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MADD Canada is the Canadian arm of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Its stated purpose is to stop impaired driving and to support victims. MADD Canada operates public awareness and education programs which focus on stopping impaired driving. Local activities are carried out by Chapters in approximately 100 communities across Canada.
The organization also supports a number of federal and provincial initiatives aimed at reducing incidents of impaired driving, including changes to Criminal Code provisions against drunk driving and a zero blood alcohol content limit for drivers under 21.
Each day in Canada there are approximately 4 deaths and approximately 190 injuries from crashes involving alcohol or drugs.
Statistics suggest that efforts made in the fight against impaired driving have saved 30,589 Canadian lives since 1982. Despite this number of lives saved, Transport Canada reports a total of 39,487 alcohol-related fatalities on Canadian roads since 1982. Had there been no effort to reduce impaired driving deaths, MADD Canada estimates the number could have been 70,000 in alcohol-related fatalities. For further information on these estimates, view: http://www.madd.ca/english/research/lives_saved.pdf
MADD Canada plays a critical role in the anti-impaired driving movement through programs and services aimed at raising awareness of impaired driving and supporting victims of this violent crime.
MADD Canada’s victim services programs help support more than 20,000 victims, train over 300 victim services volunteers, and deliver death notification training to more than 15,000 medical, police, firefighter and victim services personnel each year.
The organization's youth services programs include a popular multimedia assembly show which tours Canadian high schools and is seen by approximately 750,000 students annually. Educational services also include Breaking Point, a classroom educational tool, and a youth section on the MADD Canada website.
MADD Canada runs several annual public awareness campaigns and fundraisers. The Strides for Change walk-a-thon assists chapters to reach out to more victims and potential volunteers. The Faces of MADD Canada is a volunteer door to door program in 13 local communities. Project Red Ribbon is based on the distribution of millions of red ribbons to Canadian motorists each year to signify the importance of not driving while impaired. Campaign 911 urges the public to call 911 if they see drivers they think may be impaired. MADD Canada also has several television and radio public service announcements which air across the country.
MADD Canada programs are supported through corporate and public donations. MADD Canada is accountable to its donors to ensure all money received is used in an appropriate manner and its audited financial statements are posted on its website at .
MADD Canada also generates funds by selling breath mints. Most notably these breath mints can be found at many pubs (most notably in the Toronto area).
In December 2006, an article in the Toronto Star alleged that about 19 cents of every dollar the organization raised went to victim services and the fight against drunk driving. MADD Canada maintained that about 84 cents of every dollar raised went to support its programs rather than 19 cents claimed in the article. At issue was whether fundraising activities were also educating the public about drunk driving and therefore were not fundraising costs. A letter from the Canada Revenue Agency, Charities Directorate dated March 3, 2003, stated that MADD made incorrect allocations of expenditures and confused fundraising with charity. The letter warned MADD that to retain its charitable status it must not count as charity "amounts paid for purely fund-raising expenses such as door-to-door, direct mail, and telemarketing fees. However, MADD Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Murie, stated that its practice of counting payments to professional fundraisers as charitable work is one of “the acceptable principles of allocation of expenses" and that the regulator gave him permission to do so.
Following that investigation and with clarification from the Canadian Revenue Agency, MADD Canada changed its fundraising practice.
- Youth and Impaired Driving in Canada: Opportunities for Progress
- Temertzoglou, Ted (2007). Healthy Active Living. Toronto: Thompson Education Publishing, Inc. p. 240. ISBN 978-1-55077-150-3.
- Donovan, Kevin. MADD suspends fundraising: Charity in turmoil as chapters demand outside auditor examine books. Toronto-Star, December 13, 2006;
Donovan, Kevin. MADD rejects 'disgruntled' critics: Charity's CEO dismisses volunteers' complaints that so little of donations go to programs. Toronto-Star, December 10, 2006
- Donovan, Kevin. MADD charity mends its ways Toronto Star, October 3, 2007.