region into car dependancy. The potential profit you speak of that you might get in 30 years after you finish paying off the initial investment...how does that help now?

Your fantasy land vision new Fraser river crossings--I mean come on, that's just unbelievable.

Read the reports. Business wants transit now. Customers want transit now. Residential construction wants transit now.
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#25 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:01 PM

Tolls as a demand management tool is fine, building a whole swath of new roads to get those tolls is locking the region into car dependancy. The potential profit you speak of that you might get in 30 years after you finish paying off the initial investment...how does that help now?

Your fantasy land vision new Fraser river crossings--I mean come on, that's just unbelievable.

Read the reports. Business wants transit now. Customers want transit now. Residential construction wants transit now.


?? You know how financing works right? Net present value calculations? Basic business models? Bueller? Bueller?

I would hardly call a few new crossings a swath. Puttello needs to be replaced. It will cost about 1-1.50 in tolls to replace it. If you charge 3 bucks that's a massive profit.

Putting in a second bridge to Coquitlam would require a shockingly small amount of road. It would create profits similar to the Port Man bridge.

I would start there. And the province will be doing something with the Massey no matter who gets elected. See if a piece of that pie can go towards transit as well.

I would agree that a Vancouver bypass route and fix to the Alex Fraser would be farther off plans but eventually the south Fraser screenline will be closed.
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#26 Perfect From Now On

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:03 PM

I don't see this happening anytime soon. If the liberals lose the election and their books get opened up we will likely find a whole lot more debt than is reported in the budget and there wont be any money to go around for projects like this, or much else.
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#27 inane

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:04 PM

?? You know how financing works right? Net present value calculations? Basic business models? Bueller? Bueller?

I would hardly call a few new crossings a swath. Puttello needs to be replaced. It will cost about 1-1.50 in tolls to replace it. If you charge 3 bucks that's a massive profit.

Putting in a second bridge to Coquitlam would require a shockingly small amount of road. It would create profits similar to the Port Man bridge.

I would start there. And the province will be doing something with the Massey no matter who gets elected. See if a piece of that pie can go towards transit as well.

I would agree that a Vancouver bypass route and fix to the Alex Fraser would be farther off plans but eventually the south Fraser screenline will be closed.


Monkey with the numbers all you want, spending billions on more roads (which in turn require more roads and other infrastructure and then require ongoing maintenance) is not a solution. Not when everyone other than the Port is asking for more transit.
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#28 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:11 PM

Monkey with the numbers all you want, spending billions on more roads (which in turn require more roads and other infrastructure and then require ongoing maintenance) is not a solution. Not when everyone other than the Port is asking for more transit.


Spending 1-1.5 billion on a bridge that is falling down to generate enough revenue to service a debt of 3 billion isn't monkeying with numbers they are real. Look at the Putello reports.

Doing a similar thing to Coquitlam (which would require under 2 km of roads including the bridge look at how Bridview and especially King Edward are big roads that dead end perfectly aligned with each other on the other side of the river) should do about the same. If it didn't generate a profit then you don't do it. It's that simple.

I have no doubt people want more transit but the only thing I have seen that people are willing to accept in terms of fees to pay for it are in the form of tolls on new bridges. And they barely accept that.
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#29 ronthecivil

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:20 PM

I don't see this happening anytime soon. If the liberals lose the election and their books get opened up we will likely find a whole lot more debt than is reported in the budget and there wont be any money to go around for projects like this, or much else.


No matter who wins the election the changing demographics of our country (more old people not working generating income but instead costing money via entitlements and healthcare) will require much higher levels of taxation just to get the crappy levels of service we currently get.

I would expect there to be worse levels of service and higher taxes unless something is changed. Dramatically.
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#30 Perfect From Now On

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:28 PM

No matter who wins the election the changing demographics of our country (more old people not working generating income but instead costing money via entitlements and healthcare) will require much higher levels of taxation just to get the crappy levels of service we currently get.

I would expect there to be worse levels of service and higher taxes unless something is changed. Dramatically.


Yah it's going to be quite a crunch.

As for infrastructure investments, I hope that the government drops the P3 model in any future projects, I still fail to see how such a model provides any benefit, besides keeping debt off the books by calling it "contract obligations"

Edited by Perfect From Now On, 05 March 2013 - 12:30 PM.

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