Stay of Injunction against raw milk was NOT granted | Financial Post story

It was announced today to OFOF farmshare members and Glencolton Farms supporters, via email, by the group’s lawyers, that: 

“…the stay of the injunctive orders of Sutherland J. was not granted. We did, however, get the requested stay, or adjournment of the appeal. In short, Nordheimer J. agreed that there was a serious issue to be determined with the Charter Application, and we take that as encouraging. However, he disagreed that the harm amounted to being irreparable, as he characterized it being the appellants decision not to re-purpose the cows for producing milk in a legal way. Further, he stated that the harm could be quantified as damages. On the balance of convenience, he favoured obeying the law until such a law is declared unconstitutional, or in our case, until exemptions are granted….”

In other raw milk news, Michael Schmidt’s former lawyer, Karen Selick, has written a story on the now-criminal status of raw milk in Ontario titled “You can now go to prison in Canada for providing raw milk. Seriously!”. Here’s a brief excerpt from that story: 

“As Canada ambles along towards the day when its prisons will empty of people who did nothing more heinous than possess marijuana, the province of Ontario appears eager to fill its empty jail cells with individuals whose so-called crime was distributing raw milk.

On Jan. 5, 2018, Justice P. W. Sutherland of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice imposed an injunction in a case called Downing v. ARC. Downing is the provincial Milk Act Director, while ARC is an incorporated farm co-op that allegedly was distributing raw milk, but has now closed down its milk operation. In essence, the decision transformed an action that was previously a provincial regulatory offence punishable only by fines — distributing raw milk — into a federal crime punishable by up to two years in prison.”

Read more on the Financial Post.

Meanwhile farmshare members and friends of legal raw milk in Ontario are raising funds for the appeal and constitutional challenge through a crowdfunding campaign at:


Leave a comment

Filed under News

After Court Today, a Decision Will Be Rendered Sometime Next Week

This morning, both sides made their arguments at the Ontario court of appeal as to whether or not the raw milk injunction should be stayed while our constitutional application is moving along.The judge reserved his decision; our lawyers say we might not receive the decision Monday, but they do expect it sometime next week.
I want to express gratitude to each and every person who came out to the hearing this morning; I think we somehow got to the exact right number (we must have been about 40, maybe more, including several people I spoke to from other cow-share communities). The room was full even after the clerks brought in extra chairs, and while unfortunately a few people could not get into the room, it meant that every time someone left, another took their place. Maybe our presence officially made no difference, but NOT having the room completely full of supporters to witness the process would surely have sent the wrong message that maybe it wasn’t so important to us.
If you haven’t been following the crowdfunding campaign, take a look:
And please, please share it widely across social media. The online campaign is just one part of the fundraising picture – individual community members have been generous with legal donations through FarmMatch, cheques and e-transfers – but it’s our primary way of mobilizing support beyond our direct cow-share communities.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Hearing Friday Feb. 23rd at 10 am of Motion for Stay of Injunction

Tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 23rd, the lawyers that we are raising funds to pay for (see post below) will be appearing before a judge at Osgoode Hall to put forward a motion for a stay of the injunction, pending an appeal of the January 2018 decision to grant injunctions to criminalize the operation of the milk bottling and cheese-making operation (aka a “milk plant”) at Glencolton Farms, as well as distribution of milk to Coop members in the Regions of York, Simcoe and Peel.
Estimates are that the courtroom may have space for 30-40 audience members. Some of those seats may be filled with supporters of the injunction. Raw milk and food freedom enthusiasts are encouraged to come out and show their support. The outcome of this motion is very important to the farm and to those wishing to drink the milk
Please be sure to remember to bring your best court room decorum. I’m sure you are all already aware, but the judge will be very irritated by any talking, cheering, cell phones, etc. If anyone has to leave the court room during the motion for some reason, please re-enter quietly and bow to the judge upon entry. Our lawyers will be quite focused going into the hearing, so will not be able to talk much to anyone outside the core group until after.
The motion will be heard at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Court Room No. 7 at 10:00 a.m. If you’re coming, aim to arrive early.
The short title of proceedings is: Gavin Downing et al. v. Agri-Cultural Renewal Co-operative Inc. et al.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Raw Milk Drinkers in Ontario Seek to Raise $100,000 to Challenge Injunction that Criminalizes Raw Milk Distribution

Help us defend constitutional rights of raw milk consumers in Canada!

Raw milk consumers across Canada have spent decades peacefully trying to obtain raw milk from local farmers despite the threat of harassment from the authorities. Finally, some of us have stepped forward to tell the courts that our constitutional rights are being violated by laws restricting access to raw milk – a food that is perfectly legal to consume in Canada.

A January 2018 injunction against anyone “selling, delivering or distributing” raw milk in Ontario was the last straw, criminalizing peaceful citizens who want access to this safe, unprocessed food. So, with the encouragement of leaders from several cow-share communities in southwestern Ontario – we’ve mobilized!

We found a highly experienced lawyer to represent us on a partly pro bono basis, and his legal team has been building our case at lightning speed. In early February they served a Notice of Application against the Attorneys General of Ontario and Canada, on our behalf – 19 raw milk consumers and two raw milk producers, whose freedom of conscience or religion, and security of person, are being violated (under sections 2 and 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms).

All 21 of us applicants made this commitment despite financial risk, the ordeal of being cross-examined, and fear of the unknown consequences of taking on the Government. We did this not only based on our personal conviction, but on behalf of our raw milk communities and other consumers across Canada, who all stand to benefit from this constitutional challenge.

Please help us pay the legal bills: $100,000 during the next ten months. (Regardless of which side wins at the Ontario Superior Court, the decision could be appealed and ultimately the case may be decided by the Supreme Court of Canada. So next year, unless the case is settled, we will have to raise money for the next round.) Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News

What Makes For Nutritious Milk?


Our Farm Our Food Coop members, in happier days, when the raw milk was still flowing from Glencolton Farms. Sadly, since raw milk packaging and distribution have been criminalized through injunctions granted a few weeks ago to Ontario Milk Director Gavin Downing and to the Regions of York, Simcoe and Peel, a lot of people who need raw milk for their health and well-being — including the author of this article — are having to go without.

On Nutritious Milk

Since 2000, I have been consuming milk from a farm operated, at the time, by Michael Schmidt. Prior to consuming this milk, I had done research which resulted in my decision to choose to drink this unpasteurized milk. Based on my research, which I will document in this article, I asked Michael Schmidt two questions. I already knew his cows were at grass so I didn’t need to ask him a third question which I would have asked if I hadn’t known the cows were at grass. The two questions I asked Michael were:

1/ What colour is your butter?

and 2/ What kind of cows do you have?

His answers were “yellow” and “Canadienne” to the two questions. Based on my previous research and his answers I decided to drink the milk.

What prompted me to want to investigate milk?

Very simply what prompted me to want to investigate milk were previous investigations. The investigation which led directly to “Pottenger’s Cats” was reading a book titled, “IMMUNIZATION THE REALITY BEHIND THE MYTH” by Walene James. In her book she talked about Pasteur and the pasteurization of milk. In addition, she described a ten year study by Francis Pottenger, Jr., M.D. in which cats were fed several combinations of raw and cooked milk and meat. The investigation that led directly to reading Walene James’ book was a book called, “Confessions of a Medical Heretic” by M.D. Robert Mendelsohn. In this book, Dr. Mendelsohn recommended some other books to read. Walene James’ book was one of them. What caused me to buy and read Dr. Mendelshohn’s book was seeing him interviewed on a late night television program, probably “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

No More Raw Milk for Coop Members due to Injunctions Granted to Shut Down “Milk Plant” and “Distribution”

Glencolton Farms farmer Elisa van der Hout leads a group of OFOF Coop members on a tour of the dairy barn back in April of 2017.

Members of Our Farm Our Food Coop are in a tight spot due to injunctions granted  January 5th to Ontario Milk Director Gavin Downing and the Regions of York, Simcoe and Peel.

In short these injunctions would shut down the “milk plant” at Glencolton Farms and also criminalize continued “distribution” of raw milk in the Regions of York, Simcoe and Peel. The injunctions apply to anyone who has knowledge of the court ordered injunctions, so potentially these apply not just to the operations of Glencolton Farms and the Our Farm Our Food Coop (OFOF) but to any raw milk suppliers or cowshare groups.

One of the few media reports on the injunction that has appeared so far, has been a story in the Owen Sound Sun Times, titled “Court Stops Raw Milk Work“. It remains to be seen whether Milk Director Gavin Downing or representatives of any of the Regions (York, Simcoe, Peel) which asked for the injunctions, will take steps to publicize them, now that they have been granted by the court. Because, after all, the injunctions only apply to those who have knowledge of them.

In his 25 page ruling, Justice Sutherland said that the injunction originally asked for by the Regions was overbroad and that the injunction which he granted more closely followed the wording of the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News

The raw market; Even conservative government statistics show there are about 80 raw milk consumers per licensed dairy farm in the province


Raw milk producing cattle in the barn at Glencolton Farms.

Reprinted from The Ontario Farmer:

By Ian Cumming

IT’S ESTIMATED THAT 4.5 billion people, including the British Queen and her immediate heirs to the throne, will drink raw milk today.

An Ontario Public Health Report in 2013 estimated that 1.8 per cent of Ontario’s population, about 270,000, are raw milk consumers.

Raw milk advocate and producer Michael Schmidt, persecuted by provincial authorities for years at a cost of millions of dollars, by his own account feeds 600 of those Ontario consumers. So who provides the raw milk to the others? The 1.8 per cent of Ontario’s population cited in this Ontario study as being raw milk consumers is dismissed by most experts on the subject as being way too low for an educated liberal society with a high rate of immigration.

Even if it is too low, and not counting the 3500 dairy farm families that may be drinking their own raw milk themselves, that’s about 80 raw milk consumers per licensed dairy farm in the province.

USDA public data estimated that in 2010 raw milk consumption among its consumers was just under four per cent, double the percentage estimated by the Ontario gov-ernment for its residents.

In 13 years of data published by the United States Centre For Disease Control, there have been 121 reported food illness outbreaks, resulting in 1,571 people getting sick from consuming raw milk and the cheese manufactured from it.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized