Ontario’s New Democratic Party’s election platform includes universal dental care, mental-health care and pharmacare.
Following the agreement reached between the federal Liberals and NDP in late March, the provincial NDP will lead the way on the program, working with the federal government to “strengthen and accelerate the expansion of dental care,” according to the platform that was published on Monday.
The NDP also said it will begin working immediately on universal pharmacare, which will complement the province’s existing public drug programs, so no one loses their current coverage. Working alongside the government, the provincial NDP will work with the federal government to establish a national formulary, noted the platform.
The Ontario NDP is also proposing to expand access to mental-health counselling and therapy services by bringing these services under the public system. “We will create Mental Health Ontario, a new coordinating organization that will take the lead on identifying and publicly reporting on mental-health needs, developing a comprehensive wait list for services, bringing in province-wide mental-health standards, creating a basket of services and making sure that mental health and addiction programs are delivered comprehensively across Ontario.”
The NDP’s platform also noted it will legislate 10 permanent personal emergency leave days for all employees, so they can stay home if they’re sick or are caring for a sick child. “We’ll work with businesses to ensure they have predictability and the support they need as we make this transition.”
It also promised to create Ontario Benefits to cover all employees including those in part-time, casual, app-based or contract jobs. The aim is to provide all employees with a basket of benefits including dental care and vision coverage. “Our model will see benefits that follow the person, not the job.”