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No fees to come for the unvaccinated in Alberta, Premier Kenney says

Last Updated Jan 12, 2022 at 11:11 am MDT

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney takes off his mask before giving a COVID-19 update in Edmonton, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Don’t expect any additional fees for unvaccinated Albertans at any point like the fines now seen in Quebec.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney denied the possibility of that ever happening in this province during a Facebook Live on Tuesday.

WATCH: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney responds to the possibility of there ever being charges for the unvaccinated in Alberta.

“The idea of starting to approach specified or varying taxes or charges based on people’s health, their personal choices, or health condition is a violation of that higher Canadian principle of universal access (to free health care),” said Kenney.

Kenney points to the fact that people who are overweight, or those who smoke are not charged an extra tax for their health decisions and we shouldn’t start now.

The premier did emphasize that unvaccinated Albertans have played a significant role in the province’s hospitals being overrun with COVID patients, revealing some sobering statistics from over the last four months.

“For the last 120 days, we have had 908 hospitalizations of unvaccinated individuals versus 55 for vaccinated individuals per 100,000 people,” Kenney explained.

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“That means that the hospitalization rate for unvaccinated people is nearly 17 times higher in Alberta than for those who took the vaccine.”

He says the numbers are even worse for ICU admissions, where, per 100,000 people, there were 212 unvaccinated people admitted to the ICU versus 5.5 who were vaccinated.

“That means unvaccinated people are 39 times more likely to end up in ICU with COVID than unvaccinated people in Alberta over the last few months.”

Looping back to charges for the unvaccinated, Kenney says it doesn’t matter where you come from, how old you are, what your medical condition is, or the life choices you’ve made, you are guaranteed access to free health care.

“And that’s a principle of the Canada Health Act, a principle of Alberta law. I think it’s a principle we all agree on.”