Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, was in Oshawa, Ontario, to highlight Budget 2023’s investments to strengthen public health care.
Canada has made a remarkable recovery from the COVID-19 recession. Canada’s economic growth was the strongest in the G7 over the last year, and today, 830,000 more Canadians are employed than before the pandemic, including 361,600 here in Ontario. Inflation in Canada has fallen for eight months in a row, our unemployment rate is near its record low, and, supported by our Canada-wide system of affordable early learning and child care, the labour force participation rate for women aged 25 to 54 reached at a record high of 85.7 per cent in February.
Budget 2023 builds on this important progress.
To strengthen Canada’s universal public health care system, the budget delivers $198.3 billion, including $77.006 billion here in Ontario to reduce backlogs, expand access to family health services, and ensure provinces and territories can provide the high quality and timely health care Canadians expect and deserve. Budget 2023 also introduces a new Canadian Dental Care Plan, to help up to nine million Canadians and ensure no Canadian has to choose between taking care of their health and paying the bills at the end of the month.
Budget 2023 delivers a transformative investment to provide dental care to Canadians who need it, with $13 billion over five years, and $4.4 billion ongoing, to implement the Canadian Dental Care Plan. The plan would provide dental coverage for uninsured Canadians with annual family income of less than $90,000, with no co-pays for those with family incomes under $70,000. The plan will begin to roll out in 2023.
In addition to cost, other factors may also prevent Canadians from accessing dental care, such as living in a remote community, or requiring specialized care due to a disability. That is why the Government of Canada also proposes to provide $250 million over three years and $75 million ongoing, to establish an Oral Health Access Fund. The fund will complement the Canadian Dental Care Plan by addressing oral health gaps among vulnerable populations and by reducing barriers to accessing dental care, including in rural and remote communities.
With a responsible fiscal plan that will see Canada maintain the lowest deficit and the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, Budget 2023 will help to build a Canada that is more secure, more sustainable, and more affordable for people from coast to coast to coast.