Quebec has announced that it will levy a health tax on residents who refuse to be vaccinated (unvaccinated people) against COVID-19.
Premier François Legault dropped the bombshell during a news conference ostensibly called to address the resignation of his top public health official, Dr. Horacio Arruda, a day earlier.
After thanking Arruda briefly and naming his replacement, Dr. Luc Boileau, the premier turned his attention to the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations in his province and the number of Quebecers who remain unvaccinated.
“I’m announcing that we are currently working on a health-care contribution that will be charged to all adults in Quebec who refuse to get vaccinated,” said Legault.
“All people who are not vaccinated for non-medical reasons will have to pay a contribution,” Legault said.
He compared the contribution to drug insurance coverage in Quebec, where if a person’s employer does not provide drug insurance, the individual must pay a contribution when they pay their taxes.
Legault stated that he would work with his finance minister to iron out the details of such a contribution, but that it would be “significant.”
“Fifty dollars or $100, for me, is not significant,” said Legault. “But we haven’t yet set the amount.”
Legault chastised those in his province who are still unvaccinated 22 months into the pandemic, saying they place a significant burden on medical staff and a financial burden on the majority of Quebecers.
“It’s also a question of fairness for the 90 per cent of the population who have made some sacrifices. I think we owe them this kind of measure,” he said.
Legault also stated that he would investigate the legality of such a contribution.
Quebec Premier François Legault discusses ‘tax on unvaccinated’:
YouTube video: Montreal Gazette