Open letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:
Dear Minister Petitpas Taylor:
During the month of October, an autism awareness campaign was held in the Senate of Canada to mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Senate report titled Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis.
During this month of activities, many Senators spoke in support of a special inquiry. Some of them shared their personal experiences with autism in touching testimonies. However, everyone emphasized the need to implement the recommendations of this report, starting with a national strategy on autism.
In addition, a Senate Autism Awareness Day was held on October 25th, during which a resource fair was organized and a round table broadcasted live on Facebook. Panelists included researchers, members of the medical community, educators, parents of autistic children, and people with an autism spectrum disorder. All participants underlined the difficulty of accessing adequate services.
Testimony heard during this month-long campaign revealed that it is clear parliamentarians from all parties must start working together immediately and give a concrete follow-up to the report. Unfortunately, autism is increasing in Canada and resources are limited or non-existent. Now is the time to act and develop a national strategy. We are requesting a meeting with you, Prime Minister and Minister Petitpas Taylor, to discuss the next steps and see how we can work collaboratively to make progress in this area.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Wanda Thomas Bernard