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In today's Morning Brief, we answer your frequently asked questions about Canada's dental plan.

Your questions about Canada's dental plan, answered

Shannon Maitland, a dental hygienist in the Ottawa is seen in personal protective equipment with a patient in her mobile dental van.
Shannon Maitland, a dental hygienist in the Ottawa area, has signed up as a provider of the Canadian Dental Care Plan. (Toni Choueiri/CBC)

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Your questions about Canada's dental plan, answered

The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) begins covering 1.7 million seniors today. Here are some of the most common questions readers have sent to CBC News about the plan.

How can I find a professional offering the plan?

The program's administrator, Sun Life, recently launched a searchable database of available providers. According to their associations, there are about 30,500 oral health-care professionals who could sign up to offer the program, including roughly 26,500 dentists, 1,700 independent hygienists and 2,400 denturists.

Why won't my dentist sign up?

Some dentists have been reluctant to register for the program because Ottawa wants them to sign contracts to provide care, and they think the program will require an unreasonable amount of paperwork.

Will I have to switch dentists?

Dentists have the right to choose if they will accept patients through the plan, as they can with existing public programs. "If the dentist isn't participating, [patients] can't go to those dentists," said Dr. Joel Antel, president of the Canadian Dental Association. "So they may have to change dentists where they've had a long-term relationship built up."

How does the dental plan compare to other, provincial plans?

Dr. Brandon Doucet, a Nova Scotia dentist who has advocated for a national public dental insurance, says the CDCP covers more services and at a better rate than existing public plans. In Nova Scotia where he practises, Ottawa pays around 89 per cent of what the fee guide put out by the provincial dental association suggests.

Will I get free dental care?

Like private plans, the CDCP only covers a certain amount of the cost of services, meaning a dental care provider can still charge their patient the difference. Patients whose income (or combined family income) is under $90,000 should qualify, but the coverage is only partial if you make between $70,000 and $90,000.

What's covered?

Most routine dental care will be covered under the CDCP, including cleanings, X-rays, fillings, root canals and dentures. Some of the more complex dental services — such as partial dentures and crowns — will require federal pre-authorization of payment. Pre-authorized services won't be covered until November 2024.

When will I be eligible?

The federal government is expanding eligibility for the CDCP gradually. As of today, Canadian residents 70 and older can get their oral health-care services covered by the program, and seniors aged 65 to 69 can sign up. In June, people with disabilities and children under 18 will be included. The program will be available to all eligible Canadian residents starting in 2025, according to the federal government.

To qualify, a patient can't have access to any existing private dental insurance, regardless of how comprehensive your existing private coverage is. Ottawa has clarified that if you went out and purchased private insurance on your own, you will qualify for the CDCP once that plan is no longer in effect.

NYPD clear protesters from inside Columbia University building 

A vehicle that says "POLICE" on the side has a ladder that extends to an elevated window on a large building. Police line up on the top of the vehicle.

(Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

New York police use a special vehicle to enter Hamilton Hall, which was occupied by pro-Palestinian protesters, as other officers entered the campus of Columbia University last night. NYPD officers acted after the school's president said there was no other way to ensure safety and restore order on campus and sought help from the department. School officials asked law enforcement to stay on the Columbia campus through May 17, the end of the university's commencement events. Read more about the protests and the police response here.

In brief

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was kicked out of question period yesterday after he called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "wacko." Speaker Greg Fergus asked the Opposition leader to withdraw the "unparliamentary language" after Poilievre called the PM "wacko" for supporting B.C.'s past policy of decriminalizing some hard drugs in an attempt to reduce the number of overdose-related deaths. Poilievre refused, prompting Fergus to remove him. Following Poilievre's removal, the Conservative caucus left the Commons chamber en masse, following their leader. Trudeau also engaged in name-calling during the debate, saying at one point that Poilievre was a "spineless" leader. Read more about the fracas in Parliament here.

WATCH | Poilievre ejected from House for calling PM 'wacko':

Poilievre ejected from House for calling PM 'wacko'

1 month ago
Duration 2:07
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was kicked out of question period after he called the prime minister a "wacko" and refused to withdraw the language when Speaker Greg Fergus asked him to.

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit will probe if it was necessary for police to chase a van that drove the wrong way on the province's busiest highway and crashed, killing two grandparents and their infant grandchild. The driver of the cargo van, who police say was fleeing a liquor store robbery, also died in the collision, which involved at least six vehicles. The pursuit began at an LCBO location in Clarington, Ont., when an off-duty officer reported an attempted theft to Durham Regional Police at around 7:50 p.m. ET on Monday. The suspect got into a cargo van and responding officers followed them as they drove "erratically" on various streets, the SIU said. Investigators are still working to identify the suspect and did not provide any further information, such as their age or gender. Read more about the fatal crash here.

WATCH | Deadly crash following police chase going wrong way on Highway 401:

Deadly crash following police chase going wrong way on Highway 401

1 month ago
Duration 2:25
Four people are dead, including an infant and two grandparents, following a high-speed police chase going the wrong way on Highway 401 outside of Toronto. Witness video of the chase shows a cargo van speeding past traffic on the wrong side.
When the valves open and the oil starts flowing today, the newly twinned Trans Mountain pipeline will carry nearly 900,000 barrels of bitumen from producers in Alberta to tanker ships on the coast each and every day. Originally proposed by then-owner Kinder Morgan in 2013 and approved by the National Energy Board three years later, the expansion was nearly killed by legal challenges. By 2018, Kinder Morgan was ready to pull the plug on the project. That's when the federal government intervened and bought the entire pipeline, with plans to build the expansion and then turn around and sell it. Since then, the cost has skyrocketed, growing from the original estimate of $7.4 billion in 2017 to more than $34 billion in 2024. Read how people who live along the pipeline's roughly 1,000-kilometre route from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., are feeling here.

Maine officials say they have figured out how to regulate a fishery so out of control in Canada that the federal government shut it down this year. Baby eels, also known as elvers or glass eels, are fished in rivers and streams in Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. They're shipped live to Asia, where they're grown to maturity and eaten. Elvers are extremely valuable, worth nearly $5,000 a kilogram last year, compared to lobster, which is worth $15. But in March, the minister of fisheries and oceans said the fishery would not open this year due to violence, illegal fishing and sustainability concerns. Since March 6, fisheries officers have arrested 123 people. The U.S. experienced similar problems more than a decade ago, but began making changes to how its elver fishery is regulated in 2012. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says it deals with four to five infractions a year, compared to 220 in 2013. Over a period of several years, the state increased fines, revoked licences and made elver violations a crime instead of a civil infraction. "We would put them in jail. We weren't messing around," said commissioner Patrick Keliher. Read more about Maine's tough approach to the elver fishery here.

Amsterdam's No. 1 fighter for "urination equality" wasn't about to take the city's lack of public toilets sitting down. And now, after constant pressure, Geert Piening's nine-year battle may finally have succeeded. Piening peed in an alley one night in 2015 due to a lack of toilets, was issued a fine and, when she fought it in court, was told by a judge that she could have used one Amsterdam's public urinals. Now, nearly a decade after her fine sparked a national protest movement, city officials are installing new, accessible public bathrooms — the kind you can use sitting down. "In the beginning, it was a funny topic because it was like, 'Ah, peeing, haha!' But in the end, everyone's like, 'Oh, yeah, of course there aren't enough toilets for everyone.' So then it became a serious thing," Piening told As It Happens host Nil Köksal. "And now I'm also proud that the toilets are coming." Read more about the steady stream of public support Piening received here.

Now here's some one-in-a-million news to start your Wednesday: Or, more accurately, one in 11.2 million. According to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, those were the long odds of having quadruplet calves be born and survive, as happened last month in northeast Saskatchewan. On April 19, Erin van Haastert was out checking cows on the ranch when she came upon one that had just birthed two calves. She went to get a sleigh to move them into the barn and, to her surprise when she returned, the mother cow had given birth to a third. Erin got all three calves into the barn when her husband, Mark, went to get the mother cow to bring her into the barn. Mark was shocked to see a fourth calf had been born. The four calves, now named Orangala, Greenlop, Bluthany and Nobody, are more than a week old, and all are adjusting well. Erin says she believes they are two sets of identical twins. Read more about the quadruplet calves here.

First Person: Hosting a Ukrainian refugee family reminds me of my own family's journey 70 years ago

David Hoppner Hart and his wife hosted a Ukrainian refugee family in their home in Halifax for three months. He was struck by the parallels between this family and his own family's journey to Canada from post-war Europe 70 years ago. Read his First Person piece here. Reads his First Person piece here.

Front Burner: 'F--k Trudeau,' from fringe to mainstream

A Gaza-based journalist shares his first-hand account of the mass graves found at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, as calls for an independent investigation grow louder.

Today in history: May 1

1688: The first stone is laid for Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in Place Royal, Que. It is Canada's oldest surviving church.

1885: Electricity is used for the first time to light the city of Ottawa.

1920: The longest game in major league baseball history is called after 26 innings due to darkness. The host Boston Braves tied the Brooklyn Dodgers 1-1. Both pitchers, Leon Cadore of Brooklyn and Boston's Joe Oeschger, went the distance.

2008: The legal age of sexual consent in Canada is raised to 16 from 14, the first time it's been raised since 1892.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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