A Medicare for Autism Now! Rally was organized by FEAT-BC
and held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 26, 2007.
Shawn Murphy, Jim Munson, Andy Scott
Former PEI MP Shawn Murhpy, New Brunswick Senator Jim Munson and the late Andy Scott a former Fredericton NB MP all advocated actively for a REAL National Autism Strategy with Shawn Murphy presenting an unsuccessful provvate member's Bill C-304, to include autism treatment in medicare coverage and then Fredericton MP Andy Scott working with Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer to intoduce a National Autism Strategy bill which was passed and put the issue on the national agenda although no serious efforts have been made since then. Senator Munson chaired the Senate review of autism services in Canada and issued the Pay Now or Pay Later Report.
Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer co-sponsored a national autism bill with NB MP Andy Scott.
Fredericton MP Andy Scott with Jean Lewis of FEAT-BC and Medicare for Autism NOW!.
Jean was and IS a determined advocate for Medicare coverage of Autism treatment.
The photos above were all taken at the Medicare for Autism Now! rally at Halifax, May 26, 2007 organized by Jean Lewis and her fellow advocates from British Columbia. Medicare for Autism Now! has remained active since then and remains one of the few legitimate national autism organizations in Canada. Under the current government charities seeking to maintain their charitable status dare not address the need for a real National Autism Strategy for fear of losing their charity status.
The fact is that the current government has accomplished nothing of substance in addressing national autism issues. In 2015 Canadians must still rely for information about the prevalence of autism disorders on US figures. There is no discussion of taking steps to ensure that children in each Canadian province. There is very little discussion of media reports of families moving across Canada and to the US seeking autism treatment for their autistic children.
Autism Canada, the newly formed entity rising from the merger of the Autism Canada Foundation and Autism Society Canada, and Autism Speaks will not advocate for Medicare coverage of autism disorders. They will not risk their charitable status and funding for their organizations. With a federal election looming it is time for serious national autism advocates to speak up and advocate for autism treatment coverage under Medicare.
Stephen Harper and Mike Lake, a well known Conservative MP who appears to be a good guy and a great father of an autistic son have done nothing to help autistic children across Canada not one damn thing. They both say, correctly, that health care is within provincial constitutional jurisdiction and they are right. What they both ignore is the concept of co-operative federalism a concept which once existed in Canada and can be restored with a new government in place.
Medicare itself came into existence in this country via federal provincial cooperation and it can be amended to include autism treatment coverage by the same mode. We need medicare for autism and we need it NOW!.