Speaker: The hon. Premier. 100th Anniversary of Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada Premier Ghiz: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. First, I’d like to recognize in the gallery today Myron Yates, the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Janna MacKay, case worker, and Mary Claire Fox, a case worker, as well. The purpose of my minister’s statement today is to recognize Big Brothers Big Sisters on their 100th anniversary here in Canada. I had the privilege of being a Big Brother for a number of years. I still keep in touch with my little brother a few times a year. I wish I could do a little bit more, but I’ve got young kids at home now. I know that the hon. Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning has been a huge supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Ontario, and here, serving on boards and being a mentor. I know our caucus participates on a yearly basis in their bowling fundraiser. I know the opposition every year participates in the bowling fundraiser. It’s a great organization here in our province. For the past 100 years this organization has been a leader in providing young people with mentors to help them reach their full potential. In so doing it has changed the course of many lives and enriched our communities. In Prince Edward Island Big Brothers Big Sisters has been active for the past 38 years. It presently serves over 250 people each year. Its many volunteers have dedicated themselves to providing life-changing relationships, creating friendships, trust and empowerment. These relationships have transformed the lives of young people they serve. It is working. This year the national Centre for Addiction and Mental Health released the findings of a five-year study on the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada. It found that girls with mentors were four times less likely to be bullies or get into fights. It found that boys with mentors were three times less likely to suffer from peer pressure related anxiety and had fewer emotional problems. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. In that same spirit, the staff and volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters in this province are making an outstanding contribution to young people and making a positive difference in their lives. They give of their time and resources to fulfill their responsibilities and our province is a better place because of that. I ask all members of this Legislature to join me in extending congratulations and best wishes to Big Brothers Big Sisters as it celebrates this milestone in its history of helping to make a difference in the lives of young people across our country. Thank you very much.
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