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A Better Way to Deliver Dental Care for Kids

There is a better way of delivering increased dental coverage if the federal government wants to contribute to the provinces that are actually delivering health care services across this country. On October 27, I delivered comments in the House of Commons during debate on Bill C-31 Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2 (Targeted Support for Households).

I support dental care. The issue here is that health care delivery, including dental, is a provincial responsibility, but this Liberal government under Justin Trudeau has decided to set up a whole new bureaucracy to deliver one little piece of it.

In Alberta, families with income up to $46,932 receive 100% dental benefits for all children to age 18. The new federal plan offers $650/year for children under 12 on a sliding scale up to income of $90,000 ($260/year per child at the upper end of the scale). All provinces offer lower income dental plans for children, albeit with different thresholds. The federal overlay adds massive bureaucracy and confusion with existing provincial benefit programs.

Why do we need this confusing overlap and multiple programs? The simple reason is that the Liberals had to deliver on their promises to the NDP to stay in power. No other reason. The simple answer to increase dental care would be to transfer dollars to the provinces to supplement their existing programs. But that wouldn’t put a trinket in the window for the NDP.

Transcript of Debate

Read the official Hansard Transcript of debate here.