September 30, 2015
Leader of the Official Opposition
Dear Mr Mulcair
The Federal NDP has in the past been very helpful in addressing autism on a national level including efforts by Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer who worked with the late Fredericton Liberal MP Andy Scott to effect passage of a National Autism Strategy motion in the House of Commons albeit one which did not address autism treatment coverage under Medicare. In July 2014 I asked if the NDP would support a real National Autism Stragegy. I receivd the following positive response from your office:
Dear Mr. Doherty,
Thank you for writing. We appreciate hearing of your advocacy work on behalf of your son and all individuals living with autism spectrum disorders.
Please be assured that New Democrats are determined to help put the needs of Autistic children on the political map. The NDP supports the continuing efforts to create a National Autism Strategy, therefore ensuring that individuals would receive the highest level of care, regardless of which region of Canada they live in.
As you mentioned, NDP MP Glenn Thibeault is helping to provide leadership on this matter along with working to have the Canada Health Act amended to include Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) as medically recognized treatments for individuals living with autism spectrum disorders. (http://glennthibeault.ndp.ca/post/thibeault-re-introduces-autism-legislation)
Going forward you can count on our team of New Democrat MPs to continue to speak out on this matter. It’s time for leadership that will move Canada forward.
Again, thank you for taking the time to be in touch.
All the best,
Office of Thomas Mulcair, MP (Outremont)
Leader of the Official Opposition
New Democratic Party of Canada
Here in Fredericton I asked candidates in the current election the following question as part of the Medicare for Autism Now!'s 1 in 68 campaign:
I was very pleased to receive the following excellent response to the One in 68 question from the Fredericton NDP candidate Sharon Scott-Levesque:
I wish to thank you for your message regarding the inclusion of Applied Behaviour Analysis in Medicare. As you have noted, this is an issue affecting a growing number of Canadian families, and I understand the high costs of treatment are of great concern.
As you know the Canada Health Act requires provinces to cover medically necessary services without naming any particular procedure. This means that the decision on what to cover has been left up to the provinces, creating a patchwork system where some provinces provide coverage for Applied Behavioural Analysis and others do not.
I recognize that this disparity creates a hardship for families and myself and the NDP are interested in working with the provinces to see this disparity eliminated. This is definitely a subject we will raise with the provinces when we negotiate a new Health Accord.
I do support this change and hope we can work together in the future.
Sharon Scott- Levesque RN
Fredericton NDP Candidate
Mr Mulcair, past NDP contributions have been helpful but the failure by the federal government to see that science based ABA/IBI treatment for autism is included under Medicare means that many autistid children have not received the training which could have helped improve the core deficits of their autism disorders.
NDP candidate Sharon Scott-Levesque's statement of her support is much appreciated.
Mr. Mulcair, can you confirm that the NDP will commit to negotiating a new Health Accord with the provinces which will include science based ABA/IBI treatment for autism spectrum disorder uner Medicare?