MADD Canada

MADD Canada

October 19, 2005 08:31 ET

More needs to be done regarding repeat impaired drivers

MADD Canada urges Governments to act in wake of Matthew Brownlee's re-arrest to better protect Canadians from repeat impaired drivers Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) is urging the Federal and Ontario Governments to do more to ensure public safety from repeat impaired drivers on our country's roads. This comes in the aftermath of the re-arrest in Ottawa of Matthew Brownlee, a repeat impaired driving offender, who killed two individuals in 1996.

Mr. Brownlee took the lives of Linda LeBreton Holmes and her 12-year old son Brian nine years ago. No amount of time, however, will heal the wounds of Linda's mother and Brian's grandmother - Senator Marjory LeBreton - who today serves as Chairperson of MADD Canada's National Board of Directors.

In letters faxed yesterday to federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler and Ontario Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar, MADD Canada's National President Karen Dunham stated: "Our hearts go out to the family members of Linda and Brian; however, MADD Canada knows that their current tribulations are not unique. It is regrettable that in our society the public cannot be assured that convicted repeat impaired drivers will not cause more harm on our roads. MADD Canada strongly believes we owe more to the lives of Linda and Brian and to the countless others who have needlessly died as a result of an alcohol-related crash."

Mrs. Dunham wants to see action and hopes this notorious offender will prompt the Ministers to address the crime of impaired driving. "There are effective measures that can be introduced to reduce the risk of innocent Canadians becoming impaired driving statistics. It is incumbent on our elected officials to act on known solutions and better protect Canadians from the senseless crime of impaired driving."

"In our country, impaired driving is the number one criminal cause of death - and a Canadian has over twice as much chance of being killed by an impaired driving than being a victim of a homicide. Quite simply, it is time to act," says Mrs. Dunham.

Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's Chief Executive Officer, cites specific measures that will better protect motorists. "Federally, Minister Cotler can introduce legislation that will improve arrest and conviction rates. Provincially, Minister Takhar can introduce motor vehicle licencing measures that would help reduce the numbers of repeat offenders. Where there is political will, there's a way."

Mr. Murie adds, "Canadian lawmakers need only look at international experience to see available solutions that effectively drive down the number of deaths and serious injuries due to alcohol-related crashes."

Mr. Murie explains that MADD Canada has presented specific policy initiatives to both the federal and provincial ministers. "We need our governments to take a comprehensive approach to eliminating this crime and only then will we see a significant reduction in impaired driving deaths and injuries. There are solutions available… the ball's in their court."

MADD Canada's webpages outline the organization's public policy initiatives in detail. Ironically, in early October the LeBreton Holmes family tragedy was placed as the feature victim story on MADD Canada's top page. [Go to www.madd.ca to read more.]

For more information, call:
Karen Dunham, MADD Canada's National President (506) 650-7473
Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's CEO 1-800-665-6233, ext. 224
/For further information: VISIT: www.madd.ca/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS

Contact Information

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