September 26, 2016

The Whitehorse chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers will be active in the upcoming territorial election trying to convince candidates and voters to support tougher drunk driving laws, according to local president Amanda Price.

In recent years Yukon has topped or come second to the Northwest Territories for the highest number per capita of impaired driving incidents in the country, according to Statistics Canada.

“We want to work with a government that is willing to recognize how important these statistics are,” Price said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the MADD Canada organization, Andrew Murie, says the territorial government can make a difference.

“If they’re serious about reducing death and injuries to almost nothing, this is something that will work,” Murie said.

He points to provincial laws that kick in when drivers go above .05 blood alcohol content with fines and other sanctions including vehicle impoundment.

“You know quite frankly people do not want their vehicles impounded and so they will change their habits and attitudes when it comes to drinking and driving and it’s become a huge breakthrough for our organization and really the world is kind of watching what we’re doing here in Canada,” said Murie.

Price said the Whitehorse chapter of MADD will be putting that issue to the political parties in the election which must be called by Oct. 14.

“We anticipate the election will be called at anytime,” said Price.

“And we want them to know that we’re very serious about getting these laws changed and administrative sanctions put in place so that you know, we can become an example to the country rather than an, I don’t want to say an embarrassment,” she said.

Yukoners were front and centre when national awards were given out this past weekend at MADD’s annual ceremony in Toronto.

Price was given the organization’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Murie said under her leadership the small Whitehorse chapter has accomplished a lot.

The Yukon Liquor Corporation was given the national Citizen of Distinction Award. It was recognized for “its strong commitment to social responsibility initiatives to educate and protect the public,” according to a release.