Governments across Canada borrow information, tactics and strategies from each other for a variety of purposes, sometimes a constructive exchange of information to help provide better services to citizens. Other times, and it has happened with autism, they exchange ideas to help them to deflect or defeat the citizens calls for services. A few years ago many jurisdictions, including New Brunswick, shifted primary responsibility for provision of autism services from their Health Departments to their Family Services department. This was, in part at least, an element in governmental attempts, for purposes of then ongoing or anticipated legislation, to re-characterize autism intervention services from a medically necessary, universally available, health service to a means test oriented family service.
To help deal with governments who have been reluctant to provide autism services in all jurisdictions and of all political stripes in Canada I have started a grassroots discussion forum on Facebook called the Autism Party of Canada/Parti d'Autisme du Canada. Hopefully the forum will provide members with information and ideas to use in public discussion with the media and political parties before, after and DURING election campaigns. Charitable autism organizations can not generally stand up to government. They are hobbled by charitable tax status requirements and government grant generated conflicts of interest. An Autism Party of Canada could work with those organizations but go beyond their limitations in dealing with government and provide a firmer response to those in power who make decisions affecting the lives of autistic people in Canada.
If you are interested the facebook url is: