Sep 22, 2014 - FFJ Empty Shoe Campaign [Calgary AB] ~ Part 3 ~ GUEST SPEAKERS

Many of us involved in FFJ have written countless letters to our provincial and federal politicians.  And many times we get back a “condolence form” letter.   We have compared these letters, they may change the son to daughter etc. 

Many times we all said the same thing to each other

“if we could only find a politician that would pick this hill?”  As Dr. Phil would say (every situation needs a hero)

I am very pleased to announce our first guest - The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta. 

Although this is a federal mandate it is very important to me and to all FFJ members to acknowledge his full support regarding our petition.  Mr. Denis has taken the time to meet with me and other FFJ members.  He continues to help us with our mission by applying pressure to other provincial justice ministers and our federal justice minister Mr. Peter MacKay. 

Please welcome the Honorable Jonathan Denis, Justice Minister of Alberta.


Our next guest is the founder of FFJ - Markita Kaulius.  On Tuesday May 20th 2011, 22 year old Kassandra Kaulius was on her way home after a softball practice.  As she went to make a left turn at an intersection with traffic lights in Surrey BC, an extremely drunk woman plowed thru the intersection from a right turning lane. 

Natasha Warren T-boned Kassandra’s small car, killing her instantly.  Then she did what most drunk drivers do, she ran and hid like a coward.

Kassandra is Markita’s baby girl. Markita and I connected because of our similar tragedies. Markita was able to help me through my grief.  We were both so sad, but we were also very mad.  

To date Markita has attended many court dates and sentencings, she supports many grieving families; she takes late night phone calls from people who are trying to cope, trying to understand something so senseless.  She wears the same awful painful shoes that so many of us do.

There is one thing I remember so clearly in one of our first conversations. Markita said, “Sheri, the grief is crushing, I was either going to get down on the floor and never get back up again or I was going to do something about this. There needs to be a deterrent!”

With the support of her family she chose the latter and this is when FFJ became a reality. We all thank her very much for that. And for all her hard work, her endless hours.

Her beautiful daughter Kassandra drives her, inspires her, gives her amazing strength and incredible wisdom. What sadly started out as one family grew and grew and grows everyday. This path we are on is for the legacy of all our children, your children too.  If just one life can be saved because of FFJ, that is a powerful legacy left behind for our many angels.

Please welcome from Surrey BC, Families for Justice founder and president, Markita Kaulius.


Currently serving her 6th term in office as an elected official, our next guest has always used a common sense approach to politics which has resulted in numerous policies and community investments being implemented. 

Please welcome Deputy Mayor of Calgary and City Councilor Diane Colley-Urquhart 


Over the last five years there have been 43,111 convictions for impaired drivers…just in Alberta.  Imagine how many didn’t get caught or caught but not convicted because of some loophole?

Our next guest has seen more impaired drivers and probably arrested countless over all his many years of service.  The Calgary police and the RCMP in all our cities and towns continue to do all they can to protect the public. 

Sadly they face drunk drivers every day on our roads and highways.  The police also know the frustration as many hours are spent on arrests and then many more hours are spent in a courtroom. Everything they do is scrutinized by defense lawyers. 

Please welcome Calgary’s Deputy Chief of Police, Chief Trevor Daroux.





Part 2 ~ MY STORY




Remembering Someone Special by Markita Kaulius

Impaired driving awareness campaign lays out 1,460 pairs of empty shoes

Remembering those lost to drunk driving

Hundreds of “Empty shoes” a reminder of those killed by drunk drivers

Families of victims of drunk driving rally in Calgary using empty shoes to call for change

Group wants stricter laws vs drunk driving in Canada



Last updated on: 2014-10-09 | Link to this post