On Thursday, the government of Quebec declared that anyone who fails to get vaccinated against COVID-19 would be subject to a “significant tax.”
The government is being criticized heavily, even by Premier Legault’s own party members.
Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s federal minister of health, stated last Wednesday that he sees mandatory vaccinations. Personally, I see it coming. It’s not now. We are not there yet, I think. He said that mandatory vaccinations are needed to eliminate COVID-19.
Taxing people for being sick is bad politics. The uncomfortable truth is that even people who have been vaccinated are finding themselves in hospitals.
To put it mildly, the tax appears punitive. In some countries, it can be costly to not obey the government.
Francois Legault, Premier du Quebec, said that this would apply to adults without a medical exemption. This comes as the number of cases of the virus is beginning to plateau.
He stated that a financial penalty was necessary because approximately half of the patients in intensive care were not vaccinated. However, only 10% of Quebecers are vaccinated.
Provincial leaders are concerned about the potential healthcare crisis that could result from the rapid spread of the transmissible Omicron variant. The controversial plan will be implemented next month.
Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom in Alberta challenges the tax on grounds that it would violate the right of bodily autonomy in Canada’s Chart of Rights and Freedoms.
According to the group, there is no scientific or medical justification for a vaccine tax and it would be discriminatory and financial persecution for unvaccinated Quebecers.
Although Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, is yet to decide whether or not to support the tax, Jean Charest (an ex-Quebec premier) has assured Ottawa that the tax would not interfere with the nationalized insurance system, almost assuring its passage.
Taxing someone to get sick is downright scary. This sounds like something that would have been popular during medieval times. This kind of coercion is not appropriate in democratic societies, however.