Government of Canada Announces Partnership with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences to Lead Consultations for the National Autism Strategy

News release

Engaging a neutral, third-party organization will ensure a broad and inclusive consultation process

October 27, 2020 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, is pleased to announce an investment of $1.46 million for the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) to lead consultations for the development of the National Autism Strategy. The CAHS is a charitable, not-for-profit and neutral organization that conducts research, engagement and develops evidenced-based conclusions on a range of complex health and health-related issues of importance to Canadians.

The Government of Canada is committed to improving the health and well-being of children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to supporting parents and caregivers. The Government of Canada will work collaboratively with provinces, territories and stakeholders toward the creation of a National Autism Strategy.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is engaging the CAHS to lead a broad and inclusive consultation process for the development of a National Autism Strategy that will consider a wide range of views and evidence-based information that will form the basis of the Strategy and that are of importance to autistic individuals, their families, caregivers and stakeholders.


“As we work toward the creation of the National Autism Strategy, we are striving to examine the many aspects of ASD across the life course in a way that resonates with all people with autism and their families. The consultation process will examine a range of issues aimed at ensuring the achievement of social and economic inclusion, and evidence-based interventions for Canadians with autism.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“This is an important investment in our work to continue improving the health and wellbeing of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We know that by working with provinces, territories, families and the disability community we can create a strong national autism strategy that will help Canadians living with ASD, their families and caregivers. I look forward to participating in these important discussions and to building on our work to create a disability inclusive Canada.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

“Together with stakeholders, our Fellows will provide evidence-based information to help the government fulfill its plan to develop a National Autism Strategy.  We look forward to working with the autism community on this important initiative.”

Dr. Chris Simpson
President, Canadian Academy of Health Science

Quick facts

  • ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and non-verbal communication.

  • Approximately 1 in 66 Canadian children and youth, aged 5 to 17 years, is diagnosed with ASD. Boys are identified with ASD four times more frequently than girls (National ASD Surveillance System Report, March 2018).

  • This project is being funded through a directed contribution agreement from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

  • Addressing the complex and diverse needs of people with ASD requires a coordinated effort with all levels of government and service providers.

  • As outlined in the Minister of Health’s 2019 mandate letter, the Government of Canada will work collaboratively with provinces, territories and stakeholders toward the creation of a national autism strategy.

Associated links


Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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