Clinic support spreads smiles

A program that provides dental care to low-income residents is getting a financial boost.

The City of Vernon will provide a one-time grant of $5,000 to the Community Dental Access Centre. The city will also consider relaxing building permit fees.

“It’s a fabulous idea and it’s helping people who don’t have the ability to get that dental service through other means,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol.

The centre, which is partnered with the First Nations Friendship Centre, will help alleviate pain from oral infection, prevent serious oral health issues among children and improve employability and self-esteem by improving unsightly teeth.

Once the centre is fully operational in early 2011, it expects to have more than 3,000 client visits a year.

Mayor Wayne Lippert was initially reluctant to provide funding, saying that similar services may already be available. But he voted for the $5,000 grant.

“I talked to a number of dentists and it’s a need,” he said, adding that this is just the latest indication of the city getting behind social initiatives in the community.

“By being proactive, it helps individuals in need and they become contributors to society.”

The city is also providing a one-time grant of $2,000 to the Fraternal Order of the Eagles to purchase stock for its disaster relief trailer.

“This supports disaster relief and it supports the people fighting wildfires in the interface,” said Nicol.

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