May 25, 2013 - REDFORD MEETS WITH MOTHER OF TODDLER KILLED ON RESTAURANT PATIO (Geo Mounsef's case)

The mother of a two-year-old killed last week when an alleged drunk driver crashed through a restaurant patio had a “mother-to-mother” meeting with Premier Alison Redford at the Progressive Conservative policy convention Saturday.

Sage Morin’s son Geo Mounsef died Sunday evening after an SUV rammed through the glass partition on the patio at Terwillegar Ric’s Grill, pinning the boy against the wall. Since her son’s death, Morin has been vocal in her criticism of Canada’s drunk driving laws, lashing out at the court system and the man accused in Geo’s death.

Richard Suter, 62, is charged with several impaired-driving related charges in connection with the death. He was granted bail Friday in front of a courtroom packed with the boy’s family and their supporters.

Decorated with red balloons, about 30 cars in a Justice for Geo drive-a-thon pulled up to the Radisson Hotel at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, honking their horns outside the building where PCs were gathered for a policy conference.

Morin, wearing a red Mother’s Against Drunk Driving ribbon, met with Premier Alison Redford privately as dozens of family and supporters waited in the hotel lobby.

Reading from a prepared statement after the meeting, Morin said she wants tougher sentencing in drunk driving cases, including a mandatory minimum sentence in cases of impaired driving causing death.

“Families who have been torn apart by another person’s selfish choice should at least be able to rest assured the person responsible (for) killing their loved one will be held accountable to the furthest extent of the law,” she said.

Morin said she showed Redford photos of her son, even emailing one to her at the premier’s request. The two spoke “mother-to-mother” about the possibility of establishing tougher penalties for drunk driving.

“I met with a strong and brave Sage Morin today. I know the entire province is feeling her loss,” Redford posted on her Twitter account after the meeting.

Redford can help “take this fight to the front lines, where it belongs,” Morin said.

Neala Barton, the premier’s spokeswoman, said Redford didn’t make any firm policy promises but did commit to further conversation with Morin.

“Most of the conversation today was really listening. It was learning about Geo, learning about what kind of child he was,” Barton said.

She said the premier was clear that she “can’t in any way get involved or comment on the case before the courts,” and that Morin and Redford didn’t discuss mandatory minimum sentences.

Morin says she will continue to carry on her fight in her son’s name and is planning a memorial event to commemorate what would have been his third birthday on July 16.

“All I know is I want to take this horrible tragedy and turn it into something positive, something my son can look down and be proud of me for. This is all for Geo.”

Source: Edmonton Journal


 

Last updated on: 2013-05-29 | Link to this post