Ottawa – Sources close to the government’s proposed $5.3-billion dental-care program say the Liberals are planning a temporary solution that involves giving money directly to patients in order to keep their promise to the NDP while they work on a permanent answer.
The Liberals promised the NDP a new dental-care program for low- and middle-income families in March as part of a supply and confidence agreement to prevent an election before 2025.
The government has until the end of the year to provide some kind of coverage for children under the age of 12 with an annual household income of less than $90,000.
The NDP have vowed to walk away from the deal if the deadline isn’t met.
Four sources with knowledge of the government’s plan, but who are not authorized to speak publicly, say the government is unlikely to meet its deadline, and is planning a stopgap solution until a permanent incarnation of the program is put in place.
Though details are scarce, the sources say the temporary solution would involve giving qualifying families the money directly to fund their dental health services while the government works on a more permanent, expanded program.
In a statement, the health minister’s staff did not confirm or deny the temporary plan but say they are on track to deliver on the dental-care commitment as outlined in the agreement with the New Democrats.
NDP health critic Don Davies did not directly address the temporary plan either, but said in a statement the party has “identified several ways to ensure the target groups can access dental care on the identified timelines.”
The NDP are now focused on pushing the Liberals to introduce dental-care legislation when Parliament resumes in the fall, Davies said.
“That legislation will deliver the resources needed to help children under 12 see a dentist and care for their teeth this year,” he said.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh echoed the health minister’s faith about meeting the deadline last week.
“We’re very confident we can achieve that before the end of the year, as our agreement outlines,” Singh said at a news conference last Thursday.
The agreement isn’t prescriptive about how the coverage should be achieved, and the government hasn’t committed to any particular means of administering the program yet.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos’s office has said repeatedly the department is looking at several options to meet its commitment and its end-of-year deadline.
The NDP originally envisioned a federal program that functions similarly to the federal health-benefits program run for uninsured First Nations and Inuit people.
The federal government could also offer money to provinces and territories to take it over, since many already offer similar programs and dental care has traditionally fallen within their jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the Liberals put out a formal request for information (RFI) to members of the insurance industry two weeks ago to explore what role private companies could play in administering the program.
In that RFI, the government says if a contract is awarded the winning company would be given six months to get ready before processing claims. That timeline would be impossible to achieve before the end of December.
According to the statement from Duclos’s staff, they’re still consulting on the best way forward.
The Liberals have promised to extend the program to qualifying teens, seniors and persons living with disabilities next year and everyone else in the qualifying family-income bracket by the end of the supply and confidence agreement in 2025.
“It comes as no surprise that the Trudeau government is not living up to a commitment it made to buy the NDP’s support,” Conservative health critic Michael Barrett said in a statement.
Barrett said Canadians should be concerned that the government is not committed to maintaining the current health system, “much less adding a new complex and expensive program to it.”
The government set aside $5.3 billion over five years for the program, but the parliamentary budget officer’s estimate is nearly double that at $9 billion.
Once the program is fully implemented, the Liberals’ 2022 budget predicts it will cost about $1.7 billion per year to run, which is in line with the PBO’s estimate.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2022.
British health researcher says authorities in Canada, US, and UK are doing nothing about thousands of excess deaths
About six months ago, the Province of Alberta’s annual cause of deaths statistics briefly made headlines around the world. For the first time “unknown causes of mortality” was the leading cause of death in the province. Just a few years earlier, “unknown causes” wasn’t even on the top ten list.
Province of Alberta Cause of Death Statistics 2021
An Alberta taxpayer might expect the province to call an inquiry into this shocking development to see if there’s not some way to protect the lives of thousands of Albertans. So far this has not happened.
Now similar shocking statistics are starting to emerge nationally and around the world. British health researcher John Campbell has looked at the data coming from Canada, Britain, the US and Australia among other nations. He’s noticed a very significant and distressing increase in “excess deaths”. The number of excess deaths is quickly adding up to the hundreds of thousands. Of course some of these deaths can be attributed to COVID-19, but the vast majority are not.
In this video, Dr. Campbell reveals the data he’s found and offers some pointed criticism to our political leaders. Canada is singled out as “quite pathetic” for not even sharing cause death statistics after August of 2022. Campbell says “I think we’re in somewhat of an international emergency not being responded to as I would like by our governments in any way, shape, or form. In fact they seem to be ignoring it. As indeed do most of the mainstream media.”
“This demands an explanation. And we’re not getting one.”
From Dr. John Campbell – British health researcher / instructor
Excess deaths in 30 countries
Dr. Campbell’s presentation notes including links to information sources
US, Weekly Cumulative All-Cause Excess Deaths
Excess deaths 2022 (Up to December 1st) 242,224
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Provisional Mortality Statistics
Reference period, Jan – Sep 2022
144,650 deaths that occurred by 30 September 19,986 (16.0%) more than the historical average.
Deaths attributed to covid, 8,160
October covid deaths, 232
Australia, September 2022 13,675 deaths (doctor certified) 1,814 were coroner referred.
2.61% in England (1 in 40 people)
3.94% in Wales (1 in 25 people)
4.22% in Northern Ireland (1 in 25 people)
3.26% in Scotland (1 in 30 people)
Deaths and excess deaths
(W/E week 13th January 2023)
A total of 19,916 deaths were registered in the UK
20.4% above the five-year average.
Covid UK deaths
1,059 deaths involving COVID-19 registered (up 842 on the week)
Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for 5.3% of all deaths UK,
Office for Health Improvement https://www.gov.uk/government/statist…
Excess deaths in all age groups, (0 to 24 years) UK,
Institute and Faculty of Actuaries https://actuaries.org.uk/news-and-med…
Mortality rates in 2022 compare to 2019 at different ages 2022,
mortality, 7.8% higher for ages 20-44
In the UK, the second half of 2022
26,300 excess deaths, compared to 4,700 in the first half of 2022 Europe,
Bulletin week 2 2023 https://www.euromomo.eu
Pooled EuroMOMO, all-cause mortalit
Elevated level of excess mortality, overall and in all age groups.
Data from 25 European countries or subnational regions
Year ended September 2021,
total of 34,578 deaths Year ended September 2022, total of 38,052 deaths
Alberta budget set for Feb. 28, with focus on funding for health, school growth
By Dean Bennett in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews says the United Conservative Party government’s 2023 budget will be delivered on Feb. 28, the first day of the spring legislature sitting.
Toews said Friday it will focus on investing in health care and school enrolment growth.
It’s expected to be the final budget before voters go to the polls for a scheduled May 29 general election.
Alberta’s fortunes, powered mainly by energy revenues and further diversification of its economy, have been on the upswing since the global economy began rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last fall, Toews announced the current budget year, which finishes at the end of March, is expected to record a $12.3-billion surplus.
That surplus comes even with $2.8 billion being set aside over the next three years to cover inflation-fighting programs and payouts to shield Albertans — particularly families, seniors and the vulnerable — from higher costs.
Toews said while energy prices remain volatile, the outlook is for them to stay strong.
“This budget will reflect the fact that health care is a priority, that health care capacity is a priority, ” said Toews in an interview.
“Alberta is leading the nation on net-inflow migration,” he added.
“Our population is growing. Our enrolment in our K-12 education system is growing, and the budget will reflect that good news story with additional enrolment growth.”
One outstanding question after the budget will be whether Toews will run again in the May vote.
He is a first-term UCP member representing Grande Prairie-Wapiti.
Toews declined to say whether he has made a decision.
“I’ll have more to say on that one later,” he said, “I’m focused on preparing the budget.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.
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