Working Together For Healthier Families And Greater Opportunity

    Expanded Dental Care To Lower-Income Families Will Help More Ontarians
    Lead Healthier, Happier, More Productive Lives

    YORK, ON, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - The Ontario Liberals' plan to extend dental care
to more Ontarians is the right thing to do to help low-income families find
opportunity, said Premier Dalton McGuinty.
    "In the Ontario we are building together we want all our people to find
opportunity - regardless of how they start out in life or the challenges they
face," said Premier McGuinty.
    "Good dental health is good health, period," said McGuinty. "Keeping more
people healthy helps more Ontarians seize opportunities and find success."
    The dental program would target the working poor, who often lack adequate
dental coverage.
    It will provide a full range of preventative and treatment dental
services including fluoride treatments, scaling, sealant services, extractions
and restorations.
    This $45 million investment in dental services will help 500,000 people
each year live healthier and happier lives.
    "The Liberal plan is a major step forward in making oral care services
more affordable and accessible for the public of Ontario," said Melanie Doyle,
President of the Ontario Dental Hygienists' Association.
    Together with Ontarians, the Ontario Liberals are working hard to improve
the lives of low-income families and children.
    Since 2003 we have:

    -  Created the historic Ontario Child Benefit, which will help 1.3
       million children in low-income families. When fully implemented it
       will provide families with an additional $1,100 per child per year.

    -  Increased the minimum wage every year, from $6.85 to $8.00 an hour,
       after a decade-long Conservative minimum wage freeze. We now have the
       highest minimum wage of any province in Canada. And Budget 2007 laid
       out a plan to continue these increases, reaching $10.25 per hour in

    -  We have increased social assistance rates by seven per cent following
       massive Conservative cuts.

    -  Created 22,000 new child care spaces.

    -  Brought in 35,000 new housing allowances for low-income Ontario
       families and have funded nearly 20,000 new affordable housing units.

    Moving forward we will:

    -  Build a comprehensive Poverty Reduction Strategy around the Ontario
       Child Benefit, including indicators and targets

    -  Develop and fund a full-day kindergarten program - freeing up over
       20,000 child care spaces and saving an average parent $6,400 per child
       per year in child care costs

    -  Create a long-term strategy for affordable housing and bring in an
       innovative asset-building program for low-income Ontarians

    -  Create a social venture capital fund at MaRS to help develop new ideas
       for difficult social challenges.

    "We want all our families to have every opportunity for success and a
decent standard of living," said Premier McGuinty. "In the Ontario we are
building, together, no one gets left behind. No one falls through the cracks.
And we all move forward, together."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386

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