Dental-care legislation among the first bills on the docket as Parliament resumes

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OTTAWA — Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos tabled new dental-care legislation in the House of Commons to allow the government to send cheques to low- and middle-income families to help them pay for their kids' oral health services.

If granted royal assent, Bill C-31 would provide qualifying families with children under the age of 12 with up to $650 per child each year to pay for dental care services.

Families with a household income under $90,000 need to provide the Canada Revenue Agency with the name of their licensed dental-care practitioner and the month of the planned appointment.

They must also attest that the child does not have private dental insurance and that they will keep their receipts.

Officials with Health Canada, who provided a briefing on the condition they not be named, say families will not be penalized if they don't use the full amount.

However, families who provide false information, can't provide receipts or don't use any of the money for dental care could face a maximum fine of $5,000.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press