Mr. Speaker, as we have done the previous four times with these late shows on the Canadian autism partnership, we are broadcasting this one via Facebook Live again, which is an interesting opportunity for Canadians to hear yet the same answers over and over again. We have had five opportunities now to do this, this being our fifth.
Interestingly, this is our fifth different parliamentary secretary. We have had the parliamentary secretary for health and the parliamentary secretary for persons with disabilities and sport. Interestingly, we have had the parliamentary secretary for revenue. We have had the parliamentary secretary for defence, who did not do a very good job defending the Liberal position on this.
Interestingly, we now have the parliamentary secretary for transport answering a question about a Canadian autism partnership. Maybe that is fitting, given the number of Canadians who travel from jurisdiction to jurisdiction to get evidence-based treatment in this country.
I will provide a bit of history of the Canadian autism partnership for those who have not been following along.
In 2015, our government established an expert working group of 12 prominent Canadian experts on autism to put together a plan for a Canadian autism partnership. This working group worked with a team of seven incredible self-advocates who worked alongside it. They worked with families. They listened to almost 5,000 submissions. They met with provincial and territorial governments across the country, every single province and territory in Canada, to get input into the business plan that they brought forward in the fall of 2016. They brought that business plan forward with an ask for $19 million over five years, just $3.8 million a year. That is a dime per Canadian per year.
The Canadian autism partnership would bring these experts together to work with families, with stakeholders, with self-advocates, and with some of the top researchers in the world right here in Canada. It would advise governments in their jurisdictions on the real challenges facing families and individuals living with autism in Canada in the areas of, for example, education, early intervention, housing, vocation, a lot of the difficult transitions that people with autism have across their lifespan, and maybe mental health issues in some places, and provide absolute, solid, evidence-based advice, the best advice gathered from jurisdictions around the world to serve Canadians living with autism.
Unbelievably, although half of the Liberal caucus signed support letters in support of the Canadian autism partnership, it did not find its way into the budget, into a budget that ran a deficit of $25 billion a year. The government could not find $3.8 million to fund the Canadian autism partnership, which was years in the making, with thousands of people weighing in.
What we will probably hear from the parliamentary secretary is what we have heard 15 times in question period and four times during the late show. She will probably list off measures that the previous Conservative government funded, measures like ready, willing, and able, community works, the autism surveillance program, or $39 million in research. We have talked time and again about what those researchers want. Four of them were on the Canadian autism partnership working group. What they want more than anything else is for their research to actually be used to benefit Canadians in areas like early intervention, education, housing, vocation, and other things.
Though I will not hold my breath, what I am hoping we will hear from the parliamentary secretary is a reason why, while every Conservative, New Democrat, and Green member of Parliament voted yes to the Canadian autism partnership, every single Liberal voted no except for one.