Sheri Arsenault spent dozens of hours creating a presentation and emotionally preparing herself for a meeting – nearly two years in the making – with Canada’s Justice Minister.

The Beaumont mom, whose teenage son was killed in 2011 by an alleged drunk driver alongside two friends, flew to Vancouver Monday, only to find out the prime minister’s cabinet shuffle cancelled the plans.

Arsenault was supposed to attend the meeting with Markita Kaulius, the founder of Families for Justice, an organization made up of families advocating for tougher drunk driving penalties.

The moms were getting ready for the meeting when they turned on the radio on Monday and learned that MP Rob Nicholson’s justice portfolio was given to Peter MacKay.

“They did not send me an e-mail or a phone call or anything,” Arsenault said of the cancelled meeting.

Arsenault said she and Kaulius “had a good cry,” when they found out the meeting they had worked so hard to secure and prepare for, would not be happening.

“We decided we’ve got to turn lemons into lemonade,” Arsenault said.

After spending more than a year trying to get the meeting in the first place, Arsenault said she will be “absolutely devastated” if she has to wait a year for another meeting.

“I’ve learned the true meaning of the word patience,” Arsenault said.

Since her son was killed nearly two years ago, Arsenault said she has thought about the same two things everyone morning when she wakes up.

First, she thinks about her son Bradley.

Then, she thinks about the four new families across Canada that everyday are told a loved one has been killed by a drunk driver.

“It breaks my heart because every morning I know there are four mothers trying to process the fact that their son or their daughter or their loved one aren’t coming home,” she said.

Families for Justice is petitioning the government for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for people convicted of impaired driving causing death.

A legal petition asking for tougher impaired driving laws launched by the group has more than 30,000 signatures.

Source: Metro News


Last updated on: 2013-07-18 | Link to this post