Welcome to the rst newsletter of the canadian Autism spectrum Disorders Alliance (cAsDA). Welcome to the Alliance and thank you for your shared commitment to in uencing our federal policy makers via a uni ed voice. We are pleased to share with the membership what has transpired since we last approached you to join.
on march 30 in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, and with the gracious assistance of senator Jim munson, cAsDA hosted our second reception on Parliament Hill, addressing a full house of mPs, senators, staff and invited guests. our message was clear. We need autism to be a priority on the federal government’s political agenda and we need a comprehensive plan or national Autism strategy. to name just a few that were in attendance: Peter mcKay, mike Lake, michael ignatieff, Justin trudeau, shawn murphy, Glen thibeault, Peter stoffer and Luc malo. it was impressive to our guests that cAsDA had grown to 37 organizations over the last year, presenting a strong uni ed voice.
As a result of our networking on Parliament Hill, Mike Lake MP (Edmonton), arranged a conference call with scott tessier, chief of staff of ce of the minister of Health. Again, we presented cAsDA’s mission and vision. We inquired into the status of the autism portfolio and identi ed areas that we believe needed attention. scott committed to facilitating a face to face meeting with key federal players and cAsDA representatives to move the discussion further along.
on June 9th, 2010, the Leadership committee of cAsDA, represented by Kathleen Provost from Autism society canada, margaret Whelan from Geneva centre for Autism and Laurie mawlam from Autism canada Foundation met with senior federal of cials. these of cials included:
- scott tessier, chief of staff, of ce of the minister of Health
- Kimberly Elmslie, Director General, centre for chronic Disease Prevention and control, Public Health Agency of canada (PHAc)
- nathalie Gendron, Assistant Director, institute of neurosciences, mental Health and Addiction, canadian institute of Health research (ciHr)
- Gavin Brown, Acting Director General, Health care Policy Directorate, strategic Policy Branch, Health canada.
The meeting was a platform for cAsDA to share our vision and mission and for us to hear about recent developments towards a national surveillance system.
This working group of the cAsDA Leadership committee and the above senior of cials made a commitment to meet three times a year. the purpose of these meetings is for two-way communications. Federal of cials agree to keep cAsDA abreast of developments and together we agree cAsDA will provide stakeholder feedback.
In the works is a forum to roll out the results of a pilot project on surveillance done by Queens university. While this is just in the infancy stage of planning, cAsDA will keep you abreast.
Thank you for joining cAsDA to ensure that all canadians with an AsD have full and equal access to the resources they require to achieve their full potential. our strong collective voice is making a difference!