Quebec is poised to backtrack on its proposed tax on people who chose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to La Presse.
Premier François Legault is expected to make the announcement at 1 p.m. Tuesday, alongside Health Minister Christian Dubé and interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau.
Earlier this month, Legault announced the province was considering imposing a “significant” penalty on people who refuse to be vaccinated for non-medical reasons.
Legault called the measure a “health care contribution,” arguing the tax would apply to all adults in Quebec who refuse to get their first dose “in the next few weeks.”
People with medical exemptions would not be subject to the tax.
The unvaccinated “will have a bill to pay because there are consequences on our health care network and it’s not up to all Quebecers to pay for this,” Legault insisted at the time. “It’s a question of equity because right now, these people are putting a very important burden on our health care network and I think it’s normal that the majority of the population is asking that there be a consequence.”
The proposal was negatively received by many, including Liberal health critic Monsef Derraji, who predicted that the idea would be abandoned in the same way Quebec backtracked on its plan to force health care workers to get vaccinated or be suspended without pay.