Safety Leadership Awards

The OTLA Safety Leadership Awards were established in 2011 to honour individuals and organizations that have made remarkable and extensive contributions towards enhancing safety awareness in their communities in Ontario and helped to prevent injury to those around them.


2018 Honourees


Frank Petti, York Region Cycling Coalition

Pictured: Frank Petti, York Region Cycling Coalition

Frank is a board member of the York Region Cycling Coalition (YRCC) and actively involved in promoting the safety of cyclists in York Region. The York Region Cycling Coalition has 30 clubs and over 3500 cyclists and has been getting support from the Minister of Transportation, municipalities and cycling organizations. Frank Petti, on behalf of the YRCC, worked with MPP Steven Del Duca to ensure that bike lanes be included in the Lloydtown Bridge (over the 400). The YRCC has now been chosen by the City of Vaughan to weigh in on future projects dealing with infrastructure. Frank has been very active in OTLA’s Helmets on Kids events. He has supported the event through volunteering his time and donated support as well. He has also gathered volunteers and even helped with the pickup and delivery of the helmets.


Shelter Movers Toronto

Pictured: Marc Hull-Jacquin, Shelter Movers Toronto

When you have experienced life at the hands of an abuser, you know that making the decision to leave can be met with uncertainty, fear, and shame. Sometimes, leaving an abusive home means leaving your baby albums, abandoning your furniture and clothing, and knowing you don’t have the money to replace it all. With the existence of organizations like Shelter Movers this no longer needs to be the case. Shelter Movers provides free-of-charge moving services to those leaving abusive households. In collaboration with community partners, they support families transitioning to a life free of violence. Since starting off in Toronto in June of 2016, it has expanded its services to Ottawa and helped more than 300 households safely relocate without losing treasured belongings. Shelter Movers is currently moving 5 families per week in Toronto and Ottawa, with chapters forming in Vancouver, Waterloo and Halifax. Shelter Movers is a volunteer-driven, donor-funded federally registered charitable organization.


Safe Seats Save Children

Pictured: Arshia Khan, Safe Seats Save Children

Safe Seats Save Children (SSSC) committee has since its inception in 1995 hosted monthly car seat clinics at various places in Windsor-Essex County. Certified volunteer car seat technicians, trained to Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada (CPSAC) standards, will install your car seat or do a detailed inspection of your already installed car seat. They will also check if your seat is expired, under recall, is certified for use in Canada, and is suited for the age and size of your child. The goal of the clinics is to teach parents/caregivers how to properly use and install child safety seats, which will save lives in the event of an accident.


2017 Honourees


SwimAbility Canada

Pictured, left-right: OTLA President Claire Wilkinson; Zack Silverberg, Landy Marr Kats LLP; Reema Dibe, SwimAbility

SwimAbility Canada is a national non-profit that provides water safety and swimming instruction to children with disabilities. The program is entirely volunteer-lead. The Ontario chapters of SwimAbility have taught water safety skills to well over 500 of Ontario’s most vulnerable children. These skills are critical to ensuring that all children are able to enjoy water activities with their peers.


Manitoulin Helmets Campaign

Pictured, left-right: OTLA President Claire Wilkinson; Chief Rodney Nahwegahbow, UCCM Anishnaabe Police Services; Jonathan Woo, St. John Ambulance; Raymond Woo, St. John Ambulance; Brian Patterson, Ontario Safety League; Laura Hillyer, Martin & Hillyer Associates

In 2016, this campaign was organized by partners including the Ontario Safety League, St. John Ambulance (York Region), and the United Chiefs and Council Manitoulin. Over 700 bike helmets were given out along with 90 refurbished bicycles on Manitoulin Island. The campaign’s strength has developed a culture of bicycle safety and increased physical activity on Manitoulin Island. Prior to the campaign, Manitoulin’s rate of helmet use was less than 5%, one of the lowest in Ontario. At the end of the 2016 season, helmet use was estimated to be in the range of 85%.


ThinkFirst Injury Prevention Strategy for Youth

Pictured, left-right: OTLA President Claire Wilkinson; Vazuki Faramalingam, TIPSY; Elisabeth Butorac, TIPSY; Kayleigh Faulkner, TIPSY

In 2006, the TIPSY program was implemented at St. Michael’s hospital to provide injury prevention strategies for youth. The half-day program offered to students in grades 11 and 12 helps youth understand how driver inexperience, lack of seatbelt use, and impaired driving can result in tragedy on the roads. TIPSY is taught by a team of nurses, physicians, and representatives from Toronto Police Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Voices for Injury Prevention.


Thunder Bay Counselling CHOICES Program

Pictured, left-right: OTLA President Claire Wilkinson; Pia Heikkinen, CHOICES Program

The CHOICES program in Thunder Bay provides young people aged 12-17 with positive mentoring, helping them find direction, positivity, and confidence through healthy coping strategies.


2016 Honourees


Peel Children's Safety Village

Pictured, left-right: Christie Hallett, Maia Bent, Constable Michelle Vivian

An innovative community project launched in 1994, the Peel Children's Safety Village aims to reduce the alarming rate of preventable traffic accidents, the leading cause of death for children aged one to nine. OTLA members have worked with the Safety Village and other local community partners to run the Helmets on Kids program in that region since 2007.


Constable Peter De Quintal, Toronto Police Services

Pictured, left-right: Constable Peter De Quintal, Maia Bent

Constable De Quintal has used his love of the Star Wars universe to break down barriers between police and Ontario kids. Each year, Constable De Quintal runs a bike rodeo program for over 350 children, which involves high school students as community leaders. A staunch advocate for safety and community leadership, Constable De Quintal often appears as a guest speaker on behalf of Toronto police in his role as school resource officer. 


Windsor-Essex Schools' Safety Patrol Association

Pictured, left-right: Greg Monforton, Teresa Schaefer, Maia Bent

The City of Windsor is a safer place thanks to this Safety Patrol group, whose Association Board includes representatives from the amalgamated local school board, police services, corporate transportation partners, and the School Bus Safety Committee. These groups train and coordinate student volunteers aged 10-13, who develop leadership skills and safety awareness among their peers. Teresa Schaefer, Vice-President of the association was present to accept this award on behalf of the Windsor-Essex Schools' Safety Patrol Association.


Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for Carbon Monoxide Education

John Gignac, the Foundation Co-chair was unable to attend for photograph, but expressed how humbled and appreciative he is to be chosen for this special award.

The Hawkins-Gignac Foundation was established to honour the memory of the Hawkins familiy who tragically lost their lives to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in 2008. The Foundation promotes awareness of carbon monoxide and raises funds for Canadian fire departments in their work to provide carbon monoxide alarms to at-risk families. In 2015, the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation was instrumental in passing legislation requiring carbon monoxide alarms in all Ontario households.


2015 Honourees

Cindy Lawrence, Halton Regional Police Service Children's Safety Village

(L-R: Laura Hillyer, OTLA Director; Cindy Lawrence, Halton Regional Police Service)

The Halton Regional Police Service Children’s Safety Village is a miniature town with buildings, sidewalks, roads and traffic signals. It opened in 1987 and has approximately 10,000 children visit each year for free safety-based classes. The safety village has also worked with OTLA members to run the Helmets on Kids program. OTLA is pleased to recognize Cindy Lawrence for her devotion to community, and especially children's safety.


Lisa Bradshaw, Helping Acquired Brain Injury Treatment (HABIT)

(L-R: Lisa Bradshaw, HABIT; Maia Bent, OTLA President)

Helping Acquired Brain Injury Treatment (HABIT) was formed in 2002 to provide funding to brain injured children. Lisa Bradshaw was a founder and is the secretary/treasurer. Ms. Bradshaw has worked with HABIT to run a bicycle helmet awareness program in her hometown of Strathroy for the past eight years. She has worked with the local police department to establish a program where police will stop children who are riding their bikes and give out coupons if they are wearing helmets and provide safety information if they are not. We recognize Lisa Bradshaw for all of her work with HABIT and in her community. 


Dianne Bradford, Windsor Regional Hospital - Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (PARTY)

(L-R: Greg Monforton, OTLA Past President; Dianne Bradford, Windsor Regional Hospital; Laura Wilkie, Greg Monforton & Partners; Bradley Robitaille, Greg Monforton & Partners; Maia Bent, OTLA President)

The Windsor Regional Hospital hosts a program for youth called PARTY: Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth. Their mission is to promote injury prevention through reality education, enabling youth to recognize risk and make informed choices about activities and behaviours. Part of the reality education is a case scenario where participants are taken through a trauma. They are brought to the emergency department, local police attend to question and arrest the driver. They tour the ICU and meet with staff to discuss the outcome of poor choices and the importance of safe choices. Diane Bradford is a registered nurse at Windsor Regional Hospital and will be accepting the award on behalf of the PARTY Program.


Dr. Douglas Fraser, Children's Health Research Institute & Team Members

(L-R: Kevin McClafferty, Children's Health Research Institute; Tanya Charyk Stewart, Children's Health Research Institute; Maia Bent, OTLA President)

The Children’s Health Research Institute in London is the third largest hospital-based child health research institute in Canada. One team is looking at the particular needs and risks for children in rear seats in vehicles. The team of experts from a variety of disciplines work together to solve a mystery:  Where are children safe in a car? The answer has not been investigated in this way anywhere else in the world. Dr. Douglas Fraser is spearheading this team of investigators and today we recognize Dr. Fraser and his team for this incredible work. Team members include: Ms. Tanya Chary Stewart, Dr. Jason Gilliland, Dr. Mike Shkrum, Mr. Kevin McClafferty, Mr. Jean-Louis Comeau, and Dr. Neil Parry.