Closing Arguments this Friday Aug. 25 in Obstruction Case in Walkerton

Activist farmer Michael Schmidt and the remaining accused will be in court at Walkerton this Friday for the judge to hear closing arguments in a case dating from the October 2015 standoff at Glencolton Farms.

According to Michael’s wife, Elisa van der Hout, proceedings are expected to start around 9:30 am in Walkerton. The court has already heard several days of arguments in this case, which whas dragged out over the course of several months.

These court proceedings are open to the public.

Read these earlier posts for more background on the case:

Michael Schmidt at the Walkerton trial on obstruction charges — questions re email deletions and police escalation

News from raw milk “obstruction” trial

One acquittal, more court dates, for five accused in Walkerton obstruction case

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Symphony in the Barn, August 2017

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Symphony in the Barn Aug. 5th, 6th at Glencolton Farms in Durham, Ontario

From the Glencolton Moos:

“We are but two weeks away [actually now just one week away] from our major fundraising event happening here on the farm: The Gourmet Concertante. Taking place over the weekend of August 5th and 6th, we wil be featuring gourmet chefs Jamie Kennedy and Carey McLellan. In addition, the biodynamic winery, Southbrook Vineyards, and the local brewery, MacLean’s Ales, will be offering wine and beer tasting, and you will have the opportunity to purchase your favourites. And, of course, in addition to food, music is the other half of this event, and there will be much of it.

On Friday evening, Toronto’s Music in the Barns presents a Concert Under the Stars on our outdoor stage. On Saturday, music will be performed on the stage as well as at other locations around the farm. Musicians include members of the Canadian Chamber Orchestra, violinist Emmanuel Vukovich, and Dominic Desautels, principal clarinetist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company.

If you have not already bought tickets, then head over to EventBrite.com/SymphonyInTheBarn to get yours now. This is a family event, with children of all ages welcome. If you are interested in helping out, then get in touch, and if you know someone else who would be interested, send them our way. Please help spread the word! With the outdoor stage now set up, the Gourmet Concertante is feeling more real than ever. We can’t wait to see you there.”

The following description is from the EventBrite registration page. Continue reading

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Michael Ilgert vows to fight to the end on raw milk battle with Health Dept.

Michael Ilgert posted the following on Facebook on July 24th at 5:19 pm: 

“Hello Friends! Today I had a court appearance in Pembroke. I have been charged with 5 offences under the Health and Protection Act of 1990 by the Renfrew County and District Health Unit. Their main hard evidence is that I sold 2 (two) litres of unpasteurized milk to a woman in Ottawa that emailed me several times looking to try some raw milk. I guess she was really working for the government. They want to take me to trial, put me out of business and give me heavy fines!!

This is all based on their misguided and ignorant belief that raw milk is inherently dangerous to human health…a blatant lie! The only thing that is totally legal and dangerous to human health is PASTEURIZED milk which less and less Canadians can digest without getting severely sick.

All the while raw milk, the healthiest food on the planet, is banned in this country.
Why do Canadian health officials think we are still in 1938 while the rest of the world has moved on?
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Michael Schmidt at the Walkerton trial on obstruction charges — questions re email deletions and police escalation

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News from raw milk “obstruction” trial

On his Complete Patient blog, David E. Gumpert has published a comprehensive roundup of the state of the two pending legal cases regarding raw milk at Glencolton Farms:

“In one action, Schmidt and Elisa VanderHout face the threat of court proceedings from an injunction to “enforce” the ban on “distribution” of raw milk. Michael and his wife, Elisa, argue that the milk act does not apply to the shared ownership arrangement that governs the operations at Glencolton Farms.

The submissions for the injunction case are over. A ruling from the judge could come any day on whether or not he will grant the injunction from York Region and the Ontario  Ministry of Agriculture. If granted, the ruling will move  the prosecution into criminal proceedings (contempt of court) to any farmers, mothers, community leaders, etc. who participate in a milk drop or handle raw milk for human consumption. In the case of Glencolton Farms, the farm is a cooperative structure, which means that many members own the farm and benefit from everything that the farm produces. This case in Canada is an important one to watch as the ruling—either way–will significantly affect what foods Canadians have access to and how the regulatory agencies and courts will target individual farmers and producers.

In a second and more dramatic case, Schmidt continues his trial on the charges of obstruction of a peace officer . These charges, against Michael and originally four other men, stem from the raid on Glencolton Farms by Glenn Jarvie and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in October 2015. During the raid, the government confiscated computers and some documents before 80 farm owners, friends and neighbours showed up and blocked the driveway. Farm members stood in the cold driveway at the farm, blocking the government vehicles from leaving as long as the trucks had the farm owners’ property in them. Only five people were charged. Over the course of the hearings for the obstruction charges, all were dropped except the charges against Schmidt and two other defendants.

Schmidt provided a recent video update where he speaks about the bureaucratic mishaps that have him labeled as a Canadian “terrorist,” in the words of at least one law enforcement person involved in the court proceedings. The irony of this is that Michael is a firm advocate of peaceful resistance. The entire time Michael has stood up for his rights as a farmer and for the rights of consumers to procure the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice, he has done so with an emphasis on non-violence.

Just after he gave that update, Schmidt was back in court. During that court proceeding, after a particularly agitated exchange between the defendants and the judge, a spectator left the courtroom and said aloud that the court proceedings were not seeking the truth or justice. This led to the court police assaulting the man, giving him injuries that led to his being taken to the hospital where he was released after treatment later that day. Schmidt provided another video update about the incident….”

Read it all on “The Complete Patient” blog.

The obstruction trial is set to continue in Walkerton on July 28th, August 4th and August 25th of 2017.

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Raw milk injunction application hearing wrapped up late Monday June 5th

Our Farm Our Food member Lewis Taylor spoke on behalf of the coop during the court proceedings on Monday June 5th. Here he is being interviewed by Mike Walker of CTV Barrie over lunch.

What turned out to be a four-day hearing into the application for injunctions against continued operation of a milk plant at Glencolton Farms and distribution of raw milk in the Regions of York, Peel and Simcoe, wrapped up late Monday afternoon.

In the morning, Lewis Taylor presented to the court on behalf of intervener, Our Farm Our Food Coop. Much of the afternoon was devoted to a presentation by farmer and respondent Michael Schmidt. This was then followed by about an hour of rebuttal by lawyers for the Regions and the Crown.

The judge has made no promises as to when he will announce his verdict in the case. Respondents will be notified of his decision by email.

More than 100 people — mostly members of the OFOF coop or other farmshares — were crammed into courtroom 401, which is smaller than courtroom 108 where the case began last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. But in an effort to accommodate all the people who showed up, the judge allowed audience members to occupy the jury benches as well as the spectator gallery.

A television reporter and cameraman from CTV Barrie was present throughout the morning. The reporter, Mike Walker, interviewed both Michael Schmidt and Lewis Taylor for the evening news.

You can watch Mike Walker’s CTV report online at this link.

Farmer Michael Schmidt being interviewed by Mike Walker, for the Monday night television news, prior to his presentation in Newmarket court on Monday afternoon, June 5th.

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