Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mike Lake's Canadian Autism Partnership Motion Defeated And That's A Good Thing

Long time "autism parent" and autism advocate Andrew Kavchak has fought for real treatment for autism as shown in this picture with the late Andy Scott the former MP and highly respected disability advocate from Fredericton, NB.  Kavchak has criticized Mike Lake's motion for a Canadian Autism Partnership as a bureaucracy which would provide no meaningful results to address autism challenges in Canada.

As the information from the Canadian House of Commons Agenda and Decisions website page set out below indicates the opposition motion of  MP Mike Lake was defeated today by a vote of 167 to 130 and this "autism" dad and long time autism advocate is happy.  Sure the motion talks about an autism partnership and requests $19 million but there is no credible way of maintaining that the $19 million dollars would do anything more than create a new quasi governmental bureaucracy one which would not  involve any of the Canadian autism advocates in BC, Ontario or NB whose efforts led to the establishment across Canada of early autism intervention services.  For an excellent analysis of the lack of merit of the motion see the commentary More bureaucracy not the solution for autism treatment by long time, and credible,  autism advocate Andrew Kavchak 

The Motion sponsor, Mr. Lake, has  himself  not been supportive during his years in the Harper government of any meaningful federal role in ensuring that autistic persons across Canada have their complex health and life challenges addressed.  Anyone interested in Mike Lake's non support for autism initiatives while part of the Harper government can enter his name in the search bar of Facing Autism in New Brunswick.  You will find several articles on the subject. 

I did attend a meeting of the CAPP team held in Fredericton and I was not impressed.  I saw nothing beyond the usual divide everyone into tables then shuffle them around to make sure that  no meaningful discussion could take place and no meaningful goals identified and advanced. My perception was that the CAPP organizers were more focused on establishing their organization than in advancing much needed autism services. 

Autism advocates have achieved some success in parts of Canada, including here in NB, in early autism intervention and the NB model has been recommended for consideration by other provinces.  We have also through parent advocacy achieved some progress in educating autistic children.  Adult autism treatment and residential care is non existent and we need to focus on getting results for autistic adults and improving school services not building a new self serving bureaucracy that will assist governments in refusing to focus on providing badly needed autism services.

3:26 p.m.
Opposition Motion
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Yeas 130 | Nays 167

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Text of the Motion
That, given that: (a) Autism Spectrum Disorder (“autism”) is widely considered the fastest growing neurological disorder in Canada, impacting an estimated 1 in 68 children; (b) it is a lifelong diagnosis that manifests itself in a wide-range of symptoms, including difficulty communicating, social impairments, and restricted and repetitive behaviour; (c) individuals with autism and their families face unique challenges over their lifespan, often leading to families in crisis situations; and (d) Autism Spectrum Disorder is not just a health issue — it has overarching implications for Canadian society as a whole; accordingly, the House call on the government to grant the $19 million over 5 years requested by the Canadian Autism Partnership working group, Self-Advocates advisory group, and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, in order to establish a Canadian Autism Partnership that would support families and address key issues such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Mike Lake
Latest Activity
Debated (5/18/2017)


  1. I may have some faith restored. I have personally spoken to Mike Lake about this project and his role in the autism community. He has zero interest in advocating for a national autism strategy or increasing access to treatment for all Canadians. In fact he has voted AGAINST a national strategy.

    The Liberals have an autism medicare resolution that should be in play for enactment that is where some effective advocacy can make a difference on the "front lines".

    Thank you Harold L Doherty for this article.