Quebec Island town plans to tax and track visitors with QR code, ID residents before departure

'There are many Quebecers who will refuse to pay to travel within their own province. This goes against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,' said a business owner.

Quebec Island town plans to tax and track visitors with QR code, ID residents before departure
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The municipality of Îles-de-la-Madeleine, a small archipelago in Quebec with a population of just 12,780, will be implementing a new measure that will require its citizens to use identification to come and go as they please.

The plan by the town's mayor will surveil the comings and goings of the citizenry and would see tourists taxed to enter.

The local population isn't thrilled about the plan, according to TVA, who reported that many do not want to have to show ID to move around freely.

“This will be the first time in Canada that we will have to show a driver's license to leave a municipality,” one woman said during a city council meeting.

Chanie Thériault, a local business owner, spoke at the meeting to express her objection, saying that the plan would restrict freedom of movement.

“The council does not have all the answers to the questions that the measure raises,” she said in French.

The debate is growing, and affects all Quebecers, she said.

This plan is separate from another initiative by the town's government to add a $30 fee for tourists who wish to visit the island, starting this summer.

Tourists wishing to visit the scenic islands will be forced to complete an online form to obtain a so-called "Archipel Pass" for $30. This will provide the visitor with a QR code. Those who refuse are subject to fines of up to $1000, reports 24heures.

“There are many Quebecers who will refuse to pay to travel within their own province. This goes against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s not the $30 that’s the problem, it’s the principle,” one business owner on the island told the outlet. “If I refuse to identify myself, I will be fined $1,000. It restricts the freedom of movement of all Madelinots. It’s certain that people will organize against the municipality, that doesn’t make sense,” he said in French.

The $30 tax would be a huge revenue stream for the tiny island, as it typically welcomes 70,000 visitors a year.

One resident said that the extra revenue could be used to better serve the island. “We need more services and more infrastructure to meet tourist demand, but we do not have the means to meet it because residents are already overtaxed. So where are we going to get the money?” he said, adding that those who are worried are likely only feeling that way because of the stench left by Covid policies and vaccine passports.

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