Two recent cases arising from divorce and custody arrangements in Canada highlight the extreme consequences of vaccination mandates for our neighbors to the north. In separate rulings from the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, unvaccinated fathers lost custody and/or visitation rights with their own children until they agree to be vaccinated.
In Quebec, in a decision issued in December by Judge Sebastien Vaillancourt, a father not only saw his request for an extension of his visitation rights with his child for the holidays denied, but the judge suspended all his visitation rights until February, unless the father gets vaccinated.
In New Brunswick, an unvaccinated father lost shared custody of his three children in late January, including an immunocompromised 10-year-old, after Justice Nathalie Godbout ruled the health risk the father created to the 10-year-old child made her decision necessary.
Godbout’s order allowed the father “generous” visiting rights via Zoom but denied him any in-person contact. If the father decides to get vaccinated, he can ask the judge to modify her order.
These two judicial results aren’t outliers as far as government overreach in Canada. They happened against the backdrop of other grassroots resistance to COVID-19 mandates in the Great White North.
For example, there’s an ongoing, blue-collar trucker revolt and convoy against vaccination and other mandates that has brought the Canadian capital of Ottawa to a near-standstill. The story of the trucker revolt began when Canada imposed a 14-day quarantine on any unvaccinated truckers crossing the U.S.-Canadian border in January. It threatened the livelihoods of thousands of family-owned businesses whose owners objected to receiving a vaccine. As a result, small convoys of trucks made their way from all 10 Canadian provinces and converged in Ottawa, the seat of Canada’s parliament. That protest is ongoing.
Since the convoy protest formed, there’s been a public relations war over the nature of it, with Canada’s government-funded CBC, along with the U.S. mainstream media, attempting to paint the truckers as extremists. Others, such as independent outlet RebelNews, have embedded reporters in the convoy and published videos that paint the convoy more as a peaceful, blue-collar revolt against government overreach.
And throughout the pandemic, The Daily Citizen has reported on churches in various Canadian provinces who resisted mandates to close or restrict church services, only to suffer fines, imprisonment, and barricades erected around churches that violated such mandates.
When judges take children away from their parents, pastors are arrested and churches closed, and common citizens are called Nazis and racists for participating in peaceful protests, all over oppressive government mandates that have dragged on for two years, you know something has gone seriously awry in Canadian society.
Some of this same government overreach has played out on the U.S. side of the border, most of it on the church front as numerous cases of government infringement of the freedom of religion have played out in U.S. courts.
At the risk of over-quoting this famous statement from C.S. Lewis, the situation in Canada – and in the U.S. as well – commands our attention:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Photo from Shutterstock.