‘Significant’ tax on the way for Quebec’s unvaccinated

Adult Quebecers who will not be vaccinated and do not have a medical exemption will be forced to pay a health “contribution”, Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault told reporters on Tuesday. Legault said the amount of the penalty has not been decided, but that it will be “significant.”

About 10 percent of adult Quebecers are not vaccinated, but they account for about half of all intensive care patients, Legault said, adding that the unvaccinated should be forced to pay for the additional burden they impose on the care system. medical.

“I think right now it’s a matter of justice for the 90 percent of the population that made some sacrifices,” Legault said. “I think we owe them this kind of measure.”

Last week, the government announced that it would expand the vaccine passport system by requiring proof of vaccination to enter liquor and cannabis stores. Health Minister Christian Dube said he was considering further extending the passport to shopping malls and personal care salons.

Legault said Tuesday: “Yes, we will continue to analyze the dissemination of the use of the vaccine passport, but I think we have to go further.”

The prime minister announced the new financial sanction shortly after introducing his new acting director of public health, Dr. Luc Boileau, head of a government health care research institution called the Institut national d’excellence en sante et services sociaux.

Dr. Horacio Arruda resigned as director of public health on Monday after the Quebec government faced weeks of criticism from the opposition and experts for its handling of the latest wave of COVID-19. Quebec’s healthcare system is under enormous pressure from the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 patients, and the latest restrictions, including a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, are some of the strictest in the country. .

The opposition has said that Arruda, who usually appeared in public alongside Dube and Legault and whose advice to government was often given orally behind closed doors, was too close to political decision makers.

Earlier Tuesday, Quebec reported 62 more deaths attributed to the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of people killed by COVID-19 in the province to 12,028, the most in Canada. The Health Department said COVID-19-related hospitalizations rose 188 to 2,742 after 433 people were admitted to the hospital in the previous 24 hours and 245 were discharged. The number of people in intensive care increased by seven, to 255.

Quebec on Tuesday reported 8,710 new cases of COVID-19, which were the result of more than 51,000 tests, 20 percent of which were positive.

This Canadian Press report was first published on January 11, 2022.


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