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Linda and Lou Van de Vorst Receive MADD Canada Excellence In Public Policy Award

MADD Canada
·3 min read

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Nov. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MADD Canada’s first Robert M. Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy is being presented to Linda and Lou Van de Vorst for their work to reduce impaired driving and strengthen provincial impaired driving laws.

“The Robert M. Solomon Award was established to recognize a volunteer or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of MADD Canada’s public policy initiatives to strengthen impaired driving laws,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. “With their passionate efforts to change impaired driving laws in Saskatchewan, Linda and Lou truly embody the spirit of this award and we are honoured to name them as its first recipients.”

In January 2016, Linda and Lou’s son Jordan, daughter-in-law Chanda and grandchildren, Kamryn and Migure, were tragically killed in an impaired driving crash.

Since that time, Linda and Lou have worked to strengthen impaired driving legislation to reduce crash deaths and injuries. They have met with the Provincial Government to advocate for changes, including immediate roadside prohibitions, increased fines and vehicle impoundments. Their efforts contributed to the implementation of new legislation that helped reduce impaired driving fatalities and injuries. In 2019, 21 people were killed and 332 people were injured in impairment-related crashes in Saskatchewan. That is down significantly from the annual average of 54 deaths and 595 injuries between 2009 and 2018.

The award was presented to the Van de Vorsts today by The Honourable Joe Hargrave, Minister of Highways. In his previous post as Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Minister Hargrave worked with Linda and Lou on numerous events and initiatives around Saskatchewan’s impaired driving laws, as well as powerful public awareness efforts to prevent impaired driving.

“I am truly honoured to present this award to Linda and Lou,” said Minister Hargrave. “I can’t thank them enough for all they have done to reduce impaired driving in Saskatchewan. The Van de Vorsts, along with a number of families impacted by impaired driving, have worked alongside government to truly make a difference and for that I am so very thankful.”

Linda and Lou heralded the work of victims and survivors, volunteers, partners in law enforcement and government, and the general public in the ongoing effort to reduce impaired driving, noting “it takes everyone working together to make Saskatchewan roadways safer”.

About the Robert M. Solomon Award
Established in 2019, this award is named in honour of Robert M. Solomon, who is a Distinguished University Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario. He also served as MADD Canada’s National Director of Legal Policy for 21 years, guiding the organization’s extensive public policy work on the national and provincial/territorial levels. An internationally recognized expert in the anti-impaired driving field, Professor Solomon has worked tirelessly to assess best practices in impaired driving policy and to advocate for legislative amendments that would save lives and prevent injuries. He has made numerous presentations and submissions to tribunals, government agencies and legislative committees on matters related to impaired driving laws and policies, and his work has been regularly published in peer-reviewed journals.

CONTACT: For more information: Andrew Murie, MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer, 416-720-7642 or amurie@madd.ca Tracy Crawford, MADD Canada Western Regional Manager, 1-877-676-6233, tcrawford@madd.ca