Autism Canada Announces New Chair and Board Members


(Toronto, Canada, Jan. 30, 2023) Autism Canada is pleased to announce B.C. labour leader Paul Finch as the new chair of its board of directors. Finch is an advocate for the autistic community and lives proudly on the autism spectrum. 

Since 2014, Finch has been the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU), which represents more than 85,000 public and private sector workers in B.C. He brings a depth of board and governance experience and currently sits on the board of the BC Investment Management Corporation, the BC Federation of Labour and the National Union of Public and General Employees. Finch lives in Port Moody, B.C. His interests include economics and Platonism.

“I’m really excited to continue working with our current and incoming board members at Autism Canada,” said Paul. “We’re committed to expanding our range of partnerships with individuals and organizations across the country and continuing to advocate for meaningful evidence-based supports and policies that centre the knowledge and experience of autistic people. We know people are struggling daily with acceptance, inclusion and support-needs not evenly addressed or integrated across provinces and territories. We believe we can provide a truly national approach with expanded partnerships at every level that can provide enhanced opportunities for funding, research, services, and advocacy.”

Finch replaces outgoing chair Dermot Cleary.

“On behalf of Autism Canada, I would like to extend a warm thank you to Dermot Cleary for his years of dedication, hard work and service as chair of our board,” said Barbara Patten, the Executive Director of Autism Canada. “As our board leadership transitions and we welcome new directors, we look forward to growing our impact in support of autistic people, their families, and caregivers across Canada.”

The organization also welcomes four new board members: Cheryl Burt, Cristi Adams, Lori Neustaedter, and Milena Nazaruk.

For more information, please contact Barbara Patten at

About Autism Canada 

Autism Canada is the only Canadian organization with a national perspective on the issues currently facing those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, their families, caregivers, and allies. Autism Canada’s primary mandate is to increase the quality of life and well-being of people on the Autism Spectrum through education, advocacy, and support.
Autism Canada is committed to delivering the highest quality programs and community resources like the national annual Au-Some Conference, our dedicated Family Support team, a first-of-its-kind Search and Rescue for Autism program, and an exceptional catalogue offering autism education to both the public and private sectors. Autism Canada is proud to have served the autism community in Canada since 1976.”