Quebec seeks to tax the unvaxxed as Omicron hits | Inquirer News
Close  

Quebec seeks to tax the unvaxxed as Omicron hits

/ 10:52 AM January 12, 2022

INQUIRER.net file photo

MONTREAL — The Canadian province of Quebec, struggling to control the Omicron variant, will impose a new health tax in the coming weeks on those who are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

“We are working on a health contribution for all the adults who are refusing to get vaccinated” because they represent a “financial burden for all Quebecois,” said Quebec Premier Francois Legault.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 10 percent of Quebecois who have not yet received any vaccine doses must not “harm” the 90 percent who have, he said.

“It is not on all Quebecois to pay for that,” he said during a press conference, specifying that the government of the French-speaking province wanted the tax to represent a “significant amount”.

FEATURED STORIES

“I feel this discontent with regard to the unvaccinated minority which, all things considered, clogs our hospitals,” he said.

The Quebec premier explained that these 10 percent of unvaccinated adults represent 50 percent of people in intensive care, calling it a “shocking” situation.

He said that those who are unvaccinated for medical reasons will be exempt from the move.

In total, 2,742 people with Covid are hospitalized and some 255 people are in intensive care in Quebec, which has about eight million inhabitants.

Hospitalizations also continue to increase in neighboring province Ontario, the most populous in Canada, with 3,220 people hospitalized and 477 people in intensive care.

In an attempt to stem the new wave of coronavirus infections, Quebec announced on December 30 the return of certain restrictions, including a 10 pm curfew and a ban on private gatherings.

And the province had recently announced that non-essential stores are closed for people who are not vaccinated, starting with stores that sell alcohol and cannabis.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Eric Duhaime, the head of Quebec’s Conservative opposition party, decried the provincial government’s anti-Covid strategy, tweeting that the new fee would only “divide” Quebecois.

And the head of Quebec’s Liberal party, Dominique Anglade — who is herself in favor of mandatory vaccination — called the tax a “distraction.”

Though Quebec is the first place to institute a specific tax, the pressure on those who remain unvaccinated by choice is ramping up throughout the world.

France has instituted its so-called vaccine passport, and President Emmanuel Macron has said he wants to “piss off” the unvaccinated.

Elsewhere in Europe, Austria has mandated coronavirus vaccines for every citizen, and Italy has done the same for over-50s.

Singapore has said it will no longer cover the costs of Covid treatment for those who have refused the vaccine.

At the federal level, the Canadian government has floated the idea of depriving the unvaccinated of unemployment benefits.

RELATED STORIES
Canada warns provinces they need to do more to fight Omicron variant
Canada advises against international travel amid Omicron threat

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Canada, COVID-19, Health, Omicron variant, Quebec, Taxes
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.