Saskatoon city council is asking for a report from administration on placing a monument to drunk driving victims in a public park.
The idea is being spearheaded by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), alongside two Saskatchewan families who lost loved ones in recent years.
The city initially offered the Woodlawn cemetery on Warman Road for the memorial, but council was told it would defeat the purpose of the monument.
“Cemeteries are for people who have already lost someone,” said Lou Van De Vorst, whose son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren were killed in January 2016.
“I don’t need another memorial in a cemetery, I already have one.”
Allan Kerpan, who lost his daughter Danille in October 2014 to a drunk driver on Highway 11, said he wants to see the monument placed prominently along the riverbank.
“We need that to be in front of people all the time in order to make the changes that I think are necessary,” he said.
Both Van De Vorst and Kerpan named Kiwanis Memorial Park as an ideal location for the monument.
Van De Vorst said the park would make it visible to people leaving downtown bars, as well as families walking past.
“It’s a chance for education,” he said.
While the two fathers are working for approval to place the monument in a public park, they aren’t looking for funding.
MADD Canada CEO Andrew Murie, who has successfully helped install similar monuments in Manitoba and eastern provinces, said the organization would bear the costs.
Murie added the memorial would likely feature at least 100 names of people killed by drunk drivers initially, with an annual ceremony to add more victim’s names.
“It gives the message to both politicians at the local level and provincial level that we’re not there yet (on drunk driving enforcement),” Murie said.
“The ultimate goal is no names added one year.”
The discussion around the monument comes as the province’s long-running problem with drunk driving has once again been highlighted by SGI, which reported this week 376 people were charged with impaired driving in the month of June.