Oakville, Ontario – With the holiday season quickly approaching, and with cannabis legalized just a couple of weeks ago, MADD Canada is kicking off its Project Red Ribbon sober driving campaign today in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“Our awareness campaign, featuring our iconic red ribbon, runs from the beginning of November until January 7,” said Patricia Hynes-Coates, MADD Canada National President. “Hundreds of volunteers will be out in communities across the country to remind people about the risks and consequences of driving impaired by alcohol, by cannabis or any other substance that impairs one’s ability to drive.”

Helping MADD Canada launch this year’s campaign are: Halifax Mayor Mike Savage; Halifax Regional Police Superintendent Don MacLean; RCMP Chief Superintendent Marlene Snowman, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada Agency Manager Matt Conrad; and Mike MacMichael from Irving Oil. Allstate Canada and Irving Oil are campaign Title Sponsor and Official Sponsor, respectively.

This year marks the 31st annual Project Red Ribbon campaign. While great strides have been made over the years to reduce impaired driving, it continues to be a deadly problem on Canada’s roads. Continued awareness efforts are crucial, especially now that cannabis is legal.

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction sent a message of support for the campaign and highlighted the risks of cannabis-impaired driving, saying “The Government of Canada is proud to partner with MADD Canada to raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving. Even though cannabis is now legal in Canada, drug-impaired driving is not. Law enforcement are trained to detect drug-impaired drivers and they enforce drug-impaired driving laws every day. I urge all Canadians to plan ahead to make sure they have a safe ride, to never drive impaired and to never get in the car with an impaired driver.”

Throughout the campaign, MADD Canada volunteers in communities across Canada distribute millions of red ribbons and red ribbon car decals for the public to use as a symbol of their commitment to always drive sober. The ribbons also serve as a powerful tribute to the thousands of Canadians killed and injured in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs each year.

MADD Canada thanks its national 2018 Project Red Ribbon sponsors for their generous support, including: Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, Irving Oil Limited, BMO Financial Group, Continental Tire Canada Inc., RTL Westcan Group of Companies and Cascades Canada ULC. For a full list of this year’s Project Red Ribbon sponsors, visit www.madd.ca.

“Our agents and staff are committed to helping MADD Canada spread the sober driving message,” said Allstate Canada President and CEO Ryan Michel. “We are proud to be part of this effort to help make our roads safer, during the holiday season, and all year long.”

“Our Irving Oil fleet logs up to five million miles every year in the Maritimes alone, so keeping our roads safe is paramount to us,” said Johnny Grant, Director of Irving Energy. “We are dedicated to making safety a part of our workplace culture, and we know that through Project Red Ribbon, more public awareness, education and reporting of potentially impaired drivers not only makes our roads safer, but ultimately saves lives.” MADD Canada’s red ribbons and car decals are available through the MADD Canada web site at madd.ca, Chapters and Community Leaders, and participating sponsor outlets. Anyone who wishes to support Project Red Ribbon with a donation can do so online through the web site, by calling 1-800-665-6233 or by texting “RIBBON” to 45678 (a one-time $10 donation is added to the donor’s cell phone bill and payable to his or her service provider.)

However you are celebrating this holiday season, make a sober ride home your priority. Call an Uber or a cab, arrange a designated driver, take public transit or stay the night. Revelers looking for a safe, sober and reliable ride home at the push of a button can check out Uber, MADD Canada’s Official Designated Driving App. For more information, visit: https://www.uber.com/partner/en-ca/madd-canada/ .

About MADD Canada

MADD Canada a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. To learn more, visit www.madd.ca.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of the country’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in “Good Hands®” as well as its employees, and has been listed five years in a row on the Best Employers in Canada list. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as MADD Canada, United Way and Junior Achievement. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.allstate.ca.

About Irving Oil

Irving Oil is an international refining and marketing company with a history of long-term partnerships and relationships. Founded in 1924, Irving Oil operates Canada’s largest refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, along with more than 900 fuelling locations and a network of distribution terminals spanning Eastern Canada and New England. It also operates Ireland’s only refinery, located in the village of Whitegate. Irving Oil established its European operations in 2014 with an office in London, England, and tankage in Amsterdam. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in 2017 and 2018, Irving Oil has a strong customer and community focus and is committed to future growth. Learn more at facebook.com/irvingoil or www.irvingoil.com.

For more information, contact:

Patricia Hynes-Coates, National President, MADD Canada, 647-919-6233 orphynescoates@madd.ca. Anna Weigt-Bienzle, Senior Communications Specialist, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 905-475-4527 or aweigtbienzle@allstate.ca.