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Push for Canadian Autism Partnership Model to Continue Despite Omission in Federal Budget

 

Halifax, NS – March 23, 2017: The push to establish a Canadian Autism Partnership will continue despite not being reflected in the federal budget that was announced yesterday.

“We are obviously disappointed that the Federal Government decided not to include the Canadian Autism Partnership in the 2017 budget,” said Cynthia Carroll, Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA). “This Partnership, and the development of its business plan, reflects an exceptional investment of expertise and time from thousands of Canadians across the country who believe it is the way forward to effectively address the complex issues pertaining to Autism. Understandably, there is some sadness in our community today – but we will continue to seek answers on the next steps in making this Partnership a reality.”

CASDA along with Canada’s leading experts in Autism representing the Canadian Autism Partnership’s Working Group and the seven Autistic adults who made-up the Self-Advocate Advisory Committee, say that while this is not the result they were hoping for, they will not be deterred.

“Canadians have spoken:  a national approach is the way  forward – we must keep working closely with the Autism community and the decision-­makers in government”,” said Dr. Stelios Georgiades, member of the CAP Working Group and Founder, co-Director of MacART (McMaster Autism Research Team). “Right now, it is fair to say we are fragmented – especially in the way that we deliver resources and supports in each province and territory. There are no quick fixes to these complex issues. We understand that. We will continue our efforts to establish the position that a Canadian Autism Partnership can serve as a national innovation to address the needs of all Canadians affected by Autism.”

The Canadian Autism Partnership initiative was officially launched in July 2015 with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Partnership initiative is a project of the CASDA developed in response to Autism in Canada, 2014, CASDA’s national Autism needs assessment report.

The CAP business plan, presented to the Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health in November 2016, proposed a $19 million dollar investment, over five years, from the federal government and provided a detailed rationale for a Partnership model which would stand as a vehicle for knowledge generation, transition and exchange; a model that would build and enhance capacity – and most importantly a structure that would mobilize partners across jurisdictions and sectors. The plan also prioritized five complex issues, which were determined in large part based on input from Autistic individuals and their families; and outlined the model to address them and the expected outcomes from this national asset.

To learn more about the Canadian Autism Partnership Project and review the business plan, visit www. capproject.ca.
For Information Contact:
Allison Garber
Communications Lead, Canadian Autism Partnership Project
(902) 221-5254
Allison@allisongarber.ca