Special tax for non-vaccinated – The Parti Québécois calls for a democratic debate
In wake of Quebec Premier Legault’s announcement to tax the unvaccinated, the province has seen huge daily spikes in first dosage vaccine registrations. The thought of people paying an extra tax when money is already scarce in the middle of a pandemic was not sitting well with the opposition Parti Québécois.
The MNA for Îles-de-la-Madeleine, parliamentary leader and spokesperson for the Parti Québécois on health, Joël Arseneau, and the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St- Pierre Plamondon, ask for a debate in the National Assembly on the new “health tax” to be imposed on unvaccinated adults.
According to Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, it is unthinkable to impose a measure as significant as a tax for the non-vaccinated without having taken the time to debate it democratically or to hear the opinion of the experts. “The impression it gives is that the CAQ preferred to consult its internal polls to select a popular measure, but above all symbolic since it turns out to be very unlikely to improve the health situation.
Indeed, this idea of a special tax is unlikely to have a noticeable impact on the vaccination rate; however, such a measure could create additional problems. Other measures specific to the unvaccinated would have a much greater impact, and more quickly, on hospitalizations and public health; these avenues must also be considered,” advanced the leader of the Parti Québécois.
Joël Arseneau agrees. “The imposition of a measure such as a health tax for the non-vaccinated requires a real debate in the National Assembly; in fact, any new tax would have to be debated and voted on by elected officials. Almost two years after the start of the crisis, it is inconceivable that we avoid the necessary discussions with the opposition parties, and that we deprive ourselves of the opinion and analysis of experts, ”recalls.
Moreover, in the opinion of the Parti Québécois, we must go now to meet people experiencing homelessness or poverty who are not vaccinated. “The government should look for ways to get in touch with them and facilitate their vaccination. It would already be much more constructive and efficient,” said Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.
The Parti Québécois is also calling for the immediate holding of consultations on the health measures that have a significant impact on the population, in particular the curfew, the closing of businesses on Sundays and the extent of the application of the vaccine passport.
Although points of concern have been raised by the Parti Québécois, the Legault govern does not appear it will change its current stance or will they take up the motion of the opposition for debate.