June 15th, 2021
NDP MP Jack Harris proposes affordable dental care for millions of Canadians
One in five Canadians say the cost stops them from visiting a dentist.
OTTAWA – Later today there will be a final debate on an NDP motion that would provide dental coverage to millions of Canadians who struggle with the cost of dental care. The NDP plan would allow 6.7 million people in Canada whose household income is less than $90,000 a year to access the dental services they desperately need.
“Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would particularly benefit from this program,” say MP Jack Harris (St. John’s East), “as over the half of families would qualify based on household income and more than 60 per cent of seniors don’t have dental care benefits.”
“Canadians across the country are suffering unnecessarily because they can’t afford to see a dentist,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “In the last year, the Liberal government has given billions of dollars in subsidies to large corporations. They stood by while pandemic aid that was supposed to help workers keep their jobs was given to wealthy executives. And they have refused to put a wealth tax on the ultra-rich to ensure they’re paying their fair share. After giving so much money to those that don’t need it, how can they then tell Canadians that they won’t help make dental services affordable? This isn’t right. Instead of supporting the richest in our country, New Democrats will fight for everyday Canadians to get the health care services they need.”
Tomorrow, Members of Parliament from all parties will vote on the New Democrats’ proposal to deliver affordable dental coverage to more Canadians. The Private Member’s Motion was brought forward by Harris who says this would be life changing for millions of students, seniors, single parents and low-income households across the country who don’t have dental insurance.
“Dental health issues can have a very serious impact on your overall health but they can also affect your confidence. I have spoken to people who don’t feel like they can go out and get a job because they have bad teeth and feel very self-conscious about how they look or sound to others. There are seniors in our communities who struggle to eat because their teeth are in such poor shape. There are single moms enduring pain and risking other health complications because they can't afford to see a dentist for a simple procedure. These people deserve our help,” said Harris.
“Tomorrow, the Liberal government has a chance to do the right thing. They can support our plan and get millions of Canadians access the basic healthcare services they need.”
Debate on the NDP motion will occur around 7:00pm NL Time.
You can watch the proceedings here.