Canadian court bars unvaccinated father from meeting his child

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A Canadian father, not vaccinated against Covid and “opposed to sanitary measures”, lost the right to visit his 12-year-old child after a Quebec judge ruled that his visits would not be in the “best interests” of the child. The decision, initially reported by Quebec newspaper Le Devoir and viewed by AFP, was issued on December 23 and suspends the father’s visitation rights until February, unless he decides to get vaccinated.

“It would not be in the interest of the child to have contact with his father if he is not vaccinated and opposes health measures in the current epidemiological context,” the judge said in his judgment. , pointing to a spike in Covid cases due to the Omicron variant.

The problem arose when the father asked for an extension of his allotted visiting time during the holidays. The mother opposed his request. She told the court she had recently found out he was unvaccinated and showed his previous social media posts showing opposition to health measures.

The judge noted that although the child is vaccinated, his protection “appears to be reduced against the Omicron variant which is currently spreading in Quebec”. The mother also lives with her partner and two other children, aged seven months and four years old – too young for vaccines, which Canada authorizes from the age of five.

“In these circumstances, it is not in the interest of any of the three children” that the 12-year-old visit his father, ruled the judge. Although more than 90% of adults in Quebec are vaccinated against Covid-19, the province has seen a sharp increase in cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

In an attempt to stem the new wave, Quebec announced on December 30 the return of certain restrictions, including a 10 p.m. curfew and a ban on private gatherings. The French-speaking province will also impose a new health tax on unvaccinated people in the coming weeks, and has already banned them from non-essential stores.

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