Madam Speaker, it is the first time a member of Parliament from the Green Party has taken the floor today on this opposition motion, so I am happy to inform the New Democratic Party that we welcome the motion and plan to vote in favour. I hope others will as well to get this motion passed in a minority Parliament. It would be about time.
I will share my own experience. As a single mother, I did not have much income, being the executive director of Sierra Club Canada through my daughter's whole childhood. The peak of my pay was $50,000 a year. I chose to ensure my daughter had dental care. As a result, I needed to have a whole bunch of teeth pulled. I had to spend a fortune, $4,000, to get ready for the 2011 leaders' debate.
In 2008, I had these flipper things that were the cheap fix for the holes in my mouth, and I could not speak to save my soul. I could not say vérificatrice générale. There were certain words I just could not say with a cheap flipper thing in my mouth. I had to spend the money, because I needed to be okay in the leaders' debate.
The reality is that a lot of people out there are making choices and ending up being in this situation. The member for St. John's East mentioned some people and said that very few of them were actually in a position to hope to become prime minister, while dealing with a mouth that had not seen a dentist for a proper amount of time or with the proper amount of money.
It is about time we deal with this. I certainly know what it is like and I know a lot of Canadians who are in a very difficult position because of a lack of dental care.