Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, says he is extremely disappointed that the governing Liberals killed a Motion, Tuesday, May 30, to support the implementation of a national partnership to co-ordinate autism research and support.
“Our Conservative government started working on the project that would help coordinate research, advocacy and government actions across Canada related to autism over two years ago,” says Gord. “This motion requested $19 million to get the Canadian Autism Partnership project up and running for the next five years. That’s 10 cents per Canadian.”
The Motion was brought to the House of Commons by MP Mike Lake, who has an autistic son, after the funding was not included in the federal budget. “I thought it was a no-brainer,” said the MP. “It’s worded with as little partisan language as possible.”
A working group was formed by the Conservative government in 2015 to study how best to coordinate policies and resources, as each province and territory approaches the issue in a different manner and has different treatment options available at different life stages.
About 1 in 68 Canadian children are diagnosed with the disorder, and where they live determines when they begin treatment. Mike’s son, Jaden, was diagnosed formally in Alberta at age two, and began receiving treatment almost immediately; something his father says has made him “a completely different young adult” today.
In other provinces, a child might be four-years-old, or even six, before government-approved treatment begins, and by then the window for early intervention is nearly closed. The working group developed a business plan requiring the $19 million in funding over five years. But the money was not in the latest Liberal budget, much to the surprise of the working group.
Gord notes that work will continue on the group.