MADD Canada

MADD Canada

May 30, 2006 10:06 ET

General Motors and MADD Canada on cross-country school tour

High energy multi-media show makes direct appeal to Oshawa students today -- Nearly 600,000 students across Canada experienced the production 'Truth' this year Attention: Automotive Editor, Education Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor OSHAWA, ONTARIO --(CCNMatthews - May 30, 2006) - The MADD Canada and General Motors of Canada road-show Truth pulled into Oshawa today and was experienced by hundreds of students at O'Neill Collegiate & Vocational Institute. Since the beginning of this school year, this three-screen, music-thumping, high-energy production has been seen by 600,000 high school students from Victoria to St. John's - and all stops between.

The message is blaring -- and sobering: alcohol- and drug-impaired driving can result in crashes, tragedies, and ever-lasting mourning and regret.

The show has been an unqualified success explains Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's CEO. "With the support of General Motors of Canada, we have been able to take this production from coast to coast. Truth has been seen by more Canadian students this year than any single show has with our past tours. Our partnership with GM is going a long way to educating the next generation of drivers about safe and sober driving habits and making the right choices."

Canadian statistics for alcohol- and drug-impaired driving are alarming: One in every eight deaths and injuries in road crashes is a teenager. Tragically, road crashes are the number one cause of death of youth age 15 to 19 in Canada - and alcohol is involved in 45% of the time. Recent statistics tell us that over two out of every five people who die in crashes involving alcohol are 24 years of age and under.

These are statistics that trouble both MADD Canada and GM. The statistics are the motivating factor for the organizations to produce a tour de force each year. "We want to reverse these trends and to reduce the life loss and injuries sustained by Canadian youth in impaired driving crashes. We will do so by taking our important impaired driving message directly into high schools, and presenting our case through moving and powerful multimedia assembly shows," Mr. Murie comments.

Stew Low, Director, Public Relation - General Motors of Canada said, "We are encouraged by recent statistics that show students are less likely to drink and drive, or accept a ride with a drinking driver after viewing Truth. Students are making wise choices and are leading the cultural shift away from impaired driving. While the statistics tell us impaired driving is still occurring, less young people are involved. They need to help us continue the change in society".

Truth at O'Neill Collegiate

Truth is a show tailored for young Canadians and the realities they face in our modern world. O'Neill Collegiate students were challenged to question their perceptions about drugs, alcohol and driving. Through stories and interviews depicting real-life consequences, the show promotes positive choices and healthy behaviours. The production is hosted by two of Canada's most prominent artists Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace and Chantal Kreviazuk as the narrators.

MADD Canada sees their high school multi-media assembly shows as a key ingredient to their education and awareness drive with young Canadians. Mr. Murie says, "The social costs, human tragedy and productive years of life lost among youth from road crashes are significant and preventable. So, we hope that our productions encourage youth to take a close look at their values and perceptions, revealing common harmful beliefs amongst teenagers."

"We're particularly proud of Truth for it effectively brings the harsh realities of impaired driving to the screen and makes a powerful comment for teenagers to consider."

Mr. Murie adds, "MADD Canada is committed to developing new video productions on a annual basis to address the evolving issues of impaired driving. Our hope is that we'll make an indelible impression on young Canadians - and they will not become an impaired driving statistic."

MADD Canada expressed appreciation to the production's Title Sponsor General Motors for its continuing sponsorship of the show and the tour. "With GM's encouragement and support, our hopes are being realized -- and more and more young Canadians are receiving this important message to help them make the right decisions," says Mr. Murie.

"We are very pleased with GM's continued support of our efforts and their contribution to making next year's production as much of a success as we've had with Truth," he adds.

Alcohol- and drug-impaired driving and Canadians

-- A 2001 Student Drug Use Survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that a sizeable proportion of adolescents are exposed to alcohol- and drug-related driving risks. 31.9% of the students surveyed reported being a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver. Of the Canadian students in grades 10 to 13 who had a driver's license, 15.1% reported driving within an hour after consuming 2 or more drinks and 19.7% reported driving within an hour after using cannabis.

-- Previous assembly shows produced by MADD Canada have proven to be an effective method for preventing high-risk behaviour amongst youth. After seeing the program, exit surveys indicate that 84.4% of youth said they were less likely to drink and drive and 79.3% said they were less likely to ride with a drinking driver.

-- Truth also factors into MADD Canada's recently launched drug-impaired driving awareness campaign. There exists disturbing trends with high school students and their drug use and driving habits. In a recent Canadian survey (2003) on drug use:
-- 20 % of high school drivers drove within one hour of using cannabis; and,
-- 23% of high schools students reported being a passenger in a vehicle driven by a someone who had been using drugs prior to driving.

Tour information available on-line

MADD Canada and General Motors of Canada show tour information is available on-line by visiting MADD Canada's website -

MADD Canada is the country's preeminent voice for impaired driving victims. The organization is a grassroots, volunteer driven group that is active in over 80 communities across Canada. Over 750,000 Canadians support through their annual donations MADD Canada's mission to stop impaired driving and to support the victims of this violent crime.

General Motors of Canada Limited is headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario and employs more than 20,000 people nationwide. GM of Canada manufactures a variety of vehicles, engines, transmissions and other components, and markets the full range of General Motors vehicles and related services through 785 dealerships and retailers across Canada. Vehicles sold through this network include Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Hummer, Saturn and Saab. GM has an overarching philosophy that includes its support of initiatives such as the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey program, an ongoing effort to foster the values of respect and responsibility in young players and their parents. GM plays an active role in communities across the country with programs like GM Community Wheels, which offers a turnkey solution to the transportation needs of community agencies by providing them with GM vehicles. Saturn Kidspace is another program that assists communities in need of safe places for children to play. To date, more than 300 playgrounds have been built as part of this initiative. GM supports initiatives such as the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey program, an ongoing effort to foster the values of respect and responsibility in young players and their parents.

/For further information:
Diane Lehman, GM Canada's Community Relations (905) 644-3883/ IN: AUTOMOTIVE, EDUCATION, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Phone: 800-665-6233 ext. 224