It’s time for more care in Medicare: Green Party of Canada promises dental coverage for low-income youth

OTTAWA – Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada will improve Canada’s Medicare system with a promise to provide dental coverage for all low-income youth.

“Canadians have a right to be proud of Medicare’s promise of accessible, universal health care coverage for all,” Elizabeth May said. “That’s why the lack of guaranteed dental coverage continues to be such a tragic oversight for those who cannot afford it. Dental care plays a critical role in healthy living and is fundamental to preventative healthcare.”

Dental health is key to overall health as it is proven to play a major role in heart disease and cardiovascular function. Preventative care is essential to a comprehensive, modern healthcare system, and dental care is a pillar of that system.

“Everyone deserves a chance at health,” said Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, Green Party candidate (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford). “The science clearly demonstrates the relationship between oral care and overall health. I believe low-income youth should have access to the dental care they need.”

“It’s not uncommon for a regular dental check up to cost hundreds of dollars,” said Daniel Green, Health Care Critic for the party. “In cases where there are complications, costs can easily reach into the thousands. Many families cannot afford that, especially those without insurance. The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences found that high costs were responsible for 26 percent of children not going to the dentist last year.[1] That’s 26 percent of kids who are not getting the medical care they need. That’s simply unacceptable.”

“A healthcare system that works for everyone must include dental care. Together, Green MPs will make sure it does,” added May. The Green Party is the only party promising to ensure that all low-income youth under the age of 18 have access to dental services. The Party is committed to eventually providing universal dental care, excluding cosmetic procedures, to all Canadians.

Elected Green PEI MLA, Peter Bevan-Baker said, “As a dentist, I know the value of preventative care. I’ve seen the devastating life-long impact on patients who could not afford dental work when they were young. Canada can and must intervene by providing dental coverage for low-income children.”   

Read the Green Party’s platform here.


[1] Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, 2014 - Improving Access To Oral Health Care For Vulnerable People Living In

For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)


Kirsten Strom
Executive Assistant to Director of Communications 
t: 613.562.4916 (200) 
Toll Free 1.866.868.3447