The fines for those without vaccinations will not apply to those with medical exemptions, and no details have been announced, though officials said the amount to be imposed would be “significant”.
At a Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not look into whether Quebec’s financial penalty was good policy for the unaffiliated, saying he needed to see more details.
Trudeau underlined that Canada has strict vaccine mandates for airline and train passengers, federal employees and workplaces regulated by the federal government.
“And those who continue to hesitate or choose not to get vaccinated are losing the privilege of doing certain things, whether it’s on a train or a plane, whether it’s traveling internationally, whether it’s a public job. Going forward with service,” Trudeau told a news conference on Wednesday, acknowledging that debate continues on how to encourage non-vaccination.
Last week, Quebec, where nearly a quarter of Canadians live, announced that residents would have to be vaccinated if they bought alcohol or cannabis. Proof of vaccination is required to eat at restaurants, go to the gym or participate in sporting events.
Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the new fines in Quebec may not violate Canadian health laws, but vaccinations are a way out of the pandemic and mandates in Canada have been a useful tool.
Duclos told a news conference in Ottawa, “We have also demonstrated at the federal level that the vaccine essentially works, 99% of public servants, at the federal level, about 99% of public servants are either fully vaccinated.” are or are going to be fully vaccinated soon.” on Wednesday.
Public health officials say most patients in Quebec hospitals have not been vaccinated. Officials have not said how many hospitalized Covid patients have not been vaccinated.