Growth of the ODA
Tax on Dental Benefits (1994)

In February 1994, federal the Finance Minister Paul Martin announced he would consider taxing health and dental benefits in the following year’s budget. The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) formed a Task Force on Taxation and quickly voiced its concerns. Then ODA President Dr. Rick Bossin wrote: “If the government decides to tax dental plans, the total dollar amount paid by the insurance industry for dental treatment would be slashed by 40 per cent. . . . Patients would visit the dental office less frequently and optional treatments would be delayed indefinitely. As a result, the oral health of the people of Ontario would suffer. Those most affected include young families with children and elderly citizens who have managed to maintain their teeth for a lifetime.”

In January 1995, the ODA’s Task Force on Taxation committed to work with the Canadian Dental Association, as it launched a national advertising campaign to inform the public. Simultaneously, the ODA began to lobby Ontario’s MPs. As a result of the campaigns, patients and dentists sent more than 200,000 letters to federal MPs demanding an end to the proposal on a health and dental benefits tax. The all-hands-on-deck approach worked, and by the time federal Finance Minister Martin delivered his 1995 budget, any mention of a tax on health and dental benefits was gone.

All Photos: Courtesy of Thinkstock

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