Stephane Beaulac, constitutional law professor at the University of Montreal, said Tuesday the new health tax or “contribution” announced by Quebec Premier François Legault could potentially be challenged under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or Quebec Charter. He said that if it is challenged, it would likely be done so against the right to equality without discrimination and would likely be argued it discriminates against those who choose not to get vaccinated.
However, Beaulac said while the choice to get vaccinated or not does fall under Canadian and Quebec laws, under either charter, there are specifics of what falls under discrimination and there was nothing in both that could likely address a person’s vaccination status.
He also spoke about similarities to being taxed on alcohol or cigarettes, he said “by analogy one could say the tax is justifiable in terms of public policy because it (being unvaccinated) puts an extra burden on the health-care system similarly through smoking.”
Legault did not mention a dollar amount of the tax that would be levied against unvaccinated adults refusing to get vaccinated for non-medical reasons, but said he would like to see it be a substantial amount. He added he’s seen the ire of the vaccinated levied against the unvaccinated and blamed the latter for clogging up hospitals, saying the unvaccinated make up 10 per cent of the population but are taking up 50 per cent of ICU beds.
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