Quebec officials want to prevent remaining Lev Tahor children from leaving Canada
Published Friday, March 7, 2014 5:43PM EST
Quebec officials are looking to take steps to prevent 127 children from within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, Lev Tahor from leaving Canada.
Denis Barabay with the Quebec youth protection agency is trying to spearhead the initiative after 12 Lev Tahor children and their parents fled the country. Barabay fears the remaining community members in Chatham-Kent will leave soon, too.
“I don’t know what action can be done,” says Barabay.
However, Barabay says it could just be a matter of obtaining the children’s passports.
Youth protection originally planned to take legal action against all members of Lev Tahor, but the sect left Quebec before a case could go before a judge. Some parents are accused of child neglect and forcing young girls into marriage.
Both domestic and international authorities are now assisting Chatham-Kent Children’s Services with the apprehension of 14 Lev Tahor children. Barabay confirms that six of the children are in Trinidad and Tobago, while another six are in Guatemala.
Barabay and Chatham-Kent police are unsure where the remaining two children are located.
Nine members of the sect have filed an appeal after being denied entrance to Trinidad and Tobago. The appeal is expected to delay the return of members back to Canada.
A decision from Justice Stephen Fuerth on Feb. 3, ordered 14 children from the sect back to Quebec child services. As part of the decision, the children were ordered to remain with their families and couldn’t leave Chatham-Kent until an appeal was made.
Approximately 40 families with the Jewish group left Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Que., and relocated to Chatham in Novemberafter a Quebec court ordered the 14 children into foster care.
With files from The Canadian Press