Lev Tahor children won't have to return to Quebec: judge

A judge in Ontario has ordered that a group of children in an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect do not have to be sent back to Quebec.

The 13 children are part of a group known as Lev Tahor that left Quebec late last year amid a child protection case and settled in Chatham, Ont.

An earlier court decision ordered that a ruling from Quebec ordering the children into care there be enforce, but today Ontario Superior Court Judge Lynda Templeton overturned it.

She ruled that children's aid in Chatham will continue to investigate the families and the matter will now go to provincial court to determine whether the children are in need of protection.

Seven of the children were placed in care last month after Templeton issued an emergency order because the families fled the country ahead of the appeal hearing, while the other six are believed to still be in Guatemala.

Templeton says in her decision that to put further upheaval in the children's lives by sending them back to Quebec would have "disastrous'' emotional consequences and they should not bear the consequences of their parents' flight.

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