Monday, October 06, 2008

This Autism Dad Will Not Be Voting Conservative or Green

I will not be voting Conservative in this election. Nor will I be voting Green.

As the father of a son with Autistic Disorder, assessed with profound developmental delays, I am heavily influenced by party autism platforms and histories. The Conservative Party of Stephen Harper has made clear on many occasions that, while it governs, there will be no meaningful attempt by the federal government to assist autistic children and adults or their families. That position has also been made crystal clear by the responses of Conservative candidates to questions from the Medicare for Autism Now Society.

Some Green Party candidates have been positive, and some negative, in response to the MFANS question: "If you are elected to the House of Commons on Oct. 14th, will you publicly commit to supporting legislation which will amend the Canada Health Act to include autism treatment?"

The Green Party has responded to an email from Autism Canada about creating a new federal autism bureaucracy by stating that it does not have a specific position on autism at this time. The Green Party answer, perhaps because of Autism Canada's focus on bureaucracy building, reflects the possibility of future Green Party support for an autism bureaucracy but shows no awareness of the need to provide targeted federal funding to ensure that all autistic children in Canada receive evidence based, effective ABA treatment:

On behalf of Elizabeth May, I would like to thank you for your email and for sharing with us your concerns.

While the Green Party of Canada does not have a specific policy on autism at this time, we are strongly in favour of the Department of Health furthering its mandate to include mental health, as well as developmental health, such as autism. Similarly, we would be committed to expanding the mandate of the Public Health Agency of Canada to include studies on developmental and mental health.

I asked Elizabeth May and the Green Party the following question on September 22, 2008:

Shawn Murphy, the Liberal MP for Charlottetown introduced a private members motion Bill C-304 which called for a National Autism Strategy that included an amendment to the Canada Health Act to require provincial funding of ABA treatment for autism. The motion was defeated on a second reading vote by the combined opposition of the Conservative and Bloc Quebecois parties. The Liberal and NDP party members almost all voted in favour of the motion.

Ms May will the Green Party of
Canada follow up on the Shawn Muphy autism motion by also seeking amendment of the Canada Health Act to require ABA treatment for autism?

I received no reply to my question. Autistic children in Canada do not need another federal bureaucracy to study autism and"better inform Canadians as promoted by Autism Canada. The Green Party of Canada, with no specific autism platform at present, has shown interest in Autism Canada style bureaucracy building but no interest in actually taking real action to help autistic children in Canada receive effective treatment wherever they live.

The Green Party, like the Conservative Party, will not be receiving this autism dad's vote in this election.

1 comment:

Christine said...

I to have been contacting MP's running in my riding and have received the same response from the Conservative's. I am sick and tired of them using Mike Lake as an example and my current MP looks to him for answers. Mike Lake is not an advocate for Autism. My MP did not even know how many people are affected by Autism. If he is so in touch with Mike Lake surely that would be one of the first things brought to attention. Furthermore according to statistic's that would affect approx. 6000 families in my riding.

I will not be voting for the Conservative's either. Thank you for the information on the Green Party as they will not get my vote.