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Burnaby couple who can't afford teeth cleaning happy to see dental care in federal budget

Federal Liberals, NDP entered into a supply and confidence agreement on March 22.
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New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian speaking to constituents at an event in Burnaby on April 8, 2022.

A local MP says dental coverage included in the 2022 federal budget will make a major difference for New Westminster-Burnaby residents. 

The dental care coverage is a result of a supply and confidence agreement reached between the Liberals and NDP on March 22, 2022, which saw the NDP agree to support Trudeau's government on confidence and budgetary matters, while the Liberals committed to governing for the duration of the agreement. 

Universal national pharmacare and a new dental care program for low-income Canadians were highlighted as key points by Singh and the NDP. 

Budget 2022, released yesterday by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, stated dental care will start with children under 12 in the next year before expanding to 18-year-olds, people with disabilities and seniors in 2023. 

The program is expected to be fully implemented by 2025 and will provide dental care for uninsured families that make less than $90,000 annually. 

Julian says the program will save households at least $1,200 a year. 

"The announcement yesterday that we'll be phasing in over the next three years of full dental care is in major and significant improvement to our health care system," Julian said at an event with constituents on April 8.

"It doesn't cover the high-income earners who have their own dental plans, but it does cover every other family. Ten million Canadians will be having access to dental care for the first time. 

"I know from personal experience, how many people in our area are actually forced to go without basic dental because they simply can't afford it. I've met constituents that literally do not have teeth because of the lack of basic dental care. So this will make a big difference in the lives of people

Phil Stuart, a New Westminster-Burnaby resident, said he's extremely grateful that he'll be able to get treatments he currently can't afford because of not having coverage. 

"My teeth have not been cleaned for five years because I cannot afford it," he said. 

"I have two cavities, but I don't have money to pay for the dental treatment. I am grateful for Mr. Julian and the NDP for forcing the Liberal government to implement dental care for low-income folks like me." 

 

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