Québec solidaire promises universal dental insurance

The program would cost an estimated $790 million.

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NEW-RICHMOND — Québec solidaire on Thursday reiterated its promise to offer universal public dental insurance.

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The plan would cover 100 per cent of dental care costs for people under 18, social assistance recipients and seniors receiving the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement.

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Other Quebecers could be reimbursed 80 per cent of the cost of cleaning and preventive care, and 60 per cent of the cost of dental care such as fillings and root canals.

Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois made the announcement in New Richmond.

He pointed out that households spend an average of $515 per year for dental care and that one out of four Quebecers goes without dental care for lack of money.

The program would cost $790 million, taking into account an expected financial compensation of $250 million from Ottawa, promised by the federal government as part of an agreement with the NDP.

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Nadeau-Dubois said dentists would have the choice to join the public system or not. He also said QS would review the rates for dental service fees so they would be better in regions like Gaspésie, where the ratio of dentists to residents is lower.

Later, during a rally in a café in Grande-Rivière in the Gaspésie region, Nadeau-Dubois also said public transport was not a subject that only interests Montrealers and that Gaspésiens also need better transport services.

And he said a QS government would not close the McInnis cement plant, the largest industrial polluter in the province.

“Once a company is there, once there are workers for whom it’s their livelihood, we don’t have the right to throw it overboard, we have to work with it.”

In September 2020, QS MNA Ruba Ghazal said the factory is a “bottomless pit of waste of public money” and cement factories are not a sector of the future.

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