(OTTAWA) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s “inconceivable” that the Conservative Party of Canada “continues to resist” a national dental program.

“It reveals their approach to things,” said Mr. Trudeau after a response to a journalist who asked him, during a press conference in Val-d’Or, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, to explain why the cost of the program more than doubled to $13 billion.

The Prime Minister explained that Ottawa has “underestimated people’s needs,” but the fact remains that “in a rich country like Canada, it’s not okay that we don’t have not dental care for everyone.”

Last week, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre repeatedly refused to say clearly whether he would cut the dental care program announced the day before in the federal budget.

“Keep what?” It does not exist. […] There is no dental program at this time. […] It doesn’t make sense to say yes or no to something that doesn’t exist, ”he said despite the insistence of journalists.

The government had just announced how it will fulfill its commitment to the New Democratic Party (NDP) to establish a dental plan.

It will initially be available, by the end of the year, to minors, seniors and those with disabilities on low incomes and will extend as of 2025 to all uninsured Canadians whose family income annual is less than $90,000.

“It’s time for that to change,” added Mr. Trudeau on Monday. It’s time we stopped being able to assess what the parents’ salary is based on the quality of the child’s smile. We will [we] make sure that everyone has dental care like everyone else. »

Already last fall, a Canadian Dental Benefit was launched for dental care costs for children under 12 years of age. According to the Prime Minister, 250,000 children have benefited so far.

The Conservatives had not responded to a request for comment from La Presse Canadienne at the time of publication.

Their leader, Pierre Poilievre, will also be touring Quebec this week where he will visit Saguenay and Thetford Mines.