We do not yet know its amount but its principle is acquired: Quebec is preparing to introduce a new tax only for the non-vaccinated, justifying its decision because they are a “burden” for the health system. This “health contribution” would not concern people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
A few days ago, the government of the French-speaking province of Canada hard hit by the omicron wave had already announced that certain non-essential businesses were going to be prohibited for non-vaccinated people, starting with its stores selling alcohol and cannabis. .
The province is one of the first places to consider specific taxation for those who refuse the vaccine. At the federal level, Canada is studying the possibility of depriving unemployed Canadians of unemployment benefits who refuse to be vaccinated.
“It’s not up to all Quebecers to pay”, hammered the Prime Minister of Quebec François Legault during a press conference speaking of a “financial burden for all Quebecers”. If unvaccinated adults represent only 10% of the population, they account for 50% of people in intensive care, evoking a “shocking” situation.
“I understand and I feel this discontent with regard to the unvaccinated minority who come, all things considered, to clog our hospitals”, he added, without going so far as to want to “piss off” the non-vaccinated like Emmanuel Macron a week ago.
In an attempt to stem the new wave, Quebec has reinstated numerous restrictions since December 31, including the curfew from 10 p.m. and the ban on private gatherings. The province, whose hospitals are chronically understaffed and already overstretched, now wants to specifically target the unvaccinated.
In total, 2,742 people with Covid are hospitalized in Quebec, which has around 8 million inhabitants and some 255 people are in intensive care.
But the strategy of the Government of Quebec (led by the Coalition Avenir Quebec) is decried by many opposition parties: 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 Québec solidaire party deplores a measure that forgets “completely” vulnerable people and the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade, in favor of compulsory vaccination, evokes a “diversion”.