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Results: 1 - 15 of 999
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2020-08-12 12:16 [p.2746]
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Mr. Speaker, last week the world was shaken by the devastating news of a massive explosion at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon.
On the morning of August 4, the people of Beirut were going about their normal daily routines without any inkling of what was to come. They were shaken from those routines by horrific explosions that devastated the city, claimed at least 171 lives and left over 6,000 wounded. People lost their homes, their businesses and their livelihoods. Entire neighbourhoods were destroyed. We understand that Lebanese officials continue to investigate the cause of the explosions, and we look forward to the outcome of those efforts.
Of course, many Canadians of Lebanese descent have family, friends and loved ones in Beirut and throughout Lebanon. Canada is proud to stand with our Lebanese community during this difficult time as they process the tragedy and remember and honour the victims. We have heard heartwarming stories of Lebanese Canadians joining forces to organize aid deliveries and to offer any support they can, which speaks to the spirit of the community.
We also extend our sympathies and condolences to the family and colleagues of Nazar Najarian, a Montreal businessman who was tragically killed, and to all those injured, including a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. We are praying for their speedy recovery.
As we know, much of the city is devastated and in dire need of help. I know that Canadians will answer the call. We will support the people of Lebanon as they work to clear the debris and search for people affected by this tragedy. Throughout their history, Lebanese people have endured great hardships and yet, through their incredible strength and resilience, they have always overcome them. I know that this time the outcome will be no different. Over the coming days, weeks and months, their strength will see them through this latest hardship.
On behalf of my family and the entire Conservative caucus, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident in Lebanon. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and we are here to provide any assistance we can to those recovering from this tragedy.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
View Heather McPherson Profile
2020-08-12 12:27 [p.2748]
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Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among the parties and, if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.
I move:
That the House recognize that reopening businesses and the economy entails taking far more action to support parents, especially women, who are worried about going back to work without knowing their kids will be safely cared for in child care and school, and therefore call on the government to increase its transfer to provinces and territories for affordable child care by $2 billion, transfer funding to provinces and territories to support a safe return to school, and work with all provinces and territories to ensure all federal funds are dedicated to the health and safety of children across the country, while ensuring the transfers to Quebec are unconditional.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
View Heather McPherson Profile
2020-08-12 12:30 [p.2748]
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Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order that was raised on July 21 by the MP for Barrie—Innisfil concerning the fifth and seventh reports of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. The member quoted the NDP's supplementary report, at page 95 of the seventh report, where it said:
...the NDP believes that the scope of this report wavered beyond its boundaries. The committee was tasked with finding solutions for remote participation of members specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some recommendations were outside of those lines, and while the NDP doesn’t disagree with the idea of exploring other options and preparing for the future, it does not consider those to be part of the work the committee was asked to do by the House of Commons.
We would like to clarify the intent of this specific quotation. The House of Commons tasks the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs with finding solutions for the remote participation of members. The seventh report included recommendations related to in-person voting options, which the committee did not oppose, although this was outside of the committee's mandate. It was the inclusion of these in-person options that we were referencing in the supplementary report and that we consider outside of the mandate assigned to the committee by the House.
We believe that all members of Parliament need to be included in the work of the House, including those who are immunocompromised or have loved ones at risk for COVID-19. In-person options do not take the travel that would be required for MPs who live farther from Ottawa into account when considering the risks associated with COVID-19. All members, regardless of where they live, have the right to have their voices, and through them those of their constituents, heard in Parliament. That is why the NDP supports the development of virtual tools so that we can all continue our important work of getting Canadians the help they need.
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View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
2020-08-12 13:01 [p.2754]
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Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Barrie—Innisfil.
When the request to provide security scanners for Canada's embassies came up, KPrime Technologies responded. However, instead of working with this Calgary-based company to provide sensitive security equipment, the Liberals went with a company that is mired in a major international bribery scandal in Taiwan, and that has links to the Chinese government. Here is the kicker: it was done at a higher cost than what my constituent's company would have charged. Why?
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View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
2020-08-12 13:03 [p.2754]
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Mr. Speaker, the minister is asking us to believe his party, which had no compunction going to the walls for SNC-Lavalin, a company that bribed Moammar Gadhafi's son with prostitutes. He is asking us to believe they knew nothing about a Calgary-based company's legitimate bid to provide sensitive security equipment for embassies, and instead went with a company that, by all intents and purposes, ignores the rules around international bribery scandals.
This is not just about forgetting something. This is ridiculous. When is that review going to be done? It should have been done ahead of time. I want to see it right away, and will it be made public?
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-08-12 13:15 [p.2756]
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Mr. Speaker, it is sort of amazing to hear that member talk about gender parity when the women over there, the most competent ones, all seem to get demoted, booted or have to do the king's dirty work. I do not know, but I guess it is all talk.
I will split my time with the member for Foothills today.
The Liberals are, no doubt, devastating families in Lakeland. There is no federal help for this year's agricultural emergency in my riding, with families facing a third year of damaged crops and a minister who hikes costs on them and dismisses farmers as being emotional. It has been 140 days since the finance minister promised help in hours for oil and gas, but not one application has been made or granted for large employers, not one mid-sized loan has been granted by the BDC, because the conditions are prohibitive, and the methane fund has yet to be launched.
Drillers and oil services are left out, fixed loans will not bridge the year and tens of thousands of Albertans are losing everything in real time, but in two weeks the Liberals were able to approve almost a billion dollars for the Prime Minister's friends at WE, who paid the Prime Minister's family members and campaigned for the Liberals. Moreover, a former Liberal MP recently scored a lucrative contract for ventilators before they were approved by Health Canada.
This is all bad, but what is worse is this: the Liberals' failures and corruption harm Canadian unity. Pierre Trudeau's strategist once said, “Screw the west, we'll take the rest”. It is clear that the second wave just might be worse.
Why are the Liberals intent on sabotaging Alberta?
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View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-08-12 13:18 [p.2757]
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Mr. Speaker, the agriculture minister's own department's stats have shown that 10,000 AgriInvest accounts have an account balance of zero and that 73,000 AgriInvest accounts have less than $10,000, yet during this pandemic she is telling Canadian farmers to empty accounts of money that they do not have before she is willing to lift a finger.
When is the agriculture minister going to start doing her job and develop a program specifically for Canadian farm families to help them through this pandemic and protect a vital pillar of our food supply chain?
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View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-08-12 13:19 [p.2757]
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Mr. Speaker, I am happy that the minister brought up the Canadian emergency business account. Actually, the Liberals have managed to give more money to their friends at WE in two weeks than they have to an entire industry of agriculture.
The minister knows that she keeps telling farmers to use the CEBA and that is all they are going to need. She knows most farmers do not qualify for that program because they use personal business accounts and most of their expenses do not qualify for the CEBA program.
When is the minister going to stop making excuses, stop finding every way possible not to help Canadian farmers, and expand the eligibility criteria for CEBA so that these farmers can access this program?
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View Matt Jeneroux Profile
CPC (AB)
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
2020-08-12 13:52 [p.2762]
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Mr. Chair, I will split my time with the member for Souris—Moose Mountain.
In January, we began asking questions about the government's handling of the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile. As we all know in the House, the government was slow. It was slow to develop any plan, including one to ensure that Canadians have immediate access to treatments and a vaccine when one is developed. In fact, Health Canada is currently struggling to lock down a supply of the only Health Canada-approved treatment.
Why is that? It is because, like the government's approach to borders, like its approach to PPE and like its approach to getting support to Canadians, the Liberals simply had no plan.
I will ask the minister today: What is the government's plan to ensure that Canadians will have access to the first scientifically proven treatment or vaccine?
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View Matt Jeneroux Profile
CPC (AB)
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
2020-08-12 13:54 [p.2763]
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Mr. Chair, Conservatives called on the government to shut down our borders to travellers as early as January. It took the government well into March to actually listen and put the health and safety of Canadians first. While we continue to support keeping our borders closed to travellers, Canadians have been separated from family members for months, with no end in sight.
Is the government working on a compassionate plan to expand the current definition of family, prioritize the health and safety of Canadians and ensure our borders remain closed to travellers?
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-08-12 16:14 [p.2785]
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Mr. Speaker, it has become clear that the Liberals are using the pandemic to shut down accountability and transparency, potentially to usher in big government dependency, while targeted support is not actually getting to Canadians who desperately need it.
In over five years, no province has borne the brunt of the Liberals' divisive, anti-business, anti-energy, anti-resource policies more than Alberta. The Liberals outright campaigned against Albertans and the oil and gas in 2019. Now the government is using COVID-19 to finish what it started, the destruction of Canadian oil and gas. What is crazy is that the finance minister and the natural resources minister keep acknowledging how bad it is for Canadian oil and gas now that the OPEC cartel has dropped prices, disproportionately harming Canadian energy. While demand has declined due to the pandemic, with no plan to go forward for Canadian energy, and the programs they have promised to help are complete failures, Albertans can be forgiven for concluding that the lack of support is by design or intentional.
Eighty-five days after the finance minister promised help in “hours or days”, the specific help for small and medium-sized oil and gas companies has never actually happened, but just got merged into a generic mid-sized loan program. However, a medium-sized company needs $100 million in annual revenue to qualify for the program. I guess the Liberals have a different definition of a medium-sized business than the rest of us do, or are completely oblivious to the damage in the sector so far. Even if a company does qualify, the interest rate is higher than that of the banks.
The large employer program has interest rates that rise to 15% by year five, which are payday loan rates, not emergency assistance. Furthermore, the small business loan amounts are too small for oil and gas suppliers, and when drillers face one or two years of zero revenue, short-term and fixed loans are really of no use.
The $1.7 billion for orphaned wells is a drop in the bucket meant to create 5,000 jobs for a sector that has lost more than 200,000 jobs since 2015 and 20,000 since the pandemic started, with no end in sight. Orphaned wells have increased by 300% since 2015, precisely because of Liberal policies that have bankrupted operators.
The Liberals put the big banks in charge of applying for most of the BDC and EDC COVID programs, but banks are refusing because of the risk-sharing provisions, or to avoid doing work with a program from which they will not profit.
The reality is that Liberal ministers have been told all of this directly, repeatedly, privately and publicly, so their lack of action seems intentional and malicious. These Liberals are either oblivious or do not care about the damage they are doing to the fabric of our country, giving billions of Canadian tax dollars to their elite cronies and entitled, connected buddies, or benefiting Liberal friends or families, while everyday Canadians are struggling.
On a personal note, let me say that it is incredibly sad that as their federal representative, often the first thing I hear my constituents say to me these days is that it is time for Alberta to leave Canada. It is not just that of a vocal minority, but a growing view in Lakeland, and I believe it is my duty to express the scale and scope of that frustration and anger. People are not just talking about the concept, but about the mechanics, which should be particularly troubling given the unprecedented health, fiscal and economic crisis Alberta faces now. I guess it does not make the news because we are from a rural area or the Prairies, which is easy to ignore in Ottawa, but these Liberals have destroyed the faith of many Albertans in the federal government to the extent they have given up on the idea of Canada. That should shake every person in this chamber and everyone listening. It did not happen overnight, but it accumulated after five years of targeted attacks on Lakeland and Alberta, on federal jobs in my riding, on the oil and gas sector, on rural communities, on farmers and farm families. Cutting so many Albertans out of COVID-19 emergency supports is only the latest example.
From day one, the Liberals have gone out of their way to destroy livelihoods in Lakeland and Alberta, ignoring hundreds of thousands of job losses, spikes in bankruptcies, suicides and family breakdowns. They are sacrificing families and the future of their children for ideology and partisan gain.
There is a serious agricultural emergency in Lakeland after an early snow trapped crops in the field last fall. This year's spring harvest was followed by excessive rains that flooded fields, prevented seeding or drowned crops, wiping out farm incomes for a third straight year. Liberal-caused uncertainty in export markets and the pandemic made things even more complicated for all producers. To make matters worse, the Liberals hiked their carbon tax by 50% on April 1, right in the middle of the pandemic, increasing costs for farmers who did manage to get their crops off the field and making literally everything more expensive in every sector of agriculture.
Of course, no industry has endured the single-minded sabotage and vilification of the Liberal government like oil and gas. The Prime Minister tells the world he wants to phase out Canada's most valuable export and largest private sector investor in the economy. The Liberals blocked, delayed and cancelled infrastructure for Canadian oil and gas, not for the benefit of the planet, because Canadian oil and gas is the most socially and environmentally responsible in the world, but in order to burnish the Prime Minister's celebrity status in the global jet-setting United Nations crowd. It makes no sense.
Developing all of Canada's resources and exporting Canadian natural gas will do far more to address global environmental challenges than anything the Liberals have imposed on Canada, and in particular on the prairies.
After the 2019 election, Liberal campaigners admitted they vilified the oil and gas sector. They put their electoral gain ahead of the country. Clearly, the Prime Minister has learned from his father's campaign tactics. As Pierre Trudeau's strategist said when justifying the pillaging of Alberta's earnings, “Screw the West, we'll take the rest.”
Liberal cabinet ministers and Liberal MPs actively campaign against opportunities for Albertans that would benefit all of Canada, such as the Teck Frontier project, and have supported funding pipeline protesters and petitioned against oil and gas projects that would benefit Alberta and all of Canada. It has created an inherent animosity that goes even beyond changing this Prime Minister and this government.
The Liberals and the establishment's ambivalence to the thousands of mom-and-pop oil and gas suppliers shutting down in western Canada in real time, the lack of long-term assistance measures, the domino effect for financial support for producers to get drilling started again have been heard loud and clear in Lakeland, make no mistake.
For the first time since 1965, Alberta will receive more money from the federal government in 2020 than it sends. For 55 continuous years, wealth generated by Alberta strengthened the rest of Canada. The NEP in the 1980s under Pierre Trudeau took the most, at over $30 billion a year, which has since declined, but since 2005, Alberta contributed more than $20 billion a year than it received, which is more than any other province. Structural changes are needed to make Canada work for Alberta and to level the playing field. It would be good for all of Canada to value all of the regions in our country.
The Liberals are using COVID-19 as a so-called opportunity to re-engineer Canada's economy in ways that will further alienate and impoverish the west, and they are supported by their allies on the left.
Alberta punches above its weight in Canada. It is not an accident of geography or natural resources or demographics. It is not a coincidence. It is because generations of Albertans and Albertans by choice created an advantage by combining hard work, innovation, personal responsibility and free-market principles and policies to create private sector opportunities and a growing economy that attracted the best, the brightest and the youngest from all across Canada and the world to work and raise their families. It is free markets and free enterprise policies that propelled Alberta's economy to create nine out of every 10 new full-time jobs in Canada as recently as 2014 and to be a net contributor to Canada continuously for more than half a century.
The worst damage has always been done by federal intrusions into Alberta's natural resources policy, such as the NEP and now the dismantling of oil and gas through bills like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, the blocking of pipelines, other regulations and roadblocks, barriers to exploration and to drilling, the carbon tax and now the failure of COVID support programs. Other provinces and regions have similar natural resource assets and opportunities, but they have not taken the same approach. It was the private sector and Alberta's entrepreneurial risk-taking innovation, combined with positive federal and provincial fiscal policies, that unlocked remarkable opportunities in Alberta for all of Canada.
After the 2015 election, in my first words in the House of Commons, I said, “A strong Alberta means a strong Canada.” It is really a tragedy for my riding and for our country that the Liberals have done everything they can to undermine that reality. On election night, the Prime Minister said he heard Alberta and that he would do better. He has not. My constituents are watching everything they built for generations collapse in front of them, and the federal government keeps asking them to sacrifice more by accepting one more review, one more regulation and one more tax. It is suffocating Lakeland, and because of Alberta's outside contribution to Canada, it will suffocate Canada's economic recovery.
The perspective that Canada does not work for Alberta is unfortunately pervasive in Lakeland. As elected representatives, we owe a duty of more than platitudes about our positions on industries, laws and taxes, more than politics for personal and partisan gain. This is obvious to freedom-loving Albertans and Albertans by choice. In Lakeland, it is a self-evident truth that the status quo is neither acceptable nor sustainable.
If anything I have said in the chamber today makes colleagues angry or uncomfortable, I hope it weighs on them. I hope it keeps them up at night, like it does me. I hope they stop enabling and helping the most corrupt, entitled and out-of-touch Prime Minister, who is doing all this damage to our country.
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-08-12 16:27 [p.2787]
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Mr. Speaker, I guess that captures the irreconcilable difference we may reach. I would invite the member to come to Lakeland and try that baloney on any one of my constituents. The point I am trying to make is that the sentiment I outlined in my remarks crosses demographics, crosses ages and crosses partisan lines.
This concept that the country is not working and needs to either get a better deal for Alberta or explore other options is being talked about in my very rural and very Conservative riding of Lakeland by people who voted NDP in the last two provincial elections and by people who voted Liberal in the 2015 election. They have come up to me and told me that. I would suggest that the response from the senior member, a person who has been here for a long time, to stand up to yell at me and berate me, suggesting that what I have said is invalid and not true, is exactly the problem.
I am a first-generation Albertan, actually. My mother was from Newfoundland and my father was from Nova Scotia, just so the member understands the personal context. His comment that the government has given more money to Albertans than other governments before, or whatever it is, which is just like when the Liberals promised they were going to be the most transparent and accountable government in the history of the universe, is a fundamental misunderstanding of what people in my riding want out of the country and a fundamental misunderstanding of the way they hope government operates.
I only speak on behalf of Albertans in Lakeland, although I suspect some of my colleagues from the province would say the same thing. Albertans in Lakeland just want to be able to do their work, live their lives and contribute to Canada, but it is the current federal government, through successive policies, laws, tax hikes, global messages and domestic messages, that has blocked oil and gas development in Alberta and caused alienation and frustration. No amount of peacocking, yelling, screaming, shouting me down and berating me will change that fact. People better get that message and get it quickly, because it is these Liberals, and their anti-energy, anti-Alberta, anti-west leftist allies, who are putting the country at risk. They need to look at themselves in the mirror for the sentiment I am speaking about on behalf of the people who sent me here to do this job.
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-08-12 16:31 [p.2788]
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Mr. Speaker, I absolutely agree. I think the Prime Minister, the cabinet and every Liberal member who enable mix-ups; scandal after scandal; ethics investigation after ethics investigation, which have literally never happened in the history of our country; and who cover for them; read off their notes; and do the dirty work for the kings demonstrate, like the member said, over and over again that there is one standard or rule for the Liberals and some benefits only for them, though only certain things the Liberals can take advantage of, and then there is the reality for everyone else.
I also want to thank the member and acknowledge his raising of this issue of indigenous businesses. In Lakeland, some of the businesses and communities that are hurt disproportionately because of the destructive anti-energy policies and programs of the last five years and the failure of the current COVID-19 programs are first nations and Métis communities. Among the barrage of reports of businesses collapsing at an exponentially increasing rate over the last several months, one situation was that a first nations-owned energy-producing company and community stopped producing for the first time in its history in my riding of Lakeland.
When I am talking about the COVID-19 programs' failure to support oil and gas businesses, I am also talking about COVID-19 programs' failure to support indigenous businesses and workers. For the first time, this community now has to figure out a way to cover its costs when it used to cover all of its programs and community services by its own source of revenue from its energy company. Now, it faces a completely uncertain future and an utter fiscal crisis.
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View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2020-08-12 16:34 [p.2788]
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Mr. Speaker, I do not think the debate is about who is and is not federalist and who is and is not nationalist. The sentiment in Alberta, and all members of the House from Alberta know, is strongly against the government. What adds fuel to the fire is the scandals that the government is going through.
Can the member for Lakeland tell us how this is contributing to the position of Albertans when it comes to the government?
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-08-12 16:34 [p.2788]
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Mr. Speaker, it is huge. It is exactly part of the problem. Albertans cannot understand why the government roadblocks or harms them, yet has billions of Albertans' very own tax dollars that they generated to hand out to the Liberals' buddies, cronies, spouses, family members, husbands or dogs. I do not know what will be next.
One of the saddest things, getting back to what my Liberal colleague said to me earlier, is that it absolutely is a direct result of the Liberal government, this collapsing faith within Alberta, in the structures of the country. When I go to Atlantic Canada, for example, the people are deeply concerned by what is happening in Alberta, because it impacts them.
I remember the United We Roll convoy that came to Ottawa. While the Liberals were suggesting that they were racists and bigots, what was actually happening was that people from Ontario towns were coming out and giving out pie and Tim Hortons and waving flags. There were people from right across the country.
British Columbians want the pipeline, even though their governments pretend—
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