Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to talk about an organization in my home community that has gone from the brink of poverty to a reorganized, prospering, aggressive operation. Mr. Speaker, a couple of short years ago, the Rae-Edzo Friendship Centre was having financial problems. That of course came from the severe cuts that were introduced by the federal government. It got to the point that this organization had a difficult time to find a payroll for the remaining staff or to find the volunteers to help with bingos.
The board realized the need to reorganize and were able to do this with as little pain to staff as possible. It has taken about two years to rebuild but they are now working for the community and providing many excellent programs for all ages. They will be expanding their services in the near future to include bus service to and from Yellowknife for passengers as well as freight. They will be supplying all local businesses with freight shipped out of Yellowknife, mail and courier services, all on a daily basis. Other areas that they are working on include an Internet service centre, which will allow members of the community to come and use the centre's computers and to surf the world by web or to find information they require, along with the ability to provide computer instruction, as well as for the general public to have access.
Mr. Speaker, the Friendship Centre has also recognized that, in ways, bingo is a form of addiction and is slowly removing itself from operating bingos and moving towards more community-orientated groups, still providing addiction counselling services, and now are starting to provide other very important services that are also helping the residents of Rae-Edzo.
Mr. Speaker, this organization is becoming a very positive figure in the community and also within the region. It is good to see that, with a bit of imagination and hard work, an organization like this can come back and provide some very interesting and helpful services. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.