The NDP tabled a motion in the House of Commons Feb. 2 calling on the Liberal government to establish a federal dental care program for Canadian families earning less than $90,000 per year.
The NDP consider this a first step to a universal dental care program covered in Canada’s health care system. The emphasis is on good dental health that can impact a person’s entire well-being – yet the party indicates Justin Trudeau has refused to consider moving forward with a national dental care program.
“The Dentacare program we are proposing fulfills part of Tommy Douglas’s vision for Canada’s health care system,” noted Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor. “Providing dental care for those who can’t afford the care they need will help so many families. For too long people have had to wait or do without because they or their family simply can’t afford dental care. New Democrats are going to make sure people have the affordable dental care they desperately need.”
Millions of Canadians don’t visit the dentist every year because they can’t afford it, the NDP stressed, and the Liberals and Conservatives chose to ignore these needs. According to a Parliamentary Budget Office report released in October 2020, nearly 6.5 million Canadians would benefit from the NDP’s program, a number that continues to grow as people lose their jobs and dental insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our population is aging, and when people become retired or semi-retired, they often lose whatever dental benefits they had,” added MacGregor. “Students, families, people working in jobs that don’t offer benefits – all these people could benefit from the program we’re proposing. New Democrats are going to help people who need it.”