PM Trudeau visits London to tout Canada Dental Benefit

PM Justin Trudeau speaks at Western University. Photo by Rebecca Chouinard.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry to announce that applications are now open for the Canada Dental Benefit, which he says will help low and middle income families across the country afford better dental care.

The Canada Dental Benefit, which was a condition of support in the “supply and confidence” agreement the Liberal government entered with the New Democratic Party, will provide direct payments to qualifying parents and guardians with children under 12 years old. To be eligible, families must have an annual adjusted net income under $90,000 and must not have access to private dental insurance. Recipients can receive up to $650, per child, per year, over the next two years.

“This is all part of our plan to make life more affordable for Canadians. Our new Canada Dental Benefit could help half a million Canadian kids see a dentist,” Trudeau said. “One-third of Canadians don’t have dental insurance. If you have one or more kids at home, you know that sending them to the dentist is not cheap. And for those that don’t have insurance, it often is simply not possible, or means making really, really difficult choices and tradeoffs on what you can afford for your kids.”

Trudeau shared that his government is on track to implement a long-term dental care program for these families towards the end of 2023, and a plan will be in place for seniors, minors, and people with disabilities in 2025.

Trudeau was joined by London MPs Peter Fragiskatos and Arielle Kayabaga. Also in attendance were Karina Gould, the minister of families, children, and social development, as well as Dr. Lynn Tompkins, the president of the Canadian Dental Association. 

“I have to say I’m extraordinarily proud to be part of a team that is making historic, transformative investments in our families and in our children,” said Gould.

Dr. Tompkins offered her professional perspective on the importance of proper dental care for young people.

“Oral health is an essential component of overall health, and we believe that Canadians have a right to good oral health,” she said. “Poor oral health strains other parts of the healthcare system, such as through emergency hospital visits or managing the long-term impacts of poor oral health on systemic disease. This is particularly the case with children.”

Applications for the Canada Dental Benefit are now available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.

According to Trudeau, the Canada Dental Benefit is just one component of the government’s efforts to support Canadian families. He also mentioned $10-a-day child care and how hundreds of thousands of kids have been lifted out of poverty with the Canada Child Benefit.

At the end of the press conference, Trudeau was confronted with questions regarding China’s interference in the most recent election, as well as his views on medically assisted death.