MADD Canada

MADD Canada

November 17, 2006 08:44 ET

MADD Canada applauds new OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino

“We’ve got to get serious about the number one criminal cause of death in our society” -- MADD Canada

Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 17, 2006) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada likes what they hear from the new OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino and calls on other police forces across Canada to heed the Commissioner's call to action. The organization is also calling on federal and provincial government to work together to close the significant loopholes in Canadian laws, which allow impaired drivers to 'walk free from our judicial system.'

"It is very heartening to think that Commissioner Fantino would take the occasion of his swearing-in to talk about impaired driving," says Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's CEO. "He is 'right on' with his observations and we will be 100% behind his efforts to make Ontario's roads safer from impaired driving tragedies."

"We support the OPP's crack down on impaired driving and we encourage other police enforcement agencies across Canada to do the same."

"To pick up on Commissioner Fantino's remarks, we also encourage the federal government to work with provincial attorney generals to close the significant loop holes in the law that allow people to drink, drive, kill or injure, and then walk free from our judicial system," says Mr. Murie.

"The problems in our courts revolving around 'evidence to the contrary' is a very serious matter," adds the MADD Canada CEO, "and we need to address this loop hole in order to make our roads safer and to ensure justice is duly served for this crime."

"We've got to get serious about the number one criminal cause of death in our society and we thank the OPP Commissioner for his commitment to doing so," says Mr. Murie.

Commissioner Fantino's comments

Speaking at his official swearing-in ceremony as commissioner yesterday, OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said court delays and cancellations, plea bargaining and withdrawn charges all undermine the efforts of police to deal with alcohol and drug-impaired motorists. He said all too often the guilty get off, and the offenders go unpunished and keep driving while impaired.

Commissioner Fantino stated: ``We're negatively impacted by the significant gaps in our criminal justice system.''

Commissioner Fantino said the leading criminal cause of death in Canada is impaired driving, not murder, and that society must deal with the problem. With the OPP having laid nearly 11,000 charges for impaired driving in 2005, the Commissioner vowed to reduce those numbers, but said police need support from the courts to reinforce the message about the dangers created by drunk and stoned drivers.

``We will continue to pursue these callous and inconsiderate criminals with tenacity,'' and Commissioner Fantino added, "`We will demand accountability of the system.''

/For further information: www.madd.ca/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Phone: 800-665-6233 ext. 224
    E-mail: amurie@madd.ca