Grieving Calgary family joins federal politician to push for stiffer sentences for impaired drivers

by Jill Croteau

For four years, a Calgary mother has relentlessly lobbied for stiffer punishments for impaired drivers. Grace Pesa says she is motivated by the tragic loss of her son Francis Pesa.

The 20 yr old man was killed by a drunk driver. Kulwinder Singh Chohan was sentenced to three years in jail in connection with the death, but only served five months behind bars. Within weeks he will be free and a politician is joining forces with the Pesa family to fight for mandatory minimum sentences for impaired driving offences.

Michael Cooper, the Conservative MP for St. Albert-Edmonton, is also the opposition's deputy shadow minister of justice.

"Chohan will be completely free," Cooper said at a press conference on Tuesday. "No restrictions. No conditions. He will even have an opportunity to have his driver's licence reinstated. The fact that Chohan would receive this sentence is an outrage."

Grace Pesa, and her three surviving sons joined Cooper at his press conference to urge Canadians to support the changes.

Francis's older brother, Hervin Pesa, said he feels compelled to speak out.

"It's not just for us anymore, it's for others who don't have the courage to speak up and ask for change," Hervin said. "We want to be the change agent for others."

They're urging the public to sign a petition in hopes of convincing the government to impose mandatory minimums for drunk drivers who kill.

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