Judge Sébastien Vaillancourt of the Quebec Superior Court has suspended a father's visitation rights due to the man being unvaccinated against COVID-19.
It's no secret that the Québec government has imposed a handful of restrictions on unvaccinated populations, including Premier Legault's most recent plans to significantly tax the unvaccinated. But it seems as if the personal decision to get vaccinated or not is creating major issues for one Montreal father.
Judge Vaillancourt temporarily barred the man from visiting his 12-year-old son in a December 23 ruling after he attempted to change his custody arrangement for part of the holiday season.
The father had petitioned for a review of his access rights, requesting to see his son between December 30, 2021, and January 9, 2022. The boy's mother contested the request after learning that the man was not vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a court document.
Considering the rampant spread of the Omicron variant, Vaillancourt wrote that while it would normally be in the best interest of the child to see his father, he believed the current epidemiological situation mandated otherwise.
The child, who is currently vaccinated with both doses, also lives with his 7-month-old and 4-year-old half-siblings.
The judge said he also weighed the risk of infection spreading to the younger children, who are not eligible for vaccination, in his decision to suspend visitation rights until at least February 8, 2022.
When the father was questioned regarding his decision to remain unvaccinated, he made clear he had "reservations," but did not explain what they were, Vaillancourt wrote in the decision.
The court further pointed to several of the father's Facebook posts indicating doubts about government health rules, suggesting, Vaillancourt said, that he is a "conspiracy theorist" and undermining his claims that he follows public health measures.
The suspension can be re-evaluated depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 situation, and whether the man abides by health regulations and chooses to get vaccinated. The father is currently set for another hearing on February 8.
"We planned a very large buffer for the vacation period. But this was not sufficient due to the high rate of people calling in sick," said Lufthansa in a statement shared with Narcity.
The German-based airline didn't specifically name Omicron, but other airlines have blamed the variant for forcing them to cancel flights.
"The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation," United told Narcity in a statement. "As a result, we've unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport."
According to FlightAware, United cancelled 201 flights on December 24 and more than 230 flights on Christmas Day. Delta cancelled 173 flights on December 24 and 301 flights on December 25. Between the two airlines over two days, that's a total of at least 900 flights.
Delta told ABC News this happened because its teams had "exhausted all options and resources -- including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying — before cancelling around 90 flights for Friday."
"We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans. Delta people are working hard to get them to where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible on the next available flight," said Delta in its statement to ABC.
Overall, FlightAware shows a total of 2,380 flight cancellations on December 24 and 2,586 cancellations on December 25. The airline with the most reported Christmas Day cancellations is China Eastern with 545 cancelled flights.
Austalia's 7 News reported that Jetstar cancelled dozens of flights on Christmas Eve because "frontline staff have needed to get tested and isolate as close contacts."
Three cancelled flights at YUL
So far, however, if you're travelling out of the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport aka YUL, you'll very likely be able to take off. Whether or not you can arrive at your destination depends on where you're transferring.
Only three Christmas Day flights are currently cancelled at YUL: two Air Canada flights to New York (LaGuardia) at 1:25 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. as well as a British Airways flight to London (Heathrow) at 9 p.m.
It's not clear why these particular flights were cancelled.
At the time this was published, there were no cancellations scheduled for December 26.
Women will lead five of Quebec's eight largest cities following the 2021 municipal elections.
The biggest headline of the night may have been Valérie Plante's triumph over old foe Denis Coderre in Montreal, but across the province, the faces of municipal politics have become more gender-balanced.
According to the latest counts and projections, France Bélisle (Gatineau), Catherine Fournier (Longueuil), Évelyne Beaudin (Sherbrooke) and Julie Dufour (Saguenay) are all also on their way to their respective (and figurative) city hall corner offices.
In Quebec City, it seemed for a while like Marie-Josée Savard would join them. Multiple outlets had even called the election for her until the vote count for her opponent surged into the evening. Bruno Marchand ultimately claimed victory.
Mayor Plante commented on the historic nature of her second mandate in her victory speech Sunday night.
"Four years ago, Montrealers elected the first woman mayor in the history of the City of Montreal," she said.
"Tonight, they told us again, 'yes, this mayor, we're going to continue to work with her, we trust her!'"
This year, for the first time, Montrealers will have two women leading the city, as Projet Montréal's Dominique Ollivier is set to take over as president of the Executive Committee.
The government is in the process of filling a Service Canada job bank and it's advertising salaries of between $61,152 and $65,887.
On an online recruitment page, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) office says it needs to fill 45 benefits officer and program officer positions in Quebec and encourages qualified individuals to apply.
The only education requirement is a high school diploma.
While benefits officers review and process employment insurance applications, the government describes a wide range of duties for program officers, including coordination with local stakeholders regarding services from the ESDC.
Service Canada says it has EI processing centres and "program branches" in Montreal, Laval, Boucherville, Drummondville, Thetford Mines, Shawinigan, Quebec City and Saguenay, but that it may assign alternative workplaces to applicants who don't live in these areas.
In addition to a high school diploma, Service Canada is looking for applicants who have experience totalling six months "in delivering services or programs to the general public" or "interpreting and applying legislation or policies."
The language requirement is either French-only or French and English, depending on the position, according to the recruitment page.
Complete details about the positions available and the application process are online.