The Conscientious Objections Of The Unvaxxed

- jim Young 

“Should five percent appear too small

Be thankful I don't take it all

'Cause I'm the taxman” - George Harrison

Quebec is proposing a tax on unvaccinated people to help cover the health care costs of anyone who refuses to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Cries of “infringement of rights” and “unconstitutionality” are already being heard, and that’s okay with the Quebec government. They’ve already checked out the likelihood of this tax being overturned by the Supreme Court.

Government lawyers are already on it and let’s face it. They can afford more lawyers than the average group of unvaccinated protestors that might actually fight it. In fact, they’re counting on the uproar. Let the people spew their frustrations as it is quickly passed into law and the dust will eventually settle.

The problem is, there are precedents for a law like this that will likely help it pass. My concern is not so much with the precedents already in place as it is for that one more precedent for the future that is being set.

It is simple to make a case for this tax. Taxing the unvaccinated almost makes sense. 

Cigarette smokers are taxed for the extra health care costs they incur through their purchase of cigarettes. 

Drinkers are taxed for the extra health care costs they incur through their purchase of alcohol.

Gamblers are taxed for the extra social costs they incur through the taxes they pay at the casinos.

Marijuana smokers are taxed through their purchase of cannabis.

These are generally known as “sin” taxes.

“You should be willing to pay for your sin,” Timothy Leary was quoted as saying when he suggested a tax on marijuana while campaigning for its legalization in the 60s.

The problem is, refusing a vaccination isn’t really a sin. It’s a moral objection much like a conscientious objector during the war. God help us all if the government should decide to start taxing “moral objections”. 

Based on their past record, the government is certainly in no position to define morality.

And let’s face it. A vaccination isn’t even a guarantee that you won’t still end up in the hospital!

The government has admitted that Canada does not require the population to be 100% fully vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. The problem is, they have fallen short of being able to convince enough people to step forward to achieve that herd immunity. Or maybe the vaccine is just not as effective as they had hoped. The end result is the same. Does that give the government the right to force it upon the conscientious objectors? Or even tax them on it?

My biggest fear is, Why stop there?

Why not impose a tax on red and processed meat? 

“Research has shown that regularly eating red meat and processed meat can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer.”

Who’s paying for the healthcare costs of that? Will a tax on red and processed meat be next to come?

A report in 2013 showed that couch potatoes worldwide were incurring healthcare costs of $67.5 billion.

Maybe we need to put a monitor on everyone's television sets and charge a usage tax to cover Canada's share of that.

The inactive aren’t the only culprits, however. $20 billion was the cost for “sports related injuries in just US high school and collegiate levels alone” in 2019.

It’s about time this group was also being taxed their fair share along with smokers, drinkers and gamblers.

Like to spend time on a hot summer’s day relaxing in the sun in your backyard or even doing some yard work? Better not forget your sunscreen or you could be fined to cover the healthcare costs of “skin cancer” caused by too much exposure to the deadly rays of the sun.

The list goes on and on. 

Of course not all these tax dollars will even make it to the healthcare system. There will be costs incurred in collecting the taxes and administrative costs in handling the money at the very least. A percentage will go to enforcing the payment of the taxes and the costs of sending some to jail who refuse. (A jail sentence for your neighbour for simply refusing a vaccination is becoming a very real possibility.) And of course the government often has a habit of “redirecting tax dollars” for other purposes.

Maybe it would be simpler to convert to a “user-pay” healthcare system in Canada since that seems to be the direction we are headed anyway.

But then who would we tax to cover the costs of the homeless and bankruptcies caused by those who can’t afford healthcare like we see happening in other countries?


Somehow, I don’t think this was at all what Sir Tommy Douglas had in mind.

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* Current statistics and some of those specific to Canada were not readily available for all my examples so I have taken the liberty of substituting some worldwide and U.S. facts to make my point. I have clearly identified in my article where this was done. The intelligent reader should be able to easily recognize that the inference in the mere magnitude of these numbers is relative regardless of what the actual numbers are.


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Published In The Great North Arrow, June 1, 2023: Do You Want Fries And Taxes With That?

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