Gatineau residents are reacting to Quebec’s controversial plan to tax the unvaccinated.
Lance Peckham says he supports the new tax on Quebecers who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I think it’s a great idea. We pay taxes on alcohol and cigarettes – why not?
Quebec Premier François Legault announced on Tuesday that there would be a new measure for people who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for non-medical reasons. We do not know exactly how much the penalty will be, but Le Legault says it will be “important”.
Virginia Messier lives in Gatineau and says she is surprised to hear the announcement: “I thought they would take another path.
However, she says she thinks it will cause people to get vaccinated.
“Mainly for the health care system, it’s gutted, everyone’s gutted. It’s too much for them right now.”
On Wednesday, the province registered 457 more people admitted to care with COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,877 people hospitalized with the virus.
François Sauvé says the tax could help ease the pressure on the system.
“If everyone gets vaccinated, it will be easier for everyone,” Sauvé said, but wonders if the tax will become a reality.
“I know there is opposition so we’ll have to see.”
Luc St-Laurent says he has questions about the amount of the tax and its deployment.
“I don’t know, it’s complicated… but if it helps more and people get shot, that’s what we need.”
Not everyone in the province likes the idea. Marie Desjardins opposes the tax and says it will not be effective in getting more people vaccinated.
“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “We have taxes on everything in Quebec, and now they want to tax a person who is not vaccinated? I mean really!”
The Ottawa medical officer of health says she opposes the idea.
“I think it’s important to recognize the value of access to health care as a right, and something that we prioritize in Canada. So for me it would be problematic to create barriers to health care for people, ”Dr. Vera Etches said Wednesday.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore says Ontario does not intend to tax residents who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
“It seems, in my mind, punitive,” Dr. Moore said. “It was only in high-risk settings that we commissioned it, and it was in long-term care facilities where we all realized the increased mortality rate, the increased risk of outcomes. (COVID-19) had to be balanced by maximizing vaccination and protection of these people.
The Government of Quebec is currently consulting the Minister of Finance and his legal advisers on the implementation of the measure.