“Families are having to decide to pay for dental care for their kids or pay their bills. No one should have to deal with the pain or lifelong damage of going without dental care. But today, too many Canadians end up in the emergency room because of dental problems that could be easily prevented,” said Singh. “Unfortunately for families, for years the Liberals voted with the Conservatives against dental care. Today, we’re announcing the first step of a dental care plan to make sure your kids can get their teeth fixed. But we’re not going to stop there, we’re going to keep fighting to make sure all Canadians can access comprehensive dental care as part of our healthcare system.”
For months, New Democrats have been pushing the government to act on inflation and the rising cost of living and for months, the government has said it’s not their fault and have left Canadians to fend for themselves. Had the Liberals recognized the urgency of the situation, these three measures could have been passed in the House last spring and people could have already seen these funds in their budgets.
The three measures New Democrats are delivering are:
- Dental care for kids under 12, $650 per child per year for two years as a permanent program is built in 2023.
- A $500 top up to the Canada Housing Benefit for almost two million people.
- Up to $467 top up to the GST Tax Credit for almost twelve million people.
- Despite calling for inflation relief since early May, the Liberals had failed to move on any help to put money back in people’s pockets.
- The most common surgery performed on preschool children at most pediatric hospitals in Canada is treatment of dental decay.
- In Canada, an estimated one per cent of all emergency room visits in a given year are made by patients with non-urgent dental conditions, such as toothaches or tooth decay.
- Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government, voted with the Conservatives against the NDP’s motion to give millions of Canadians access to dental care, as a first step towards universal, public dental care twice just last year.