Brownstein: Will a tax move the unvaccinated? don’t bet on that

Money is not always the problem. The sad reality is that no amount of quiet explanations, or frenzied sermons, has helped convince Quebec’s vociferous 10 percent anti-vaccine minority.

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Dr. Horacio Arruda, former Quebec public health director, can and will be called upon for his efforts to deal with COVID-19. Although it was not Arruda, but Prime Minister François Legault, who had the last word on the measures taken.


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Regardless of who was in charge, it cannot be denied that Arruda et al. They have sent mixed signals on everything from masking to crisis management in nursing homes. Suspicious decisions have been made on issues ranging from vaccine launch to delivery of rapid tests. Plans to send beleaguered, COVID-positive healthcare workers back to work have turned into a polar vortex. And the last straw may well have been the slow reaction to the Omicron bypass and the imposition of this latest curfew.

The public has become increasingly exasperated. So did anyone have to pay the price?

The problem is that Arruda, as well as Legault and Health Minister Christian Dubé, has had to grapple with the same dilemma as others around the world: trying to convince the unvaccinated to receive vaccinations.


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To that end, Legault announced Tuesday that it will impose a financial penalty on those who refuse to be vaccinated without medical exemptions. Good luck trying to implement that, but the fear is that even a tax won’t change your mind.

Money is not always the problem. The sad reality is that no amount of quiet explanations, with bursts of frenzied sermons, has helped convince Quebec’s vociferous 10 percent anti-vaccine minority that their lives are primarily at risk, that it is them occupying an excessive number of beds. In our overburdened hospitals, it is their position to restrict heart and cancer operations to others, that it is they who make life miserable for the majority.

One can throw all the scientific research out there into this lot, but with very little profit. They will spew theories about everything from the malevolence of mRNA vaccines to placing their trust in higher deities. They are so sunk at this point that little will move them.


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Of course, the morning after it was announced that vaccination passports will be required for customers to enter provincial alcohol and marijuana stores starting January 18, Dubé noted that the daily average number of appointment requests for the first dose shot up from 1500 to 6000.

Never mind, there are also some SAQ and SQDC fans who are so opposed to free vaccine shots that they reportedly spend up to $ 2,000 on fake passports. Which is mind-boggling, and which further proves that a tax will not deter some of the unvaccinated.

CTV broadcast an interview with a colleague who claimed that fake vaccine passports are easy to find on the black market and that he knew 10 friends who had already purchased them.

Vaccine stories have also been emerging in Quebec with wanderlust cases paying big bucks for fake vax passports to travel to more tropical parts.


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“At one point, I heard of people who had paid $ 10,000 for passports in order to travel,” a double-vaccinated source told the Montreal Gazette, who only agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. “Since then, the price has dropped to $ 2,000.

“These are not just well-to-do people who believe that the government has no right to tell them what to wear to their bodies,” said the source, a businessman who travels frequently for work. “These are people who had no problems with polio and other vaccines, but who hear these conspiracy theories about genetic mutations with COVID mRNA injections. So I can’t see a tax put them off at all. “

More alarming, according to the source, are the locals who contracted COVID in Florida or the Dominican Republic and are paying to get false negative test results in order to fly back here.


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“I ran into this guy while on vacation in the Dominican Republic who charged $ 40 (US) for negative PCR tests. And he even showed me a dozen passport photos on his phone that Canadians sent him. They’re sending your passport information to a complete random stranger. Others simply Photoshop negative PCR tests. “

On top of that insanity are the stories of unvaccinated people returning to Quebec and paying to get … positive COVID tests. Why?

“Because they only have to be quarantined for 10 days and it makes it much easier to travel,” explained the source. “You put in your passport codes. This way, they don’t have to do PCR tests for a few hundred dollars each way. “

This is the madness that awaits the acting director of public health, Dr. Luc Boileau.

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