The opportunity to go through a painful separation is an important time that James said he is still able to spend with his two children.
“I’m basically there for them, and when they’re not, I try to find things to keep myself busy,” he told Global News.
James, which is not his real name due to privacy issues and an ongoing court case, initially had parenting time three days and four nights a week – about 63 hours.
Now, James said a BC Supreme Court judge approved the application to suspend that time over concerns that he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
“This is very clearly a statement that any unvaccinated parent is putting their child at risk… and that child is best served if removed from that parent,” James said. .
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Access to court documents is not publicly available for family legal proceedings, but James provided an unsigned draft copy of the February 1, 2022 order to Global News.
In order, James’ parenting time is limited to two hours on Thursdays and Sundays each week. Time with his children is not indoors, including traveling in the car. Fathers cannot allow their children to spend time with anyone else in the home unless they provide proof of immunizations. Always wear a mask when the children are cared for by James.
The order states, “The parenting time pause will be removed when the Complainant provides proof of dual vaccination against COVID.”
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“As soon as I got the double vaccine, everything went back to normal. This is not a hint that I am not a great parent,” James explains.
Family attorney Scott Taylor said the BC Supreme Court decision could have far-reaching consequences for unvaccinated parents across Canada. While James represented himself in court, Taylor provided him with full-service legal services including legal research and document preparation.
“If you’re a parent and you’re hearing this, hug your kids because you never know what could happen,” Taylor warns.
While similar decisions have been made for unvaccinated parents in other provinces, Taylor says there are other factors involved such as the child having another underlying medical condition. He added that in many cases children are also not eligible for vaccinations. Taylor adds that both of James’ children are eligible for vaccinations and one has received a single dose.
With significant cuts in parenting time and the lack of a COVID vaccine a key factor, Taylor fears this decision will set a dangerous precedent that would allow for the vaccination status of separated parents to be allowed. weaponization” against them.
“We’re not talking about a person’s ability to raise children,” Taylor explains. “We’re not talking about whether they’re responsible, whether they’re loving.”
Taylor also argues that there is no medical mandate that states parents must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to appropriately care for their children and that existing restrictions and guidelines are ever-changing.
While Provincial Health Orders such as Vaccination card requirements could be lifted as early as this summerHe said the court order would be upheld.
“It’s a duty for any unvaccinated parent,” Taylor said. “They must be vaccinated or they are a risk to their own children.”
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When Global News asked James why he wasn’t vaccinated, he said it was a decision he wavered a few times but ultimately believed more time was needed before the vaccine was deemed safe. He added that it was a decision he was not trying to impose on his children.
“I respect everyone’s choice. I’m not out there to cause trouble,” he said.
When asked if he would appeal the court order or get vaccinated, James said he has yet to decide. What he knows is that no matter what he decides, it will be months before his parenting time can be restored.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
https://globalnews.ca/news/8601524/bc-dad-parenting-time-vaccination-status/ ‘Next to nothing’: BC father’s custody of children dramatically reduced because he was unvaccinated