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Liberal MP backs anti-vax tax proposal as COVID cases rise CBC Radio

A Liberal MP who works as a medical doctor says he is in favor of paying a special tax to unvaccinated Canadians – and believes others in his party Agree.

“We already have taxes on tobacco. We have taxes on alcohol, for similar reasons because people who consume those products are more likely to end up in hospital,” MP Markus Powlowski said on Saturday. Said in a panel discussion with fellow MPs broadcast. on CBC House, “And as a result, we all have to pay for his hospitalization.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault this week pitched the idea of ​​a substantial tax on unvaccinated people as hospitalizations in that province continued.

New federal modeling released Friday warned that the Omicron version could lead to record levels of hospitalizations in the coming weeks.

The tax proposal is controversial. Opponents have warned that it may violate the principles of universality and accessibility of the Canada Health Act.

But there are also supporters of Legault’s idea.

Alberta resident Corina Hepner’s younger son, Rossi, was born with a rare neuromuscular disorder that severely twisted his spinal cord.

The surgery that would allow him to use his arms for the first time was scheduled for November and then canceled due to system constraints brought on by the pandemic. It has not been rescheduled.

Liberal MP backs anti-vax tax proposal as COVID cases rise CBC Radio
Rossi Hipkin, 5-year-old from Alberta, was set to receive a surgery to treat his rare neuromuscular disorder, but it was canceled in late November of 2021 due to rising cases of COVID-19. (Submitted by Corina Hepner)

“You’re grooming your baby — we were telling her, ‘You’re going to get muscles in your arms, you’re going to be able to move your arm. And then it was, ‘Okay, well, you can’t do that.’ So he was very, very upset,” she told House, “His life must have changed quite a bit.”

Hepner said she wants people who are still refusing to get the vaccine to understand her decision has the potential to affect many others.

17:01widening wax gap

A mother describes how a canceled surgery has affected her son, and MPs Marcus Powlowski, Stephen Ellis and Don Davis discuss Quebec’s proposed health tax on unvaccinated people. 17:01

“It’s a really good idea to tax people for not getting vaccinated. Smokers are taxed. It’s not a new idea,” she said. “I think at this point in time we have to do whatever we can to reach some people.”

Pawlowski agreed.

“We must do this because, really, if you look at the numbers, the vast majority of people who are hospitalized, ICU, are unvaccinated,” he said. “So whatever we can do to increase the number of people who are vaccinated is certainly on my mind and I think is desirable in the mind of the party.”

Liberal MP backs anti-vax tax proposal as COVID cases rise CBC Radio
Marcus Powlowski, Liberal MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River, says something must be done to ease the pressure on hospitals as unvaccinated Canadians become ill. (Jeff Walters / CBC)

The position of his government is less clear. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters this week that he would like to see more details before commenting on whether the Quebec proposal might work.

What is clear is that the number of positive cases across Canada is rising to record levels. Canada’s Public Health Agency said Friday that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has quadrupled since December, while the number of severe cases has doubled to a daily average of 884.

Mandate ‘not delivering the results we want’ – MP

Conservative MP Stephen Ellis, a family physician, served as one of the medical leads in Nova Scotia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic before being elected last fall. He said that governments are using bigger and bigger sticks to force people to get vaccinated.

“I don’t know of any carrots that we’ve used here other than to say, of course, that if you get vaccinated, you’re much less likely to get sick,” he said. House panel discussion. “What we’ve done is mandate the people and clearly it’s not producing the results we want.”

New Democrat health critic Don Davis said he also doubts taxing the unaffiliated will work. He pointed out that some Canadians do not have access to vaccines like others.

“So I think the better way to go is that we have to continue by encouraging proper information, education and vaccination,” he said. “And I think it’s a more productive way to go in the short term.”

Both Davis and Ellis said more would have to be done to differentiate between vaccine-hesitant and those who refused to be vaccinated. Ellis said he has seen it in his practice.

‘Our job is to build trust’

“When someone came into the office and they had important issues or hesitations… vaccines or treatments, our job is to build trust, build relationships, and then encourage those people to develop the behavior we want to see change. Gone,” said Alice.

“And when we do it in a kind and caring way, in a hand-holding way that lets those people know we respect them and that we’re content experts, we know there’s a need for change.” The chances increase. Notably.”

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has said she wants the unaffiliated to be accommodated.

Watch: Conservative leader accuses Trudeau government of ‘normalising’ lockdown

Liberal MP backs anti-vax tax proposal as COVID cases rise CBC Radio

Conservative leader accuses Trudeau of ‘normalizing’ lockdown

Following the federal government’s first COVID-19 press briefing of the year, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole called on the Trudeau government to find new tools to fight the pandemic. 2:19

But frustration is mounting as case numbers rise and hospitals struggle to cope with staff fatigue and burnout.

The NDP’s Davis said everyone can empathize with patients who have had surgery and other medical procedures postponed because beds are being taken up by people who ignored the advice of public health officials.

“But I think equally, we need to base our policy position on evidence and science, and the NDP is interested in what works,” he said.

“You know, we like to think of ourselves as the party of health care. We believe passionately in universal access to care without financial constraints, and we defend that principle very carefully. So The, you know, the Quebec proposal is a novel one. It’s unprecedented. There’s no real evidence of what effect it might have.”

For now, Quebec’s proposal for a tax on non-vaccination is only a recipe waiting to be filled.

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