Canada's Quebec proposes tax for the unvaccinated

Residents refusing a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada's Quebec province may soon have to pay a tax instead.

Governments around the world have imposed varying restrictions on the unvaccinated, but a sweeping tax would be a rare and controversial move.

Citing the financial burden unvaccinated people are putting on the system, Premier Francois Legault said on CTV Tuesday that the tax would likely be up to 100 Canadian dollars, or around 80 U.S. dollars.

He added that the unfinished proposal wouldn't apply to those who can't get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Provinces across Canada are experiencing exponential surges in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, and Quebec is one of the worst hit.

Last month, Quebec said it had "no choice" but to allow some essential workers to continue working even after testing positive for the virus -- in order to prevent staff shortages from halting healthcare services.

Legault says that even though only 10% of the province population remains unvaccinated, they make up about 50% of their intensive care units.

Whether a tax on the unvaccinated could survive court challenges will depend on the details.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the federal government had secured enough vaccine doses for all eligible Canadians to receive a booster as well as a fourth dose.

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