Federal government petitioned to change impaired driving laws
LONDON, ONT. -- Janet Thomson was hit by a drunk driver on her way home from work in southwestern Ontario over 15 years ago.
“I was hit in 2005, head on,” says Thomson. “I suffered a life-sustaining back injury where I have to get nerve blocks, steroid epidurals, put medication into my body that otherwise I would have never had to.”
Thomson says she’s grateful to be alive, but after the person who hit her was only sentenced to 45 days in jail, she felt let down by the justice system.
“I got the life sentence, the families get the life sentence, I want to turn it around.”
When she saw news coverage of the accident that claimed the life of St. Thomas mother Cindy Devine, she decided it was time to do more.
“It just was very moving, I cried. I really did, I cried.” Thomson says her reaction was to create action. "The first word that came out of my mouth was, 'enough.' Enough. When is enough, enough?”
She created a Facebook page called Enough Ontario, and started a petition for the federal government to change the laws around impaired driving.
“I think we need new legislation, to include substance-induced vehicular manslaughter, and substance-induced vehicular injury,” Thomson says.
Member of Parliament for London North Centre Peter Fragiskatos has sponsored the petition.
“I looked at it. I think it’s very worthy of consideration, and I will be presenting it to parliament, once the time comes. It has to reach a certain number of signatures,” says Fragiskatos.
The number of signatures required to receive a formal response from the government is 500. That doesn’t mean that new legislation will be brought forth, but it does require the government to formally respond to the issues Thomson is highlighting.