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What's Going on at 538?

Why Some Believe the Latest Announcement from Quebec Premier Shows the 'Freedom Movement Is Working'

Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

Quebec Premier François Legault has scrapped a plan to tax the unvaccinated, weeks after announcing they’d be charged a “health contribution” due to the financial burden they impose on the rest of society.


Legault said he was concerned about the divisions such a move would cause among the population. 

"My role is to try to bring Quebecers together to stay united. This is why we won't go ahead with the health contribution," he said Tuesday. "I understand that this divides Quebecers and right now we need to build bridges."

Other Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted in Quebec and Ontario as well. 

Quebec and neighboring Ontario, which together account for around 61% of Canada's population, are starting to lift restrictions amid signs that the Omicron variant has peaked.

But experts in Ontario on Tuesday said this meant infections and hospitalizations linked to the variant would start rising.

Ontario removed some limits on businesses on Monday, allowing restaurants, malls, and cinemas to start operating with a 50% capacity. It plans to further relax curbs later in February and March. (Reuters)

The announcement from Legault comes as truckers have descended on the capital city of Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates for cross-border drivers.

While Legault denies his decision has anything to do with the protest, many didn't see it that way.


The premier of Saskatchewan also announced his support for the truckers, called for an end to the federal mandate for cross-border drivers, and said they will soon be ending the proof of vaccination/negative test policy in Saskatchewan. 

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