Hon­our­ing the vic­tims

Moth­ers Against Drunk Driv­ers work­ing on mon­u­ment for P.E.I.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY DAVE STE­WART dave.ste­wart@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

A mon­u­ment that hon­ours Is­lan­ders killed by an im­paired driver is in the works.

Moth­ers Against Drunk Driv­ing’s (MADD) At­lantic Canadian chap­ter is work­ing with the four chap­ters in P.E.I. to have it in place by next May.

They’re not say­ing where it will be lo­cated, but Su­san MacAskill, re­gional man­ager of MADD in At­lantic Canada, said they are work­ing closely with Rus­ti­coEmer­ald MLA Brad Trivers.

“Our vol­un­teers in Prince Ed­ward Is­land are work­ing with MLA Brad Trivers to se­cure a lo­ca­tion, so that may nar­row it down for you,’’ MacAskill said.

She did rule out that the me­mo­rial would be erected at the P.E.I. In­ter­na­tional Chil­dren’s Me­mo­rial Place at Scales Pond.

“We aren’t go­ing to be in the in­ter­na­tional chil­dren’s me­mo­rial gar­den, but we are well aware that it’s in close prox­im­ity.’’

It will be sim­i­lar to mon­u­ments that ex­ist in New Brunswick, Nova Sco­tia and New­found­land and Labrador, put up with the help of fu­neral home spon­sors.

“We’re go­ing through Her­itage Memo­ri­als, and they’re giv­ing us a very rea­son­able cost and we have ap­plied for fund­ing. We will know by mid-Au­gust if that fund­ing has been ap­proved, and then we’ll make the an­nounce­ment.’’

The process of cre­at­ing a mon­u­ment for P.E.I. be­gan about a year ago. It’s at the fund­ing stage now. A P.E.I. fu­neral home will spon­sor the mon­u­ment and do the en­grav­ing of names.

The P.E.I. mon­u­ment will have at least 20 vic­tims’ names on it in the first year.

For those who want a loved one’s name on the mon­u­ment go­ing for­ward, a me­dia cam­paign will be­gin in Jan­uary and run un­til the end of March.

Be­cause the names are be­ing en­graved in a pub­lic place, of­fi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion is re­quired to prove al­co­hol and/or drugs were in­volved in the vic­tim’s death. That proof could be sup­plied by a po­lice re­port or a news­pa­per clip­ping.

“In a cou­ple of sit­u­a­tions we’ve had a let­ter from a coro­ner. We ask the fam­i­lies to help us. The names are all ap­proved by our vic­tim ser­vices depart­ment.’’

The fam­i­lies who have al­ready been ap­proved to have their loved ones name on the mon­u­ment will be in­vited to a can­dle­light cer­e­mony and pro­ces­sion in May, a cer­e­mony that hap­pens at the same time across Canada with all MADD chap­ters.

“It’s when the fam­ily sees the names (on the mon­u­ment) for the first time.’’

SUBMITTED PHOTO

This pic­ture was submitted to The Guardian by Moth­ers Against Drunk Driv­ing’s At­lantic Canada of­fice. It shows the mon­u­ment in New Brunswick that hon­ours those killed by an im­paired driver. The same kind of mon­u­ment will be erected in P.E.I. by next May.

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