Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Real Canadian Autism Hero - Stefan Marinoiu

Stefan Marinoiu is not a federal or provincial political figure, or an entertainment celebrity of any kind talking endlessly about raising autism awareness without taking any action to help the 1 in 88 Canadians who suffer from autism disorders.  Stefan is a real Canadian autism hero.  He has made courageous efforts to have our federal government address Canada's autism crisis. 

Stefan has raised autism awareness without the benefit of political or media connections. He has not done so in order to obtain free travel to Banff or the UN or to augment a political career, he has done it to help his son, Simon,  and  others with autism disorders.  He has done it by twice putting his life at risk with a mid winter walk :autism" trek from Toronto to Ottawa and with a  hunger strike.  I was very pleased to meet Stefan and his wonderful family in Toronto.  Stefan did not confine his efforts to simply raising the awareness as happens with so many much less challenging efforts. Stefan actually advocated for  our federal government to get involved in a meaningful serious way to address Canada's autism crisis.   

Unfortunately the Stephen Harper-Mike Lake government does not want to acknowledge or deal with Canada's autism crisis and there will be no federal progress in Canada as long as the Harper version of the Conservative government holds majority control. Not a single member of our Harper Conservative government, not even those with family members affected by autism, have bothered to push for meaningful federal efforts to address Canada's autism crisis. I doubt though that Stefan will give up.  I will try to follow Stefan's example and continue efforts to advocate for meaningful efforts by our federal government to address Canada's autism crisis.  

Those of us who believe that our federal government should offer meaningful assistance to the 1 in 88 Canadians with an autism disorder have to look past the Harper era and look to NDP and/or Liberal governments to address Canada's national autism crisis.  We can't  give up in the face of Harper's indifference, we must keep fighting and refuse to give up.

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