Home Canadian News Free dental care for low-income seniors to be announced in Ontario budget

Free dental care for low-income seniors to be announced in Ontario budget

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Ontario will be announcing free dental care for low-income seniors in Thursday’s budget, The Canadian Press has learned.
Anyone 65 and over in the province making under $19,300 — or $32,300 for couples — would qualify, said senior government sources who were not authorized to speak publicly about the budget item.
Finance Minister Vic Fedeli was tight-lipped when asked about his first budget Tuesday at Tom’s Place in Kensington Market, where he got a sales pitch while forking over $60 for a yellow silk tie to wear as he delivers the fiscal blueprint.
“Maybe you’ll come back when you’re going to get some suits, real suits, not lawsuits,” store owner Tom Mihalik said in a possible reference to Fedeli’s $8 million defamation lawsuit against former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown over his tell-all memoir, Takedown. The case has not been tested in court and Brown has denied any wrongdoing.
Fedeli promised the budget would bring “real relief to the people of Ontario.”
Preventable dental issues such as gum disease, infections and chronic pain lead to more than 60,000 emergency visits per year — a “significant portion” of which are by seniors, one source said.
“We’re quite encouraged this will make a difference,” the source said. “It’s really aimed at those who don’t have a supplementary source of income.”
The service could be accessed through public health units, community health centres and Aboriginal health access centres, with the potential for mobile dental units in the future.
The program, which will cost nearly $100 million per year, was promised by the Progressive Conservatives in their election platform last year.
Various tidbits have been announced or leaked in the past several days ahead of the Tories’ first budget on Thursday.
thestar.com