MADD Canada’s History

Provincial anti-drinking and driving groups started to appear in Canada in the early 1980’s. The early pioneers were victims/survivors who wanted to educate the Canadian public about the human tragedies caused by impaired drivers. These early pioneers included Sally Gribble (whose group in B.C. received a Chapter charter from MADD U.S.), Gladys Armstrong and Pat Baril (PAID in Alberta), Margaret Taylor (CAID in Manitoba), and a PRIDE (People to Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) organization in Ontario.

Everyone involved in the anti-impaired driving movement is indebted to these individuals for their tireless work in support of victims/survivors of impaired driving and their courage to help make a difference in their communities.

The PRIDE organization became the catalyst in initiating discussions with MADD U.S. to become the national organization in Canada; John Bates (who was with the PRIDE organization from its start), and other members of PRIDE, successfully negotiated with MADD U.S. to become MADD Canada. John Bates has been given the title of Founder by the National Board of Directors.

MADD Canada was formed in 1989 to create a national network of victims/survivors and concerned citizens working to stop impaired driving and to support victims/survivors of this violent crime.

As it has been since the early years of PAID, CAID and PRIDE, the organization’s national presence and its local contributions are a direct result of the many people who have stepped forward in fighting impaired driving — to make their communities’ roads safer and to lend a hand to victims/survivors and their families.

Impact of Anti-Impaired Driving Movement

The exact number of lives saved as a result of the work done by MADD Canada, its predecessor organizations and many other groups cannot be known with absolute certainty. But based on scientific formulas developed for the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, MADD Canada estimates the number of lives saved at 36,642 (between 1982 and 2010). While such numbers provide an important perspective on the progress that has been made, it is important to remember that 43,276 Canadians were killed in alcohol-related crashes in this same period and impaired driving remains the leading criminal cause of death in this country.

For more information, see “Lives Saved” – PDF