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RIDE Locks The Door On 2021 Program


Seasonal revelers will have to do some extra planning to keep themselves safe this year as the Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) program will not be operating this holiday season.

Program organizers made the announcement last week.

“We were actually following the lead of the Red Nose program. We are actually both programs of MPI and the RCMP. So we just more or less waited until they made their announcement and then we followed suit,” RIDE board member Sho-Sho Shuttleworth-Lafontaine said, adding going forward with the program at this time would be too high of a risk for both volunteers and passengers.

“With our volunteers driving other vehicles than just our own, it is almost impossible to keep both volunteers and our clients safe with the whole COVID situation going on.”

As holiday celebrations will be taking place as usual, Shuttleworth-Lafontaine hopes people make responsible decisions when it comes to getting home after drinking or consuming cannabis.

“We are just highly encouraging people that are out and partaking in the celebrations to make sure that they have a designated driver or the taxi service on speed dial on their phone and just be sure to find a safe ride home this year,” she said.

“I’m not saying don’t party. Go out and have fun, but just make sure you have a responsible ride home.”

Shuttleworth-Lafontaine said it is obvious RIDE is needed and popular with the public as organizers have already received numerous inquiries about the status of the program.

“It is unfortunate that it is a service we can’t provide because we know that it is used and has been used for so many years,” she said. “We really enjoy going home each night knowing we have gotten so many people home safely and possibly saved a life.”

Shuttleworth-Lafontaine added the program will be back and operating once the pandemic is over.

“We just have to wait it out and hopefully next year we will be up and at it again,” she said.