In the latest of a growing number of COVID-related cases dealt by the courts, Quebec Superior Court Justice Steve Reimnitz withdrew the woman’s parental authority in health matters of her nine and fourteen-year old kids.Read More
“She can believe what she likes, but the court prefers to follow the recommendations of public health,” held Justice Reimnitz in Droit de la famille — 2229, 2022 QCCS 75. “The court must respect the choice of the parent who wishes to follow the recommendations of the public authorities in matters of health and vaccination, particularly in a case where the parent who is against vaccination relies on fears that have not been conclusively demonstrated before the court.”
The decision to administer a vaccine to a person under 14 years of age is a decision that falls under parental authority, underlined Justice Reimnitz. The father already had sole custody of both children but the mother had their vaccination records and was opposed to them being vaccinated for COVID-19.
The father sought a safeguard order to remove certain attributes of the mother’s parental authority. He also asked to retrieve his youngest child’s vaccination records.
The mother refused to let her 14-year-old teen receive the vaccine, even though she “clearly” asked for it. And she surreptitiously slipped a birthday card in her nine-year old’s bag, without the knowledge of grandparents who supervise the mother’s contacts with her children. “We know that you will make the right choice for your health, to refuse any poison injection,” wrote the mother.
Just before the Christmas holidays, the father received a call from his nine-year old’s school principal. The principal was instructed by the mother not to give the child the rapid tests to detect COVID-19 given by schools. The mother “indicated” that she is “totally” against the tests.
“The court…concludes that she submits no valid authority to obstruct the recommendation of the Quebec Public Health,” said Justice Reimnitz.
The Comité sur l’immunisation au Québec recommends that vaccination against COVID-19 be offered to all young people aged 5 to 11 who do not have contraindications. Health Canada has approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines in children 5 years and older.
In late December 2021, an Montreal anti-vaxxer father temporarily lost visitation rights to see his 12-year-old son after Quebec Superior Court ruled that his opposition to COVID health measures and vaccines would not make the visits in the child’s ‘best interest.’
‘It would normally have been in the child’s best interests to have contact with his father, but it is not in his best interest to have contact with him if he is not vaccinated and is opposed to health measures in the current epidemiological context,’ said Justice Jean-Sébastien Vaillancourt said in Droit de la famille — 212444, 2021 QCCS 5387.
A couple of days before, Quebec Superior Court Justice André Roy in Droit de la famille — 212429, 2021 QCCS 5338 granted the father the “authority” to vaccinate his child and, if necessary to allow her to undergo a rapid screening test, without the consent of the mother, who “adheres to conspiracy theses and conspiracy theories to justify its refusal.”
Since November 2021, Quebec Superior Court has issued more than 20 rulings dealing with COVID-19 vaccines.