As I have been doing the last few nights, we are going to do this on Facebook Live again just so Canadians have a chance to see the discussion going on about the Canadian autism partnership. We would ask people who are watching this and seeing it on Facebook to please share it so that more people can see the conversation.
It is interesting. This is the fourth time we have done this in the last week, and we have had four different parliamentary secretaries answer questions here. We had the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health. We had the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities. Interestingly, the other night we had the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, and tonight we have the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, which is interesting. I am not sure if it is strategic, but the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue is a very good friend of mine, so it makes it a bit more interesting in terms of the approach. I am not sure if that is a strategic thing, but it will be interesting to hear her answer today.
First, a bit of background on the Canadian autism partnership. In budget 2015, our government put together an expert working group. It did work, along with a self-advocates advisory group and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance of organizations from across the country. They heard from almost 5,000 stakeholders during their consultations. They had 19 meetings, specifically with the provinces and territories, every single province and territory, to talk about this. They worked for two years on this, then they came to the Liberal government with a budget ask of $19 million over five years, which is $3.8 million per year or, as I said, a dime per Canadian per year.
The budget put forward by the Liberals is over $25 billion in deficit this year alone. I did a bit of math. They rejected the Canadian autism partnership in that budget, a budget with a deficit more than 6,500 times what was asked for by the Canadian autism partnership. The deficit alone is more than 6,500 times the amount they rejected for the Canadian autism partnership, and there was not a single mention of autism in that budget.
The Canadian autism partnership's purpose is to help Canadians living with autism and their families. Many of the challenges are provincial in nature, but what the partnership would do is bring together a true partnership of experts from across the country: people with autism, families, organizations that do work, researchers, and scientists. It would bring together this partnership of experts to advise governments in their jurisdictions on what the best way forward policy-wise is on issues directly affecting families, such as early intervention, education, housing, employment, and transition to those years when the parents have passed on. One of the biggest concerns for families is what is going to happen to their loved ones once they are gone. They would advise governments to make the very best evidence-based decisions.
We moved a motion on this on May 30, and every single Liberal, except one, voted against it.
I have called on Canadians to take some action steps, because we live in a democracy. It is important to note that members from all parties, I think, get involved because they want to make a difference. Certainly, the most important thing Canadians can do right now who are concerned about this is reach out to their Liberal MPs through Twitter, through Facebook, and through emails and phone calls to let them know, respectfully, why the Canadian autism partnership is important to their families.
Of the member opposite, I am going to ask the same question I have asked many times during question period, the same question I have asked four times during these late shows.
On May 30, every Conservative member of Parliament, every New Democratic Party member of Parliament, the Green Party member of Parliament, the leader, stood in this House in favour of the Canadian autism partnership. My hope is, today, that my good friend, the parliamentary secretary, will put the script aside and explain why she and her Liberal colleagues chose to put the political interest of their party ahead of Canadians living with autism.