Friday, June 14, 2024

“Vaccimpôt”: In Canada, a gap between public opinion and public health

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

Quebec’s proposed “vaccine tax” elicits mixed reactions in Canada: while the majority of the population appears to support the initiative, public health leaders elsewhere in the country view the measure as too punitive.

• Read also: Quebec wants to charge non-vaccinated adults

• Read also: “Health contribution”: Trudeau is waiting for details to make a decision

A Maru poll indicates that 60% of 1,510 people surveyed support a tax on unvaccinated people, with a 69% rise among those 55 and over.

The highest levels of “vaccine tax” support are found in British Columbia and Quebec, at 64% and 63%, respectively.

These Canadians risk disappointment with their provincial leaders. Many of them have overlooked the possibility of following the path that Quebec is following.

“This is not a suggestion we will make [au gouvernement Ford]. in my opinion [la mesure] It seems punitive to me,” Ontario’s Director of Public Health, Dr.s Kieran Moore.

The same story in British Columbia, where dRe Bonnie Henry, the chief public health official, said she would not suggest the same to her government. The health minister was quick to say he wasn’t thinking about it anyway.

For its part, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association believes that the “vaccine tax” raises important concerns in terms of fairness” and that “the government should abandon this controversial and constitutionally weak proposal.”

Trudeau is still cautious

The federal government remains cautious about the “health contribution”. Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos prefer to wait for policy terms before making a decision.

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“Obviously the details will be important in Quebec because we want to respect the principles of health law,” said Mr Trudeau, who did not want to comment on the legality of the proposal.

A “wise” decision, according to a spokesman for the Quebec Health Cluster, Luc Terriault. As the severity of the Omicron wave over Quebec’s system largely depends on the shortage of personnel and intensive care beds, Mr Thériault reiterated the call from Quebec and other provinces to increase health transfers.

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