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Trudeau wants to know more about the health contribution proposed by Quebec

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The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, is not closing the door to Quebec imposing a health contribution on people who refuse to be vaccinated, but he says he is waiting to know the details of this possible measure to make a final decision. 

The Prime Minister of Canada is not criticizing the proposal made by Quebec to financially penalize the unvaccinated. Justin Trudeau warns, however, that this measure, if implemented, should not go against the principles of the Canada Health Act.

In a press conference held Wednesday in Ottawa, the Prime Minister declared that “everyone is paying attention at the moment to the proposal made by Quebec, but there are still many details that need to be known”.

For Justin Trudeau, what the government of François Legault is proposing must be aligned with the principles, fundamental rights and values ​​of Canada.

“We want to ensure that the principles of the Canada Health Act are respected. ”
– A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

The Canada Health Act stipulates that the provincial health insurance plan must guarantee the right to health care to 100% of the insured. Universality is also a condition set by this law for the transfer of federal funds to the provinces in the area of ​​health.

The government of Quebec announced on Tuesday its intention to impose a health contribution “on all adults in Quebec who refuse to be vaccinated”, as Prime Minister François Legault put it.

“There is no opposition from the government to taking strong measures, but we will always seek to ensure that these measures are effective […]. ”
– A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“The various jurisdictions and governments are right to look at how we can get people to be vaccinated,” continued Mr. Trudeau.

Canada has imposed “very harsh” measures on people who choose not to be vaccinated, Trudeau said. The fact, for example, “of not being able to travel by plane and train and of risking losing” your job “if you work for the [federal] public service”.

In addition to the obligations imposed by the federal government, the provinces and territories have set vaccine obligations, recalled the federal Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos. And all these actions have borne fruit: “The vaccination rate has increased from 6 to 10%,” he says.

This is proof that these measures have encouraged Canadians to make “the right choice” and to be vaccinated, adds Minister Duclos.

Compulsory vaccination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the right, and Federal Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, discuss at a press conference the various measures intended to encourage vaccination in the country.

Last Friday, Mr. Duclos went so far as to raise the possibility, for the provinces, of making vaccination compulsory. A possibility that his Quebec counterpart did not rule out last December: “If we have to go there, we’ll go there,” Christian Dubé had argued.

In New Brunswick, Premier Blaine Higgs is not ruling it out either, but he intends to discuss it first.

On Wednesday, Jean-Yves Duclos clarified that the keyword surrounding the measures taken to counter COVID-19 was “benevolence”.

“It’s to protect people, for the sake of benevolence, he explained. No one wants someone to end up in intensive care.”

“I don’t think anyone is thinking or saying that we will use force, physically speaking, to vaccinate people in Canada,” said Duclos, who believes the discussion on these issues will continue.
Slippery ground

The reactions fuse in the country the day after François Legault’s announcement on a possible financial penalty for the unvaccinated.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says this is “a violation of this great Canadian principle of universal access to health care.”

“Our approach is different and we will not go down this path,” said Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario. Same story in Saskatchewan: “We have no intention of imposing a tax on the unvaccinated,” says Scott Moe.

In British Columbia, the Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, affirms that one will instead continue the vaccination campaign, which knows “an exceptional success”.

For the mayor of Toronto, John Tory, the government of Quebec is on a slippery slope. “What are we going to do with the people who smoke, the people who are addicted and who end up in the health care system?” he asks.

“This is one avenue best not to take,” concludes John Tory.
Trudeau calls on young people

Nationally, 45% of children aged 5 to 11 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. By comparison, almost twice as many young people between the ages of 12 and 17 – or 87% – have been vaccinated to date.

For Prime Minister Trudeau, childhood immunizations must accelerate. To this end, he spoke directly to young people on Wednesday. “Please ask your parents to get you vaccinated, which will protect you, your parents, your grandparents, vulnerable people …”

Mr. Trudeau underlines that “it is not easy” for the young people, who had to make many sacrifices during this pandemic. In some parts of the country, they will have to return to class soon and it is important that they be vaccinated, he insists.

In addition, on Tuesday, Ottawa said that vaccine stocks were sufficient to provide a possible fourth dose of vaccine to all Canadians, if necessary.

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