Canada’s new dental care program is a “step in the right direction” towards helping Canadians have more affordable lives, North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says.
“Constituents have told me their household budgets are stretched to the limit with the rising cost of living and the lack of affordable housing,” said Blaney. “That’s why New Democrats pressed the government to deliver these measures that will put money back in your pockets and help you get ahead.”
The program is a product of the federal NDP’s confidence and supply agreement with the Liberal government. The agreement was reached in March, where one of the NDP’s terms was that Canada adopt a national dental care program. On Sept. 12, the first step toward that program was announced with a temporary dental care benefit for most families with children under 12.
That announcement also included rental assistance for low-income families, and a GST rebate hike for almost 12 million Canadians.
“Without the New Democrats, the Liberals were never going to move forward on dental care,” Blaney said. “I’m frustrated that it’s taken the government this long, but I’m proud that the NDP is making gains for cash-strapped Canadians who need the support.”
Blaney is also the NDP critic for seniors. She has advocated for a full dental program that includes seniors, many of whom are on a fixed income and do not have dental care included in their benefits.
“We have pushed for years for the government to address the affordability crisis,” said Blaney. “While these are steps in the right direction, I will not stop fighting until a full dental program that includes care for all Canadians is implemented.”