Wynne government fails to cover urgent dental work: NDP MPP Mantha

QUEEN'S PARK – During question period Monday, NDP MPP Michael Mantha said Kathleen Wynne is wrong not to cover the urgent dental work needed for a local family that cannot afford the costs of the necessary dental care for their two children.

“Poon-Li Outinen is 12 years old. She and her older brother each need to have a few teeth removed to make room for new ones coming in. But their mom Pamela can’t afford it. This is necessary dental care, but right now – after 15 years of Liberal government in Ontario – Pam’s family will go without it,” said Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin.

“The premier talks a lot about governments that care – so why hasn’t her government cared for Poon-li and her brother?”

The children are enrolled in the healthy smiles program, and while their dentist has recommended that the necessary dental work happen right away, under the Wynne government, that dental care is not covered.

New Democrats have been bringing forward stories day after day about people across Ontario that can't get the dental care they need under the Wynne government. Just today the house heard about a senior in Temiskaming Shores suffering from infected teeth who can’t afford the $4,000 dental bill to have them extracted, and a 2-year-old in London suffering from a painful abscess whose single mother is on social assistance and can’t afford the cost of the anaesthetic that the Liberals refuse to cover.

“There are millions of other families in the same situation as Pamela’s is right now. It must be heartbreaking for a parent to know your kids are going without the care they need,” said Mantha.

Mantha said that over the last 15 years, the Liberal government sat at the cabinet table and chose their priorities: they cut billions in taxes for the most profitable corporations, but left people like Pam and her family unable to go to the dentist.

“Pamela’s kids need to have a few teeth pulled – Pamela should be able to count on her government to help her,” said Mantha.

“Why has the premier left everyday Ontario families to fend for themselves when it comes to dental care?”

Mantha said Kathleen Wynne failed to build a government based on the Canadian values of universal health care when she had the chance.

“Decades of cuts and budget freezes by consecutive Conservative and Liberal governments has meant that instead of improvements to the system, like dental coverage and universal pharmacare – Ontario families have seen its erosion,” he said.