Canada's NDP

NDP

June 17th, 2021

Liberals reject NDP plan to deliver affordable dental care to millions of Canadians

Ottawa - The Liberal government voted against an NDP motion that would provide dental coverage to millions of Canadians who struggle with the cost of dental care. The NDP proposal would have allowed 6.7 million people in Canada whose household income is less than $90,000 a year to access the dental services they desperately need.

“Canadians across the country are struggling to afford a visit to the dentist. They need the government to have their backs instead of making excuses while refusing to help,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “In the last year, the Liberal government gave billions of dollars in subsidies to large corporations and refused to put a wealth tax on the ultra-rich to ensure they’re paying their fair share. But when it's time to help seniors, students and single moms get the dental care they deserve the answer from the Liberals is 'no'. It couldn’t be clearer that the Liberal government is more interested in helping the ultra-rich than everyday Canadians. It’s not good enough. New Democrats will keep fighting for Canadians to get the health care services they need.”

Liberal, Conservative and Bloc Members of Parliament refused to support the New Democrats’ attempt to deliver dental coverage even though one in five Canadians skip visits to the dentist because they can’t afford it. Across Canada people are going to emergency rooms for dental pain, when what they really need is to see a dentist.

“Health care is a shared responsibility between the provinces and the federal government. The supreme court has made that very clear,” said Jack Harris, NDP MP St. John's East. “The government had an opportunity to show some real leadership by working with us to improve people’s health and their quality of life. Instead, they’re claiming that they just haven’t gotten around to collecting enough data on the situation. The need is urgent and there is a cost to doing nothing. The government’s choice not to help people who can’t afford dental services has serious consequences for Canadians’ health and it also costs the health care system to treat the infections and complications that occur. There are also reports of over $1 billion of lost productivity annually due to untreated oral health issues. It is Canadians who are paying the price for the government's lack of leadership.”