NDP leader Jagmeet Singh took credit for “forcing” the federal government to deliver new measures including the launch of a dental benefit for some children under 12 and a boost to the GST tax credit.

THUNDER BAY – NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was in Thunder Bay on Tuesday, touting his party’s role in securing three new federal measures the government says are meant to help Canadians through a period of high inflation and rising costs.

The government announced Tuesday it would introduce bills in the upcoming parliamentary session to launch a Canada Dental Benefit for children under 12 without access to dental insurance, double the GST tax credit for six months, and provide a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefits.

Speaking at Alstom’s Thunder Bay manufacturing plant on Tuesday, Singh claimed credit for “forcing” the Trudeau government to take the steps – at least one of which the Liberals had recently voted against.

“Each of these items would not have happened but for the fact that we’ve forced the government to deliver on this,” he said. “We’re proud we’re able to use our power to get something meaningful for Canadians.”

The two parties inked a power-sharing agreement in March, with the NDP pledging to support the Liberal government on confidence votes in exchange for progress on priorities including creating national pharmacare and dental care programs.

The government called the children’s dental benefit the first stage in a plan to create a comprehensive national dental care program, pledging it would eventually deliver coverage more broadly to families with income under $90,000.

The doubling of the GST tax credit is estimated to deliver up to $234 for individuals without children, and up to $467 for couples with two children, the government said, while seniors would receive $225 on average.

The Liberals had voted against an NDP motion to boost the GST tax credit in May.

The deal also secures a one-time $500 top-up for recipients of the Canada Housing Benefit. Created in 2020 as a federal-provincial program, it offers support to low-income renters who pay at least 30 per cent of their income in rent.