No vax, pay a tax: Quebec will tax people who do not get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Premier said $50 or $100 is "not significant" enough for him

Adult Quebec residents who are not vaccinated are going to have to pay what Premier Francois Legault calls a “health-care contribution.”

At a news conference on Tuesday, Legault said the province will apply a “significant” financial penalty for residents who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for non-medical reasons.

The exact amount has not been determined.

Quebec is in talks with the finance minister and legal advisors, but Legault said $50 or $100 “is not significant” enough for him.

“It’s a question of equity because right now these people, they put a very important burden on our health-care network,” said Legault. “And I think it’s normal that the majority of the population is asking that there be a consequence.”

The tax would apply to adults in Quebec who refuse to get their first dose of vaccine. People who are exempt from the jab for medical reasons would not be taxed.

Only 10 per cent of the population is unvaccinated, but they make up 50 per cent of patients in intensive care beds, according to the premier.

On Tuesday, there were 2,742 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Quebec. Of those, 255 are in intensive care.

As of Jan. 18, customers will have to show their vaccine passports to enter Quebec’s provincially run alcohol and cannabis stores. 

Legault has not ruled out applying those rules to other services such as personal care.

Banner image: Quebec Premier Francois Legault/Facebook