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A spokesman for the Lev Tahor sect, Lee Bolton, has condemned the T&T Government for deporting nine of its members back to Canada. The Toronto Star reported that a plane carrying three Lev Tahor adults and six children was met by police and children’s aid officials on Saturday night. The children were taken into the custody of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services, about a three-hour drive southwest of Toronto. They had fled Canada before a court date in Ontario at which they were scheduled to learn the outcome of their appeal against an order to remove 13 children from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect’s compound in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, near Windsor.
The Lev Tahor families are facing allegations of child neglect. In an interview yesterday Bolton said it was reported that one child was hospitalised and was refusing to eat after being taken away by the child protective services. “They sure aren’t coping very well. One child is in the hospital as she’s refusing to eat...she wants her parents. Your government had no business turning all these people over to Canada,” Bolton said. She said a 17-year-old mother was arrested in Calgary with her five-month-old baby, who was “pulled right off her breast.” Expressing concern for the baby’s welfare, Bolton added: “Isn’t that a wonderful way to treat children? The baby will probably not bottle feed and will end up in the hospital. I don’t think your government has any idea how bad the child welfare system is in Canada.”
Bolton said the Quebec Government has been asking its law enforcement officials to keep the rest of the group, which had no court orders, under house arrest in Chatham to prevent them from leaving. Expressing concern about what might happen if the children were placed in foster care, Bolton said there was a possibility they might be sexually abused. The Toronto Star also reported that in November, about 250 Lev Tahor adherents fled to Ontario from Quebec just ahead of an order to seize 14 children. Officials said they had evidence of physical beatings, underage marriage, forcible confinement and neglect. That order was upheld by an Ontario court which exempted a 17-year-old girl but not her baby.