Canada O'Toole says he opposes Quebec's plan to 'tax and target' the unvaccinated

01:42  14 january  2022
01:42  14 january  2022 Source:   msn.com

Quebec Opposition unconvinced province will impose penalty on unvaccinated

  Quebec Opposition unconvinced province will impose penalty on unvaccinated MONTREAL — Quebec's announcement that it would tax unvaccinated residents sparked strong reaction and pushed Canadian premiers to take a position on it, but the province's official Opposition says it's unconvinced the government will go ahead with its threat. Describing Quebec Premier François Legault's plan as a "trial balloon," Liberal health critic Monsef Derraji said Wednesday he thinks the idea will be abandoned the way the province dropped its plan to force health-care workers to get the jab or be suspended without pay.

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says while he respects provincial jurisdiction, he opposes Quebec's plan "to tax and target" those who are unvaccinated against COVID-19.

  O'Toole says he opposes Quebec's plan to 'tax and target' the unvaccinated © Provided by The Canadian Press

The Tory leader made his position known on Premier François Legault's proposal during a Facebook Liveevent late Thursday. Some of his MPs had already taken to social media to condemn the proposal as discriminatory, unethical and punishing to low-income earners.

Earlier in the week Legault announced that unvaccinated adult Quebecers who don't have a medical exemption can expect to start paying a "significant” financial penalty.

Liberal MP backs anti-vax tax proposal as COVID cases surge

  Liberal MP backs anti-vax tax proposal as COVID cases surge A Liberal MP who works as a medical doctor says he's in favour of making unvaccinated Canadians pay some kind of a special tax — and he believes others in his party agree."We already have taxes on tobacco. We have taxes on alcohol, which are there for similar reasons because people who consume those products are more likely to end up in the hospital," said MP Marcus Powlowski in a panel discussion with fellow MPs airing Saturday on CBC's The House. "And as a result, we're all going to have to pay for their hospitalization.

The premier said the measure was needed because around half of the patients in intensive care are unvaccinated even though only about 10 per cent of adult Quebecers are not immunized against COVID-19.

O'Toole,who encourages vaccinations but opposes vaccine mandates,  called the proposal unfair, predicting that it won't persuade those who are hesitant to get a shot to finally roll up their sleeves.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that he needed more details about Quebec's plan before he could say whether he supports it.The federal New Democrats also haven't taken a stance on the plan.

Trudeau said the province has signalled it will follow the Canada Health Act, which governs the country's universally funded health-care system that provinces deliver.

Erin O'Toole urges accommodations for unvaccinated Canadians amid Omicron wave

  Erin O'Toole urges accommodations for unvaccinated Canadians amid Omicron wave OTTAWA — Canadians unwilling to be vaccinated against COVID-19 should be accommodated through measures like rapid testing, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said Thursday as health experts warned the lightning-fast spread of the Omicron variant threatens to overwhelm hospitals. © Provided by The Canadian Press Ontario is reporting an uptick in hospitalizations and days ago made the decision to keep school-aged kids learning from home for at least two weeks, which Doug Ford's government said was to take pressure off the health-care system.

O'Toole on the other hand said Quebec's proposal doesn't align with Canada's approach to health care and that it's easy to "turn a frustrated 85 per cent of the population against 10 or 15 other per cent of the population."

"Vaccinated people get frustrated with what they perceive as a small group of people holding back the country," O'Toole said.

He blamed Trudeau's failure to provide better access to rapid antigen tests and personal protective equipment for compelling provinces to reimpose restrictive public health measures, despite Canada's highly vaccinated population.

Trudeau, for his part, has criticized O'Toole for saying those who remain unvaccinated should be allowed to take rapid tests, rather than lose their jobs or be put on leave under mandatory vaccination policies.

O'Toole isn't the first conservative leader to express disapproval of Quebec's plan. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney did so earlier this week, with both ruling out the possibility of introducing a similar punishment for unvaccinated residents in their provinces.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Antisemitism envoy Irwin Cotler says Quebec's secularism law is discriminatory .
OTTAWA — Canada's special envoy on combating antisemitism has sharply criticized as "discriminatory" Quebec's law banning teachers and some other public-sector employees from wearing religious symbols at work. Prof. Irwin Cotler, who was appointed by the prime minister to fight antisemitism, has condemned Quebec's secularism law — known as Bill 21 — saying it authorizes state interference in religion. Church and state have traditionally been separate in Canada, ensuring that the government is neutral toward religions and cannot dictate if and how people practice.

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