Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Will Michael Lake, Harper's Autism Front Man, Resign from Conservative Caucus?

March 21 2007

Michael Lake
MP, Edmonton

Dear Mr. Lake

As the parent of an 11 year old boy with Autism Disorder living in New Brunswick I was very disappointed in you, as the father of an autistic child, acting as a front man for the Harper government in the defeat of Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy's private member bill calling for amendments to the Canada Health Act. That bill would have ensured that autistic children would have received much needed ABA treatment regardless of where they live in Canada. Families would not have to move to your home province of Alberta to ensure receipt of services as they are now doing in significant numbers. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and other national organizations, with autistic children would not be turning down postings to New Brunswick as they are now doing.

As an autism parent you were of great use to Mr. Harper; you were on full display as the father of an autistic child in fighting AGAINST a measure that would have helped so many autistic children, regardless of where they lived in Canada. Of course if you were from one of the poorer provinces with little in the way of funded treatment for autism, rather than affluent Alberta with its well funded treatment, your role in the Conservative-Bloc Quebecois defeat of measures for autism could have been even more prominent.

As it was you claim to have stood on principle. You claimed that it was contrary to the provinces' constitutional jurisdiction over health care for the federal government to help autistic children across Canada. That is why I am sure you are upset over the budget announcement by Finance Minister Flaherty that the Harper government would fund the creation of a Canadian Mental Health Commission. It must be very difficult for you, the autism dad who fought against a national autism strategy, in order to defend the sanctity of provincial jurisdiction over health care, to see your own party now turn on you and violate that principle by the creation of a Canadian Mental Health Commission.

Will you be resigning from the Conservative caucus to sit as an Independent?


Harold L Doherty
Fredericton New Brunswick

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