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Unvaccinated Canadian father loses visitation rights to his own child

A father in Canada lost his right to visit his 12-year-old child because he was not vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). Following a ruling by a justice in the province of Quebec, the father was temporarily barred from visiting his child as his visits “would not be in the child’s best interest.”

Quebec Superior Court Justice Jean-Sebastien Vaillancourt issued the ban on Dec. 23, 2021 in response to the father – given the initials RB – requesting that his visiting time during the holidays be extended. The judge ruled that RB’s visitation rights would be suspended until February 2022 unless he decides to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The 12-year-old’s mother – given the initials MO – opposed RB’s request to extend his visitation time. MO told the court that she recently discovered that her former partner was unvaccinated. She also accused him of being “an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist,” citing as evidence RB’s social media posts that opposed the shots.

Vaillancourt took note of these social media posts in his decision, saying these cast doubt on whether RB followed applicable health guidelines in Quebec. He ruled that it would not be in the 12-year-old’s best interest to have contact with RB “if he is not vaccinated and is opposed to health measures in the current epidemiological context.” (Related: Refusing COVID vaccines is costing people their jobs, kids, life-saving medical treatments.)

RB admitted that he has yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, telling the court that he has “reservations” about it. Vaillancourt responded that the ban on RB’s visitation rights is only temporary, and was prompted by the rise of COVID-19 cases due to the B11529 omicron variant.


The 12-year-old child, who has been fully vaccinated, lives with two half-siblings – alongside MO and her current partner. The two other children are too young to be injected with the COVID-19 vaccine. However, Vaillancourt noted that the vaccines do not provide enough protection as omicron’s highly contagious nature renders this protection null and void.

Decision first of its kind

Canadian lawyer Sylvie Schirm, who was not involved in the proceeding, said the decision by Vaillancourt was the first of its kind, at least in Canada. His ruling depriving a parent of visitation rights based on vaccination status could set a precedent, she added.

“It won’t necessarily apply to everybody across the board. It doesn’t mean that all parents who aren’t vaccinated will stop seeing their kids, but it sets a certain precedent that’s out there,” the Montreal-based family lawyer told CTV News.

“I think what probably didn’t help [RB] was that the judge probably thought he wouldn’t respect the regulations in any way, shape or form. So regardless of being vaccinated or not, he was going to expose his son to the virus, indirectly or directly. That’s what [Vaillancourt] was aiming to protect – the best interests of the child.”

According to Schirm, the family law case involving RB, MO and their 12-year-old child highlights the debate over individual versus collective rights. She added that RB had a difficult choice to make: his own beliefs toward the COVID-19 vaccine or his relationship with his son.

“I think we’re living in difficult times, but there’s some values that are clashing. This judgment is kind of an example of two values that are clashing,” Schirm commented. “A judge had to make a decision because the parents didn’t come to an agreement. So [Vaillancourt] had to intervene and make a decision – and that’s the decision he made.” (Related: Divorce court judge orders ex couple to get coronavirus vaccine.)

The ban on RB’s visitation rights would last until Feb. 8. Vaillancourt said the suspension needs to be as short as possible, and will be re-assessed if an extension is warranted.

Watch the video below of Tyler Russell talking about the ban on RB’s visitation rights.

This video is from the Three Spoons channel on has more about unvaccinated people being deprived of their rights.

Sources include:

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