In Quebec, Canada, they are planning that adults who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 pay a “health contribution”, because they represent a financial burden for public finances.
Reuters reported that Prime Minister Francois Legault noted that the tax charge would not apply to those who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons and that the details are still being finalized.
The move is expected to likely spark a debate on individual rights and social responsibility, but unvaccinated people pose a financial burden to others and the province’s Finance Ministry is determining a “significant” amount that unvaccinated residents must pay.
The minister told the media that that amount would not be less than $ 100 Canadian dollars (about $ 79.50 US dollars).
Governments around the world have imposed movement restrictions on the unvaccinated, but a blanket tax on all unvaccinated adults could be a controversial measure.
For Carolyn Ells, professor of medicine and health sciences at McGill University, while the tax could be justified in the context of a health emergency, it will surely face a judicial challenge, but we would have to wait for the details.
Ells believes that the government is taking a “dramatic” step, when options remain to execute such as further expanding vaccine mandates.
Canadian provinces are facing an exponential increase in Covid-19 cases that has forced tens of thousands of people to isolate themselves and it has saturated the institutions of the health sector.
Quebec is one of the worst affected localities with the highest daily count of coronavirus cases of all provinces and is suffering from the absence of several thousand health workers.
The province has around 10% of unvaccinated people, representing cerca 50% of those in intensive care units.
“The vaccine is the key to fighting the virus. That is why we are looking for a health contribution for adults who refuse to be vaccinated for non-medical reasons, “said Legault.
Quebec last month noted that it “had no choice” but to allow some Covid-19 positive essential workers, they will continue working to prevent staff shortages from impeding health care services.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.