KEY POINTS

  • The man's visitation rights are suspended until February
  • The case will be reviewed next month
  • The kid has received both doses of vaccine

An unvaccinated father in Canada has been temporarily barred from visiting his 12-year-old child until he gets the COVID-19 jab.

A court in Quebec observed that "in the child’s best interest" the unidentified father who is opposed to “health measures in the current epidemiological context,” should not have contact with his child. The man's visitation rights are suspended until February unless he gets vaccinated, Quebec Superior Court Judge Jean-Sébastien Vaillancourt said as per New York Post, citing local news outlet Le Devoir.

The judgment is the first of its kind prohibiting a parent's access rights on the grounds of immunization, according to the reports.

The ruling came after the father requested for an additional day to be spent with the child during the holidays and the mother opposed it. The mother reportedly knew about the father's unvaccinated status only recently through his social media posts. She then requested the court to suspend his visitation rights, USA Today reported.

The child has received two doses of the vaccine and currently lives with the mother and her partner. The couple's two other children are under the age of five and unvaccinated. 

“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 court will reconsider the case at the beginning of next month.

 Meanwhile, Francois Legault, Premier of Quebec province announced Tuesday that it will impose a "significant" financial penalty for residents who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for non-medical reasons. 

"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,” he added.

Quebec had made vaccine passports mandatory in many big stores such as Costco, Walmart, and Canadian Tire. The province has reached a peak in the number of COVID-19 infections, the Premier announced  Thursday.

A nurse prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children for distribution in Montreal, Quebec on November 24, 2021 A nurse prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children for distribution in Montreal, Quebec on November 24, 2021 Photo: AFP / Andrej Ivanov