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Canada's World Autism Awareness Day Act: Great Preamble, Zero Action

Posted Apr 01 2013 8:06am

On November 1, 2012 Canada passed An Act respecting World Autism Awareness Day an Act with a great preamble which provides for absolutely no action to ensure that effective evidence based early intervention for autism would be provided to all Canadian families affected by autism spectrum disorders.  

Talk, and rhetoric, is cheap.  Intervention is not. Failure to provide intervention and services is not cheap.   The human and financial costs of failing to take effective autism action continue to rise across Canada. 

CHAPTER 21 An Act respecting World Autism Awareness Day
[Assented to 1st November, 2012]
Whereas autism spectrum disorders affect a significant number of families in Canada;
Whereas Canada has a health care system and social safety net to prevent illness and serve citizens;
Whereas Canadian families affected by autism spectrum disorders have unequal access to services across the country;
Whereas worldwide the number of diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders is growing;
Whereas a greater awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for people with autism is required to engage more Canadians in helping their fellow citizens;
Whereas early intervention in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders can have promising results and help people engage with and contribute to society;
Whereas there is no known cause or cure for autism spectrum disorders;
Whereas 192 United Nations representatives agreed that World Autism Awareness Day would draw the attention of people across the globe to this neurological disorder that is affecting an increasing number of families;
Whereas in 2007 the United Nations General Assembly designated April 2, from 2008 on, as World Autism Awareness Day;
Whereas Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which maintain that children with disabilities should enjoy a full and decent life in conditions that ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate their active participation in the community, while also enjoying all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children;
And whereas Canada is a member of the United Nations and supports the work of this vital international organization;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
SHORT TITLE Short title
1. This Act may be cited as the World Autism Awareness Day Act.

2. Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the second day of April shall be known as “World Autism Awareness Day”.
Published under authority of the Senate of Canada
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