Quebec Would Make Vaccination Mandatory If Necessary, Says Dubé

"If we have to go there, we'll go there. Right now, we're not there."

Associate Editor
Quebec Would Make Vaccination Mandatory If Necessary, Says Dubé

With the number of new COVID-19 cases soaring, Quebec announced a tightening of health measures on December 22 — and Premier François Legault said the government wouldn't hesitate to add more measures in the next few days if needed. But could it eventually go even further to the point of vaccination becoming mandatory in Quebec?

According to Health and Social Services Minister Christian Dubé, it's not off the table.

"If we have to go there, we'll go there. Right now, we're not there yet," said Dubé at Wednesday's press conference when asked about making COVID-19 vaccines obligatory in the province. He was also asked about the possibility of only confining the most vulnerable Quebecers rather than the entire population.

"Quebecers have done so much when it comes to vaccination, so I think we must respect everything that was done by Quebecers thus far," Dubé said.

The minister noted that, aside from recent measures that affect everyone, vaccinated Quebecers had been able to return to a semblance of normalcy, unlike those who had not received their two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

"Over the past few weeks and months, Quebecers who got vaccinated were able to have a bit of a more normal life, which is not the case for the unvaccinated [...] We need a vaccine passport. We've done quite a bit to make a big difference between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated," he said.

Despite this, the government's message remained clear: "If we needed to go further, and that's what we discussed, we will, but today under the circumstances, we are able to get through it," he said. "If it is necessary to go further in prohibiting unvaccinated people, since the situation could deteriorate, we will not hesitate to do so."

According to Legault, 10% of Quebec adults who are unvaccinated account for 50% of hospitalizations.

Legault Elaborated On The Quebec Tax For The Unvaccinated

The 600,000 unvaccinated people will receive a call from the government.

Premier François Legault recently announced that unvaccinated Quebecers are going to be charged a "significant" fee if they refuse to get at least their first dose in the next few weeks unless they have a medical reason not to.

On Sunday, January 16, Legault appeared on the Quebec TV show on Tout le monde en parle to discuss the new "health contribution" that non-vaccinated adults will be required to pay.

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The Latest Quebec Curfew Is Officially Over

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Rejoice! We can officially go on nightly walks again (if you can handle the cold) because Quebec's curfew was lifted as of Monday, January 17. That means no rushing to get home on time while risking fines.

During a press conference on Thursday, Premier François Legault said, "The reason we did this was to stop the exponential growth of the number of infections and then the number of hospitalizations. So given that we seem to have reached a peak, that permits us to remove the curfew."

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Quebec Bill 21 Won't Apply To Parents Who Volunteer In Schools & Wear Religious Symbols

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As a contingency plan to deal with a high number of staff shortages expected at schools in the coming weeks, Quebec's Ministry of Education has said parent volunteers might be asked to supervise classes if too many teachers get sick with COVID-19 and need to isolate. But, unlike teachers who are subject to Bill 21, volunteer parents can wear religious symbols in the classroom.

Quebec's controversial Bill 21, also known as Quebec's secularism law, prohibits public service workers — from police officers to teachers — from wearing hijabs, kippahs, crosses, turbans and other forms of religious symbols while at work. In fact, an elementary school teacher in Chelsea was removed from her position last month for wearing a hijab.

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On December 30, 2021, François Legault announced a handful of restrictions across Quebec, which included the closure of indoor dining and places of worship, and the postponement of a return to in-person learning at schools in the new year. In a January 13 Facebook post, Legault confirmed elementary and high school students would be returning to class as of Monday, January 17. But what about university students?

Montreal CEGEPs and universities also reverted to remote learning, however, things are looking a little different for students returning to in-person classes at post-secondary institutions. Premier Legault stated in a January 12 post that while universities could reopen their doors as of the 17th, they are being given extra leeway to determine the exact date in which in-person classes could resume.

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