Canada is saying “No vax, pay tax” following Quebec Premier François Legault’s announcement Tuesday. Legault stated that the leaders of Quebec, Canada, are planning to impose a tax on adults in the province who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for non-medical reasons. The tax is said, to act as what Legault describes as a “consequence” for unvaccinated people who “put a very important burden on our health care network.”
COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Canada’s provinces, putting tens of thousands of individuals in isolation and putting a strain on the healthcare system. Sources say that Quebec has been one of the worst-hit, regularly recording at the highest daily count of coronavirus cases of all provinces and having several thousand healthcare workers off their jobs. In late December, Quebec had “no choice” but to allow some essential workers to continue working even after testing positive for COVID-19 to prevent staff shortages from blocking its healthcare services. On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the federal government had secured enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for all eligible Canadians to receive a booster as well as a fourth dose.
According to Legault, the provincial finance ministry is determining a “substantial” fee that unvaccinated residents would be asked to pay, which will not be less than C$100 ($79.50). The highly contagious Omicron variant has made it difficult for restrictive measures to curb the spread. As health experts continue to stress the importance of getting double and triple vaccinated, government officials are being pushed to keep their provinces as healthy as possible. As Quebec Premier François Legault states, “The vaccine is the key to fight the virus. This is why we’re looking for a health contribution for adults who refuse to be vaccinated for non-medical reasons.”
Canadian officials are siding with their local government as an unvaccinated father loses visitation rights to his 12-year-old son. When the father requested an extension of his allotted visitation time around the holidays, the son’s mother opposed the request, telling the court she had recently discovered he was unvaccinated. She had shown his previous social media posts showing opposition to health measures. The court had decided it was in the child’s ‘best interest’ to keep the child apart from his father. The decision was made on December 23 and is active until February if the father gets his vaccination. With new taxes being refined and consequences coming down on the unvaccinated many of them are left to question “what next?”