October 7th, 2020
More and more Canadians need the federal government to act on dental care
OTTAWA — While the Liberals have been refusing to implement the NDP’s proposal for a federal dental care program for uninsured Canadians, millions of more Canadians have found themselves in need of that crucial support. Today, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) released an updated report in response to a request by NDP Health Critic Don Davies that proves the growing need for the NDP’s proposed dental care coverage.
A year ago, the PBO found that a little over four million people across Canada would have benefitted from the NDP’s proposal to provide dental care to people in need. Today’s report shows that the need has grown to over six million people.
“Every year millions of Canadians don’t go to the dentist because they can’t afford it and, as people lose their coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, that number is growing. Not being able to pay for routine care like a dental exam or a teeth cleaning today results in more serious health problems tomorrow,” said Davies. “This government is choosing to leave some of the poorest Canadians behind.”
In 2019, New Democrats campaigned on the promise of dental care and, in response to NDP pressure, the Liberals included dental care in their Speech from the Throne. But, when New Democrats proposed a plan to scrap the Liberals’ tax giveaway to people earning over $100 000 and use those savings to give dental care to everyone earning less than $90 000, the Liberals refused.
“We gave the Liberals a path forward and they rejected it. More and more Canadians need this support. It’s time for the federal government to step up and deliver it,” said Davies. “Canadians can’t afford to continue with the status quo. When we help people by providing comprehensive dental care before their problems get worse we’re reducing the number of emergency room visits, doctors’ appointments and medication needed to treat infections. In the long run, this saves the government money and improves the health of millions of Canadians and their families.”