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Trudeau and NDP To Spend More on Dental Care, GST, Rent Benefits

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising to table legislation to implement the first phase of a national dental care plan, a top up to a housing benefit for renters, and a hike of the federal GST rebate. This is part of the government's confidence-and-supply agreement with the New Democrats that were due by the end of the year, and provides the government with something to point to heading into the fall political season.

Trudeau touted the measures as being targeted at "the middle class and people working hard to join it, while we continue to be responsible with public finances."

"We are retaining fiscal firepower and at the same time ensuring that those who need support don't get left behind. The help we're announcing today will make a big difference for the people who get it in a targeted way that will not stoke inflation," Trudeau told reporters.

"These will be the very first pieces of legislation that we introduce when the House returns."

Jagmeet Singh took credit for the plan, saying that if left to their own devices, the Liberals wouldn’t have acted.

"We fought hard and have been demanding since the spring that the Liberal government step up and give people some respect, the dignity to be able to afford their own groceries. And we have won," Singh said. "We have forced this government to deliver three things. Each of these items would not have happened but for the fact that we forced the government to deliver on this respect for people… We're putting money back in people's pockets."

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre also reacted to the announcement on Tuesday, saying that in his view the pre-promised and, in part, pre-budgeted commitments aimed at lower-income Canadians are "more inflationary spending."

"The problem with spending more money as a solution to inflation is that it simply pours more gasoline on the inflationary fire and that is exactly what Justin Trudeau continues to do," Poilievre said.

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