Federal dental benefit gets green light from House of Commons


The Liberals dentalcare the Benefits Bill passed its third reading on Thursday Communal room despite opposition from the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois.

The bill passed 172 to 138, with the Conservatives and Bloc voting against.

It would give children whose families earn less than $90,000 a year up to $650 per child to care for their teeth.

To be eligible, families will need to apply to the Canada Revenue Agency and certify that they have booked a dental visit for their children, that they do not have private insurance and that they will have to pay for the appointment.

Families will also need to keep their receipts in case of an audit.

Dental care is a pillar of the supply and confidence agreement between the Liberals and the NDP. The Liberals promised to launch a federal dental care insurance program by the end of 2022, starting with coverage for children from low- and middle-income families.

When this could not be accomplished by the end of the year, the Liberals instead implemented a benefits program that would send the money directly to families.

The government has renamed the plan to ease the rising cost of living. Bill C-31 also includes a one-time $500 grant for low-income tenants to help people with the cost of inflation.

The bill still needs to make its way through the Senate and receive Royal Assent before families can apply.

Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer argued in the Commons that the relief was superficial. He said handing out cash could actually contribute to inflation and make the cost of living worse.

“We would be doing Canadians a much greater service … if we came here every day to try to cut government costs,” Scheer said Thursday.

“Don’t pour water on this grease fire. More inflationary spending which will make the problem worse,” he said.

Bloc Québécois MP Jean-Denis Garon told the House of Commons that he felt the bill was rushed and that parliamentarians did not have time to hear from experts and give their opinion on the bill. of law.

The government still intends to develop a dental insurance plan to meet its commitment to the NDP, but no details have yet been released.

By Laura Osman



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