ontario news watch

Proposed dental benefit for children would cost $703M: Parliamentary budget officer

OTTAWA — Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux says Ottawa’s proposed dental benefit for children under the age of 12 would cost $703 million over the next three fiscal years. 

Giroux released the costing in a new report today after MPs voted Wednesday to send the bill to a committee for study, putting it one step closer to becoming reality.

The benefit would provide up to $650 annually to cover the dental costs for children whose families who don’t already have coverage and earn less than $90,000 per year. 

It is a key element of the supply and confidence agreement between the Liberals and the NDP, and is meant to be an interim measure while the government works on a more complete dental-care plan.

The Conservatives are opposing Bill C-31, which includes both the dental benefit and a one-time $500 allowance for low-income renters.

They argue the measures would drive up inflation and offer minimal relief to Canadians.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2022. 

The Canadian Press