François Legault must repatriate the federal dental care program, says QS

(Quebec) François Legault must not let Justin Trudeau encroach on Quebec’s areas of jurisdiction, says Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who asks him to repatriate and improve the Canadian dental care plan, and to reduce the flow of temporary immigration .

“Quebec is the only jurisdiction in Canada without an agreement with the federal government for the dental care program. Health is a jurisdiction of Quebec, and it is clear that François Legault must ask to repatriate this program to improve it,” affirms the parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire in an interview with The Press.

During his party’s pressure caucus, which will take place Thursday in Laval, he plans to talk about the cost of living and the housing crisis.

And it makes a direct link with dental care. He cites a Statistics Canada study which shows that in 2022, one in five Quebecers will not seek treatment from a dentist for financial reasons. “People no longer go to the dentist because it costs too much,” he laments, “we are talking about an increase of 30% in six years, the largest increase in the country.”

Since 2018, Québec solidaire has promised a public dental care plan. But in a more “pragmatic” way, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois is asking to improve the dental care plan by increasing the eligible family income from $90,000 to $150,000.

When the federal system is fully established, 2.5 million Quebecers will be entitled to it. With the improvement proposed by QS, 200,000 Quebec families would be added.

He points out that, according to Statistics Canada, almost half (49%) of Quebec residents do not have dental care insurance. “Basically, in Quebec, we should not accept that people deprive themselves of health care for financial reasons,” he lamented.

Curbing temporary immigration

On the question of the cost of living, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois refuses to point to immigration to explain the housing crisis. “If tomorrow morning we drastically reduced immigration, it would not change anything about the high cost of materials, the ravages of AirBNB and real estate speculation,” he declared.

He attacks Minister of Education Bernard Drainville, who declared in the morning at the pre-sessional caucus of the Coalition Avenir Québec that the school network had reached the breaking point and that federal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must put the brakes on immigration.

Mr. Nadeau-Dubois believes that there is “a lot of hypocrisy” in this statement. Québec solidaire wants to reduce temporary immigration. “The system is broken by the explosion of temporary immigration, a model which plunges immigrants into precariousness. This sometimes leads to exploitative situations,” he explained.

But he says it is Mr. Drainville and his government who are “responsible for the incredible and unreasonable increase in temporary immigration.”

“Who broke the system?” It is Justin Trudeau and François Legault who pretend to disagree, but who are responsible,” laments Mr. Nadeau-Dubois. He says Quebec has the power to reduce voluntary immigration, and does not need permission from Ottawa.

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