The return of the school brings with it many topics of conversation. One increasingly controversial topic is that of vaccinations. The province of New Brunswick recently announced that it intends to pass legislation making vaccinations mandatory for all school children in the province (except for medical exceptions). This summer, a father in Ontario took the mother of their children to court to force her to vaccinate the children.

A disagreement over vaccination

The parents separated in 2013 when their children were aged 5 and 8. During the separation the parents disagreed over whether the children should be vaccinated. By 2015 the parties had been granted joint custody of the children, with an agreement stating that disputes would be settled via arbitration. When the father asked an arbitrator to force the mother to vaccinate their children, the arbitrator ruled in favour of the mother, stating, “Choosing not to vaccinate is not illegal, negligent nor immoral. It is a personal choice… I am unable to find any risk to (the children) if they remain unvaccinated. Further, I am satisfied on the evidence the vaccines may pose additional risk to them.”

This led to the father taking the mother to Superior Court in attempt to appeal an arbitrator’s decision that she did not have to vaccinate the children.

The father appeals

The father filed to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. The newspaper The Spec reported that he is concerned with the “pseudo-scientific evidence” presented by the mother and argued the judge made an error in accepting it. His affidavit states,

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We will be sure to update our readers on how this case turns out through the appeals process.

Meanwhile, in New Brunswick

In a move that might impact other areas of the country, New Brunswick’s provincial government has introduced legislation requiring children to be vaccinated (barring medical exceptions) in order to go to school. The bill was brought to the floor for second reading on June 11, but it was followed by a longer review process and three days of public hearings. A report on the hearings from the CBC described them as emotional, with a mix of scientific evidence as well as personal anecdotes being introduced. The CBC’s story said, “By the time they ended, MLAs from all parties were moved by the emotional personal anecdotes of parents, and unpersuaded by expert testimony. Several members said they weren’t sure they’d vote for the bill.”

We will be sure to update our readers on what happens to the bill as it makes its way through the legislative assembly. We will also wait to see how other provinces respond.

If you would like to create a parenting plan with your ex-spouse, contact the Oshawa family lawyers at Borden Family Law. We take the time to understand the particular needs and concerns of each of our clients, help them negotiate with their spouse, either via mediation, collaboration or otherwise, and work to ensure that the final parenting plan created is practical, effective, and protects the interests of the children while respecting the needs of each parent. Call us at 905-576-6090 or contact us online to get started on your parenting plan today. Ask about our bundled services.