Quebec will tax the unvaccinated

In Quebec, a tax will soon be introduced to sanction people who refuse the vaccine against covid-19 (illustrative photo taken in Montreal in March 2021).

CORONAVIRUS – They are a “burden” for the health system: Quebec is preparing to toughen measures against those who refuse the Covid vaccine by implementing a new tax aimed directly at them. A national first in Canada.

This “health contribution”, as it has been called, the government of the French-speaking province of Canada hard hit by the Omicron wave wants it to represent a “significant amount” which is still under discussion.

According to Quebec Prime Minister François Legault, the 10% of Quebecers who have not received any vaccine dose to date must not “harm” the 90% who have been vaccinated. “It is not for all Quebecers to pay”, he hammered during a press conference speaking of a “financial burden for all Quebecers”.

The Quebec Prime Minister explained that if unvaccinated adults only represent 10% of the population, they account for 50% of people in intensive care, citing a “shocking” situation. This tax would not apply to people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

A simple solution to avoid paying: “a free and accessible vaccine”

“I understand and I feel this discontent with regard to the unvaccinated minority which comes, all things considered, to clog our hospitals”, he added. In total, 2,742 people with Covid are hospitalized in Quebec, which has about 8 million inhabitants and some 255 people are in intensive care.

According to the details provided by François Legault, the “health contribution” will not be applied in hospitals in exchange for medical acts, but claimed at the time of the tax declaration. “And to avoid paying this tax or a Covid-related fine, there is a very simple solution: free and accessible vaccination,” his chief of staff, Martin Koskinen, said on social networks.

A few days ago, Quebec had already announced that certain non-essential businesses would be banned for non-vaccinated people, starting with its stores selling alcohol and cannabis. In an attempt to stem the new wave, the province has also restored many restrictions since December 31, including the 10 p.m. curfew and the ban on private gatherings.

A measure that is not unanimous among the political class

While many other countries are increasing the pressure on the unvaccinated, like France and its vaccination pass, or Austria and Italy which are starting to make the vaccine compulsory, Quebec is the one of the first places to consider specific taxation for those who refuse the vaccine. In addition to very strong new restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the Omicron variant.

But this strategy of the Government of Quebec, which is led by the Coalition Avenir Quebec, is criticized by many opposition parties. Éric Duhaime, the leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec, estimated on Twitter Tuesday that the Prime Minister continued “to find tools and even a new tax to divide Quebecers”.

For its part, the Quebec solidaire party deplores a measure that “completely” forgets vulnerable people and the leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, Dominique Anglade, in favor of compulsory vaccination, evokes a “diversion”.

Finally, it should be noted that in Canada, at the national level this time, the federal government is studying the possibility of depriving unemployed Canadians of unemployment benefit who refuse to be vaccinated.

See also on the HuffPost: This American football player will miss the Super Bowl to treat seniors during the Covid pandemic

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more