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By BBC World News
A Canadian father who has not been vaccinated against Covid has temporarily lost the right to see his 12-year-old child.
A judge ruled his visits would not be in the child’s “best interest”.
It followed a request by the father to extend his visiting time during the holidays.
The judgement is the first depriving a parent of access rights on immunisation grounds, a family law expert told Le Devoir newspaper.
The judge’s decision, made at the end of last month in Quebec province, suspends the father’s visitation rights until February, unless he decides to get vaccinated.
The mother, who opposed the father’s initial request to extend his visitation time, told the court she had recently discovered he was unvaccinated, using his social media posts to show he was opposed to vaccines.
The mother lives with her partner and two other children who are too young to be vaccinated.
The judge said it was not “in the child’s best interest to have contact with their father” due to the recent increase in Covid cases in French-speaking Quebec.
Quebec, which has seen the highest number of Covid-related deaths in Canada, announced earlier this week it would impose a tax on residents who are not vaccinated against Covid-19.
Although only about 12% of Quebec residents are eligible for the vaccine and remain unvaccinated, they make up over a quarter of all hospital cases.