An unvaccinated Canadian father has lost the right to visit his 12-year-old child unless he gets a shot, a judge has reportedly ruled.
Quebec Superior Court Judge Jean-Sébastien Vaillancourt said in his Dec. 23 decision that it would not be “in the child’s best interest” to have contact with the unvaccinated dad who is opposed to “health measures in the current epidemiological context,” according to a report.
The judge suspended the father’s visitation rights until February unless he gets vaccinated, Le Devoir newspaper said Tuesday.
The ruling marks the first time a judge in Canada has deprived a parent of visitation rights due to vaccination concerns, a family law expert told the newspaper.
The ruling came after the father requested an additional day with his child during the holidays, which was opposed by the youngster’s mother. She had recently learned the child’s father was “anti-vaccine” and had not gotten jabbed, according to the newspaper.
The 12-year-old child is vaccinated, but the judge ruled protection from the highly contagious Omicron variant “seems to be reduced” in Quebec. The child’s mother also lives with her partner and two children under the age of 5 who are too young to get unvaccinated, Le Devoir reported.
“In these circumstances, it is not in the best interests of any of the three children that [the father] can exercise access to [his 12-year-old child] at this time,” Vaillancourt ruled.
The judge said the matter would be reconsidered at the beginning of next month. More than 90 percent of adults in Quebec are vaccinated against COVID-19, AFP reported.
The premier of the province, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that adults who refuse to get vaccinated face a looming hit to their pocketbooks.
The amount of the financial penalty – which will apply only to residents who don’t qualify for medical exemptions — has not been finalized, but Premier Francois Legault said it will be “significant.” It marks the first time Canada has announced a fine for residents who choose not to get vaccinated.
“Those who refuse to get their first doses in the coming weeks will have to pay a new health contribution,” Legault said. “The majority are asking that there be consequences … It’s a question of fairness for the 90% of the population that have made some sacrifices. We owe them.”
Officials in Quebec announced a 10 p.m. curfew on Dec. 30, while liquor and cannabis stores will require proof of vaccination beginning on Jan. 18.
With Post wires