MADD Canada

MADD Canada

November 10, 2006 11:14 ET

PM supports MADD Canada's Project Red Ribbon efforts

Organization applauds Government’s focus on fight against impaired driving

Attention: Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 10, 2006) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper tied a MADD Canada red ribbon to a vehicle at a media conference in Kitchener today to raise awareness for sober and safe driving through the holiday season. The Prime Minister spoke to MADD Canada representatives, police officers and community leaders about the Government's focus on tackling the problem of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving.

Prime Minister Harper also encouraged Canadians to display a red ribbon and join in the fight against impaired driving tragedies.

The MADD Canada ribbon has become a familiar symbol of safe and sober driving throughout Canada - and this annual campaign is one of the most visible public awareness drives against impaired driving during the holiday season.

MADD Canada urges Canadians to display their red ribbon by attaching it to a vehicle's antenna or tying it to a keychain. There are more than four million red ribbons distributed across the country each year by MADD Canada volunteers with the hope of effectively delivering their sober driving message during the busiest social time on our calendar.

"Prime Minister Harper's participation in our red ribbon ceremony shines a national spotlight on this year's campaign," says Joyce Westlake, a MADD Canada National Board member and a mother who lost a 19-year-old son to impaired driving in 1995.

"We welcome his messages of hope for safer roads and a reduction of impaired driving fatalities and injuries. Mr. Harper is demonstrating that his Government is serious in the fight against alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. We certainly applaud the Government's actions."

Mrs. Westlake adds, "We hope the Government's announcement and our awareness campaign will make a difference this year and that Canadians will be able to enjoy their holidays without needless deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving."

Mrs. Westlake explains displaying the MADD Canada red ribbon makes a significant statement. "The red ribbon is a tribute to honour those who have been killed or injured in impaired driving crashes. Attaching a ribbon to your vehicle or your keychain serves as a constant message to people on the roads to drive safe and sober. Most importantly, by displaying the MADD Canada red ribbon, you make a personal commitment to drive sober."

Impaired Driving Legislation in Ottawa

MADD Canada is very pleased to be part of the Government's announcement regarding drug impaired driving. Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's CEO states: "Drug impaired driving is a growing problem in our country, particularly with young drivers and the increased use of cannabis. Along with our police partners, MADD Canada has been calling on Ottawa for years to provide the legal framework for our police to effectively apprehend and charge motorists who have toked or taken other drugs and are driving while impaired."

In a private meeting with the Prime Minister, the CEO and MADD Canada's Legal Director Professor Robert Solomon expressed MADD Canada's appreciation for the Government's attention to impaired driving. MADD Canada voiced support for the original Bill C-9 (conditional sentencing); the expected drug impaired driving legislation; and, MP Ron Cannan's Private Members Bill C-376, relating to a new Criminal Code 0.05% BAC legal limit.

Impaired driving remains Canada's number one criminal cause of death. On average, each and every day, 4 Canadians are killed and more than 190 Canadians are injured in alcohol- and drug-related crashes. More than 70,000 Canadian men, women and children are killed or serious injured in impaired driving crashes annually.

The Red Ribbon and Leadership in the Fight Against Impaired Driving

MADD Canada's Project Red Ribbon campaign is supported by community partners such as local law enforcement and emergency medical service organizations, national, provincial, regional and local corporations, and Canadian celebrities from sports, entertainment and broadcast industries. The awareness campaign is spearheaded by MADD Canada's 7,500-plus committed volunteers more than 85 local Chapters and Community Leaders across the country.

Sponsorship for the campaign has grown in the past few years. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada continues to show its leadership as the national campaign's Title Sponsor. Suzuki Canada Auto Dealers Foundation is again the campaign's Official Sponsor. Corporate / Provincial sponsors include #TAXI, Alberta Motor Association, BMO Bank of Montreal, Coyle Corrugated Containers Inc., Enterprise Rent-A-Car Alberta, Impact Auto Auctions and UPS Canada. For a full list of Project Red Ribbon corporate sponsors and red ribbon distributors, visit the MADD Canada website.

Canadians are encouraged to click to www.madd.ca for news and further information on the 2006 Project Red Ribbon throughout the campaign period of November to January.

For interviews and further information today/on-site, call:
Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's CEO @ (416) 720-7642
/For further information: www.madd.ca/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

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