The following blog comment was initially written to describe The Two Autism Faces of Conservative MP Greg Thompson, Southwest, New Brunswick but since it also applied equally well to Conservative MP Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows - Maple Ridge - Mission BC). I am republishing the comment today with slight changes to describe the Two Autism Faces of Randy Kamp.
When it comes to federal financing of autism treatment for Canadians with autism Conservative MP Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows - Maple Ridge - Mission BC) has presented two decidedly different faces.
FACE # 1 - Opposition MP Randy Kamp
As reported in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times, November 23, 2005
"Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from the citizens of British Columbia, who rightly believe that IBI-ABA therapy can dramatically help children with autism. They are calling upon Parliament to amend the Canada Health Act and corresponding regulations to include therapy for children with autism as medically necessary treatment and require that all provinces provide and fund this essential treatment for autism," said Kamp.
"The measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. The question is not whether we have a legal obligation, but whether we have a moral obligation to help these children. We need to do everything we can to ensure that children with autism have the opportunity to become healthy and reach their full potential as participating members of their communities," said Kamp to the crowd, according to a news release.
"Minister Dosanjh has been unsupportive of autism groups since his days as Premier of B.C. I understand their frustration with him. As the federal Health Minister, he now has an opportunity to do the right thing and I call upon him to have compassion for autistic children and move forward with a National Autism Strategy," said Kamp.
FACE # 2 - Government MP & Parliamentary Secretary Randy Kamp
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA 39th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION No. 115 (Unrevised) Wednesday, February 21, 2007 1:00 p.m.
Private Members' Business
Pursuant to Standing Order 93(1), the House proceeded to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of Mr. Murphy (Charlottetown), seconded by Mr. Szabo (Mississauga South), — That Bill C-304, An Act to provide for the development of a national strategy for the treatment of autism and to amend the Canada Health Act, be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Health.
YEAS: 113, NAYS: 155
NAYS -- CONTRE
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
There it is.
In November 2005 Randy Kamp, wearing Autism Face # 1, while sitting as an opposition MP, spoke to parents of autistic children and then rose in the House of Commons, not at a local backyard Bar-B-Q or in a beer drenched tavern, but in the House of Commons, to urge the federal government to address the important issue of financing treatment for autistic children in Canada.
Then 15 months later, on February 21, 2007, wearing Autism Face # 2, now sitting as an MP and Parliamentary Secretary in the governing Conservative Party Mr. Kamp voted NAY , he voted against, the Private Members' bill of MP Shawn Murphy which, if passed, would have required the federal government to do exactly what Mr. Kamp had previously urged a different federal government to do.
How to explain the Two Autism Faces of Conservative MP Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows - Maple Ridge - Mission BC)? Was he being shallow and insincere when he wore Autism Face # 1, using the plight of autistic children and their families for political purposes? Or did he simply lack the courage of his convictions; was he afraid to stand up to Conservative Prime Minister Harper when he donned Autism Face #2 and voted against Bill C-304 which would have provided for federal government funding of autism treatment?
Only Randy Kamp knows for sure. And maybe Stephen Harper.