An Ontario judge has ruled that children from an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, who left Quebec while the community was being investigated by social services, should be returned to that province.
Court has heard that most of the Lev Tahor community of about 200 people left their homes in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts in the middle of the night and settled in Chatham, Ont., in November.
They were under investigation for issues including hygiene, children's health and allegations that the children weren't learning according to the provincial curriculum.
The community denies any mistreatment of the children and says they were already planning to move out of Quebec.
The judge has put a 30-day stay on the order to give the families a chance to appeal.
Child welfare authorities in Chatham had asked the court to enforce an order subsequently made in Quebec that would see 14 children placed in foster care.