Photograph by: Blair Gable, Reuters
Canadians are waiting to see what Stephen Harper does with the very solid majority that Canadians voted to give him on Monday. One thing they will not have to wait for during the Harper majority years is a Real National Autism Strategy. I am not a fan of Stephen Harper and I do not trust him on important issues like health care. What I do not question is his opposition to any serious role for the federal government in ensuring that autistic children and adults across Canada receive effective evidence based treatment for autism, a real education or decent, autism specific residential care.
Citing Constitutional grounds Harper's team led by Mike Lake, father of an autistic son, have consistently refused to get involved in any meaningful effort to help autistic Canadians. The recent declaration by prominent British Columbia Harper cabinet minister James Moore that autism is not a disability calls into question Mike Lake's autism awareness efforts within his own party but leaves no room for doubt. There will be no help for autistic Canadians, no Medicare for Autism, no Real National Autism Strategy during a Harper administration. Any efforts to bring about a Real National Autism Strategy must look to the future until after the Harper majority has run its course.