The new health tax
The Quebec government announced this Tuesday that it wants to toughen measures against those unvaccinated against COVID-19 by implementing a new tax exclusively for them.
This health contribution in the form of a tax could represent a significant amount of money, although it is still under discussion, according to the government of this French-speaking province of Canada, hard hit by the new variant Omicron.
According to Francois Legault, Quebec’s prime minister, the 10% of citizens who have not received any doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far should not harm the 90% who are already vaccinated.
“It’s not for all (Quebec citizens) to pay,” the governor insisted during a press conference where he referenced the health costs due to the pandemic.
François Legault explained that although unvaccinated adults represent only 10% of the population, they represent 50% of those admitted to intensive care, considering these data “shocking.”
“I think right now it’s a question of fairness for the 90% of the population who made some sacrifices”. “I think we owe them this kind of measure.”François Legault
This tax will not apply to people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
Quebec had already announced that the unvaccinated will be banned from certain non-essential businesses, including stores selling alcoholic beverages or cannabis.
Furthermore, In Canada, the federal government is considering depriving unemployed Canadians who refuse vaccination of unemployment benefits.
Montreal in a state of emergency due to increased cases of COVID-19
Quebec, with about eight million inhabitants, has again implemented restrictive measures to contain the variant Omicron, such as a curfew starting at 10:00 pm, and is one of the first regions to consider having a specific tax for unvaccinated people.
The city of Montreal declared on Tuesday a state of emergency due to an increase in cases of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant, with Quebec province recording new highs, with 5,043 new infections in the last 24 hours.
Quebec hospitals are understaffed and under great pressure, with a total of 2,742 people hospitalized with covid-19, 255 of them in intensive care.