How would Quebec’s tax on the unvaccinated affect vulnerable communities? – Montreal | The Canadian News

Quebec’s idea of ​​imposing an additional tax on those who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to generate much discussion.

People who work with marginalized communities are just a few of those expressing concern.

Some believe that the government could have done more to promote vaccination before talking about a tax.

“I wonder if there are other ways to attract these people besides fining them,” said Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

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The Park Ex neighborhood of Montreal was one of the hardest hit in the early waves of the pandemic. Last year, longtime resident Stella Bailakis rolled up her sleeves to help.

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“We went door to door telling people where they could get vaccinated if they wanted to,” he recalled.

She says that many people reached out after being greeted at their door and wonders why the government hasn’t started that kind of strategy again in areas with low vaccination rates.


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“This time, there is absolutely nothing,” Bailakis said.

Bailakis is also concerned that the tax will be imposed on people who don’t speak English or French.

“If their language skills are limited, how much of it are they going to understand?” she wonders.

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Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious disease expert at McGill, noted how the government at first tried to reward people for getting vaccinated, using a lottery, celebrities and more. He wonders if the authorities will regret being more forceful.

“I know someone a long time ago who was frustrated and hit a wall. And yes, it was very satisfying for him to hit the wall, except when he broke his wrist,” he said.

Vinh worries that the tax will only make those who hesitate to get vaccinated more resistant.

“Is there another option here before going, you know, basically to punishment? One obvious step is to make it easier for vaccines to get to people rather than people going to vaccines.,” he said.

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Francois Legault says the tax will be significant and community workers hope it will be flexible based on income.

“For me, it’s the price. That is what worries me,” said Samle Zouzoua, coordinator of the Parc-Extension Table de quartier. “It has to be fair.”

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association wants more information before embarking on any kind of legal challenge, but wonders what the move is really about.

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On Twitter, the Quebec health minister celebrated an increase in the number of people making first-dose appointments, but Zwibel doesn’t think the tax will have an effect on hospitalizations.

“Even if this policy went into effect today and everyone who was subject to it were vaccinated and received their first inoculation today, they would not be fully vaccinated for another six months or so. As far as easing the immediate concern about hospitals, I don’t think this policy is really aimed at that,” he said.

Zwibel wonders if after assessing all the problems and possible legal challenges, the government can back down on the idea.

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