Canadian Judge Removes Father’s Visitation Rights Over Vaccination Status

Law and Justice concept. Mallet of the judge, books, scales of justice. Gray stone backgro
Getty Images

A judge in the Canadian province of Quebec has suspended a father’s right to see his 12-year-old child because the father has not been fully vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus.

Superior Court Judge Jean-Sébastien Vaillancourt temporarily denied the father’s access rights to his child in a judgement dated on December 23rd and reported this week, arguing that it was not in the child’s best interest to have contact with this father due to the man’s vaccination status.

“It would normally have been in the best interests of the child to have contact with his father, but not in his best interest to have contact with him if he is not vaccinated and is opposed to sanitary measures in the current epidemiological context,” Judge Vaillancourt stated, newspaper Le Devoir reports.

The mother of the child has full custody rights and previously agreed to grant the father access every other weekend and for a week during the holiday season but the mother objected when the father requested an extra day of access during the holidays.

In her objection, the mother stated that the father was a “conspiracy theorist” and was not vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus. The woman also produced alleged Facebook posts showing the father opposed the coronavirus vaccines.

The 12-year-old, meanwhile, is fully vaccinated but the judge stated that it was not enough for the child to be safe around their unvaccinated father, stating, “it is judicial knowledge that the protection is not total and that it even seems to be reduced in the face of the Omicron variant, which is currently spreading in Quebec. It is also known that this variant is highly contagious.”

The judge has also ruled that the case will be re-examined in February, stating that the father may be vaccinated within that time frame or the pandemic situation itself may change.

The case is the first of its kind in Canada according to family lawyer Sylvie Schirm, who said that judges decide cases in terms of what is in the child’s best interest.

The judgement comes as Quebec has greatly tightened Wuhan coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks as the Omicron variant of the virus spreads throughout the province.

Earlier this week, Quebec premier Francois Legault announced that all unvaccinated residents would be made to pay a “significant” sum of money to the government for not getting the jab, although no exact amount was stated.

“I think right now, it’s a question of fairness for the 90 per cent of the population who made some sacrifices — I think we owe them this kind of measure,” Legault said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.