Justin Trudeau responds to Quebec's plan for 'health contribution' payments for unvaccinated adults

·1-min read
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a press conference on the Covid-19 situation, January 5, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images) (DAVE CHAN via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on Quebec's announcement about an upcoming "health contribution" payment for unvaccinated adults.

"We’ve received that proposal with interest by the Quebec government but there’s a lot more details that we have to hear on how this would work before I can make any comments on it," Trudeau said.

"The details will be important in how this works, how it balances the values and the rights that we all cherish as Canadians with the necessity of keeping people safe ... Various orders of government are right to look at different ways of encouraging and incentivizing people to get vaccinated."

Canada's health minister Jean-Yves Duclos added that in conversations with his provincial counterparts, everyone is "on board" to support universal access to healthcare across Canada.

"This being said, we need to remind everyone…that vaccination is the way out of this wave and out of the crisis in general," Duclos said.

Trudeau also used questions about Quebec's upcoming policy to slam Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole for pushing accommodations to vaccine mandates for unvaccinated individuals.

"Mr. O’Toole is out to try to protect his own leadership and he’s not thinking about protecting the healthcare workers who are on the frontlines," the prime minister said. "Trying to pretend that rapid testing or testing general is as good as getting vaccinated is simply irresponsible."

"Mr. O’Toole is more focused on appeasing the anti-vaxxers within his own caucus than he is on protecting Canadians and certainly, on supporting frontline workers. If Mr. O’Toole was serious about being a leader to get Canadians through this pandemic, he would be making sure that all of his MPs get vaccinated."