The Ontario government has announced that it will be not be penalizing unvaccinated residents with a tax after Quebec’s announcement on Tuesday.
Quebec Premier François Legault recently confirmed that any Quebecer over the age of 18 who does not get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the next few weeks will face a “significant” tax.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said that Ontario will not be following Quebec’s move.
“We have not made that recommendation to the government, ever, throughout this pandemic. It’s not one that we would bring forward. It does, in my mind, seem punitive,” Moore stated.
“We have always been supportive of adults making informed decisions for vaccination and have tried to increase availability and accessibility.”
Moore said that there has been one time when they have mandated vaccination during this pandemic.
“Only in the highest-risk setting have we mandated it and that was in the long-term care facility where all of us have realized the increased death rate, the increased risk of severe outcomes had to be balanced by maximizing immunization and protection of those individuals,” Moore said.
“That is as far as this government has gone in terms of mandating vaccination and putting a penalty on those who have not been vaccinated has not been entertained by this government.”
Currently, the government has moved Ontario back to a modified Step Two of reopening, under which indoor dining, gyms and more are currently closed to help stop the spread of the Omicron variant.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.