90% of Quebec’s population is reportedly already fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 shots. But that’s not enough; on Wednesday, Quebec health officials said “first-dose appointments have jumped” after Premier Francois Legault announced plans to impose taxes on those who are unvaccinated on Tuesday.
“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” said Legault. “All people who are not vaccinated for non-medical reasons will have to pay a contribution” he added.
CBC News reports that Legault did not say when the tax would begin to be implemented but would be in the coming weeks. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he needs more details about the plan before fully supporting it.
CBC News reports: “Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Parliament Hill, Trudeau said the federal government has tried to encourage the unvaccinated to get the shot with travel restrictions and vaccine mandates — but a health care tax like the one proposed by Quebec is a novel concept that needs further study.”
Trudeau said any tax or charge must comply with the Canada Health Act — federal legislation that guarantees universal access to health care — and be consistent with “the rights we all cherish as Canadians.”
“Details matter. We need to know exactly what measures they’re putting forward. We need to know the terms and conditions so we can know if it’ll be effective,” he said. “We’ll be looking at the details to see how exactly this will transpire.”
CBC News adds that although Legault did not say when the tax would take effect or how much it would cost the average person, he wants the cost to be “significant” — more than $50 or $100 — in order to encourage the unvaccinated to get at least one dose.