When it comes to federal financing of autism treatment for Canadians with autism Conservative MP Greg Thompson, Southwest, New Brunswick has presented two decidedly different faces.
FACE # 1 - Opposition MP Greg Thompson
House of Commons, Hansard, Wed. Sept. 28, 2005.
Statement by Members
Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, CPC):
Mr.Speaker, today along with other members of the House and parents of autistic children, I attended a rally on Parliament Hill urging the federal government to provide financial support to cover the cost of treatment for every child diagnosed with autism.
Autism rates are on the rise in Canada. This neurological disorder affects 1 in every 195 of our children.
Therapy which has been credited in helping children overcome the effects of autism can cost a family up to $60,000 a year. These families and children need our support and I urge the federal government to take the steps necessary to address this important issue.
FACE # 2 - Government MP & Cabinet Minister Greg Thompson
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA39th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION No. 115 (Unrevised)Wednesday, February 21, 20071:00 p.m.
Private Members' Business
Pursuant to Standing Order 93(1), the House proceeded to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of Mr. Murphy (Charlottetown), seconded by Mr. Szabo (Mississauga South), — That Bill C-304, An Act to provide for the development of a national strategy for the treatment of autism and to amend the Canada Health Act, be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Health.
YEAS: 113, NAYS: 155
NAYS -- CONTRE
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
There it is. On September 28 2005 Greg Thompson, wearing Autism Face # 1, sitting as an opposition MP, rose in the House of Commons, not at a local backyard Bar-B-Q or in a beer drenched tavern, but in the House of Commons, to urge the federal government to address the important issue of financing treatment for autistic children in Canada. Then 15 months later, on February 21, 2007, wearing Autism Face # 2, now sitting as a MP and Cabinet Minister of the governing Conservative Party he voted NAY , he voted against, the Private Members' bill of MP Shawn Murphy which, if passed, would have required the federal government to do exactly what Mr. Thompson had previously urged a different federal government to do?
How to explain the Two Autism Faces of Conservative MP Southwest, New Brunswick, Greg Thompson? Was he being shallow and insincere when he wore Autism Face # 1, using the plight of autistic children and their families for political purposes? Or did he simply lack the courage of his convictions; was he afraid to stand up to Conservative Prime Minister Harper when he donned Autism Face #2 and voted against Bill C-304 which would have provided for federal government funding of autism treatment?