Ontario was the “weakest link” in a child-welfare saga involving the Jewish sect Lev Tahor that fled Quebec in 2013 because the province has no way to enforce protection orders issued outside its borders, according to the head of Quebec’s human rights commission.I sometimes wondered if Ontario's authorities wanted to enable the cult to escape from the country, perhaps because they secretly approved of their horrific customs. This certainly was handled very badly, and there's no telling if and when the cult will finally be shut down.
Jacques Fremont released a sweeping review of the years-long case that resulted in 200 people from 40 families who were members of the isolated group ultimately fleeing to Guatemala from Canada and the scrutiny of police, education and child welfare officials.
The conclusion is that the competing mandates and priorities of Quebec’s director of youth protection, which wanted to take children into its custody, and the Sûreté du Québec, which wanted to gather evidence for its criminal investigation, meant the Quebec government was unable to ensure the protection of some 134 underage, at-risk children.
After numerous isolated investigations of Lev Tahor in Quebec stretching back to 2006, including allegations of inadequate school conditions, suicide attempts, unsanitary living conditions and sexual abuse, the Lev Tahor probe had to re-start from scratch in for Chatham-Kent, Ont., when the group fled Quebec on the night of Nov. 18, 2013.
“A chain is the weakest at its weakest link,” Fremont said. “Ontario was the weakest link and that’s where (Lev Tahor) went. Was it by chance or deliberately? I don’t know.”
More on the case at the Montreal Gazette.