Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Members of the Lev Tahor walk down a street in Chatham, Ont., on March 5, 2014.

Dave Chidley/The Canadian Press

An Ontario judge chided several members of the ultra-orthodox Lev Tahor group for impeding and evading court proceedings during the latest instalment in the group's ongoing legal battles.

"The conduct of the [Lev Tahor] community has not raised any trust that you will remain within jurisdiction of this court," Justice Lynda Templeton said directly to three members of the community sitting in court. "I can guarantee you will receive fair hearings, but you must allow the court to do its work."

The families were in court to appeal a court order originating in Quebec that would hand over custody of 14 Lev Tahor children to a Quebec children's services agency.

Story continues below advertisement

Justice Templeton adjourned the appeal arguments until next week to allow all sides to examine new evidence. Until then, she granted the Lev Tahor families extended supervised access to all children currently under agency care.

Eight minors were apprehended by Chatham-Kent Children's Services after fleeing Ontario with their families just days ahead of a previous appeal date. One family made it to Guatemala with six children, while the others were turned back by airport officials in Trinidad and Calgary.

The group has a history of fleeing unfavourable situations at the first hint of legal troubles. Around 200 members fled Quebec in November when child-welfare workers there began scrutinizing the group closely. Previously, they migrated from Israel to Brooklyn and back to Israel before moving to Canada in the early 2000s.

"This whole thing would never have blown up if they had just gone on with proceedings in Quebec and not tried to flee," said Denis Baraby, director of the child protection agency in Quebec.

Justice Templeton implored the families to trust the legal process rather than try to escape it. "Your children are not Lev Tahor children to me, they are just children," she said. "I don't see them as religious entities or gender entities. I do not see them as any entities other than small human beings who have rights."

Child-services agencies in both provinces allege that Lev Tahor has inadequate health, hygiene and education standards, accusations the group has vehemently denied through its three community leaders. Justice Templeton urged the parents to speak for themselves rather than leave it to the leaders.

"The allegations before this court are that parents are failing their obligations," she said. "The leaders of the community cannot answer those allegations, only the parents can. That is the frustrating part of this process. No matter what leaders say I am not interested. I am interested only in the well-being of the children."

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies