January 24, 2022

Quebec wants to tax the unvaccinated, described as a “burden” for the health system

Quebec will put in place a tax for adults who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 without medical reason, announced Tuesday, January 11, Quebec Premier François Legault. The government of the French-speaking province of Canada, hit hard by the Omicron wave, wants this “Health contribution” represents a “Significant amount” – still under discussion.

According to Mr. Legault, the 10% of Quebecers who have not received any dose of vaccine to date should not “Harm” to the 90% who were vaccinated. “It is not for all Quebecers to pay”, he hammered during a press conference speaking of a “Financial burden for all Quebecers”. He explained that while unvaccinated adults only make up 10% of the population, they account for 50% of people in intensive care, citing a situation “Shocking”. This tax would not apply to people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

“I understand and I feel this discontent with regard to the unvaccinated minority which comes, all things considered, to clog our hospitals”, added Mr. Legault.

A few days ago, Quebec announced that non-essential businesses would be banned for non-vaccinated people, such as stores selling alcohol and cannabis.

Read the decryption: Article reserved for our subscribers In Quebec, the pandemic revealing a bloodless health system

Saturated hospitals

Quebec hospitals suffer from a chronic shortage of personnel and are saturated.

In many countries, the pressure on the unvaccinated is growing. In France, Emmanuel Macron accentuated, Tuesday, January 4, his resolutely offensive tone with regard to the “Very small minority which is refractory” vaccination. “Me, I’m not for pissing off the French. I plague the administration all day long when it blocks them. Well there, the unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off. And so we will continue to do it, until the end ”, he said in an interview with readers of the Parisian.

Some European countries have opted for compulsory vaccination – such as Austria or Italy for those over 50 – and Singapore no longer covers the medical costs of Covid-19 patients who have refused to be vaccinated.

In an attempt to stem the new epidemic wave, Quebec has reinstated numerous restrictions since December 31, including the curfew from 10 p.m. and the ban on private gatherings. The previous curfew decreed on January 9, 2021 was supposed to last a month, but it was not finally lifted until May 28.

Hospitals in the province are chronically understaffed and are already overcrowded. In total, 2,742 people with Covid-19 are hospitalized in Quebec, which has 8 million inhabitants, and 255 people are in intensive care.

But the strategy of the government (led by the Avenir Quebec coalition, center right) is criticized by the opposition: Eric 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”. The Quebec solidaire party (left) deplores a measure that forgets ” completely “ vulnerable people, and the leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, Dominique Anglade, in favor of compulsory vaccination, evokes a « diversion ».

In Canada, the federal government is studying the possibility of denying unemployment benefits to unemployed Canadians who refuse to be vaccinated.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers In Quebec, the pandemic sharpens interest in the lives of others

The World with AFP