Quebec has cancelled planned health tax on the unvaccinated following mounting backlash. The exact amount of the tax was unknown, although it was speculated to be around $100 and $800 per unvaccinated individual.
Citizens who decline the experimental COVID vaccine will no longer be charged a tax or “health contribution” by the Quebec government.
In such a news briefing this afternoon, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said that the contentious proposal will be scrapped. In January, Legault declared that the French-speaking province would levy a charge on all residents who are unvaccinated for “non-medical reasons.”
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Despite staying adamant that vaccination is the best way to avoid the pandemic, Legault acknowledged that the tax’s introduction was received with strong opposition, exacerbating society’s already profound divisions.
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“I understand that this [tax] divides Quebecers and right now we have to build bridges,” said Legault. “my role is to try to bring Quebecers together to stay united as a people.“
Legault claims that his government is searching for much less forceful methods to get the remainder 10% of unvaccinated Quebecers to get the vaccine for the sake of social cohesion. One such method is the organization of teams of health experts to enlighten people in places with low vaccination rates. Such squads will also be accessible to inject patients in their homes, according to Legault.
“We have a premier who takes his population for fools,” Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, the leader of the Parti Quebecois, said.
“I was going to say, ‘a premier who treats his population like children, ‘ but I treat my children with more respect for their intelligence and with more transparency than the premier is doing right now with the Quebec population.“
The exact amount of the tax was unknown, although it was speculated to be around $100 and $800 per unvaccinated individual.
Both Quebec officials and individuals from outside the province have denounced the tax proposal. The taxation, according to Quebec Liberal Party leader Dominique Anglade, could very well generate a “breach” in the universality of health care access for all citizens, regardless of economic condition.
Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta termed the planned tax “inhumane, unethical, and certainly un-Canadian,” and promised that his province would not impose it.