Michael Schmidt with supporters and reporters, just outside the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket. This picture was taken on October 20th, 2008, shortly after Justice Boswell had found Mr. Schmidt to be "in contempt".
Here is the text of a letter circulated by Michael Schmidt today to cow share members and supporters of his campaign for government recognition of an individual’s right to choose raw milk. No doubt Michael will elaborate further on the themes outlined in this letter, at the news conference he is scheduling for Wednesday December 10th at 10 am in the Queen’s Park press room.
Dear Cow Share Members and Friends:
We are now in the phase of our Milk mooo-vement where bureaucracy, courts and government are flexing muscles to keep the face of authority intact.
It appears that the $55,000 are not there to prevent me from continuing our private contracting arrangement, but to drain our financial resources in order to severely jeopardize our ability to defend our rights in the upcoming trial that begins on January 26, 2009.
As valid as the argument might be, i.e., that the courts need to be respected and that no one shall challenge the authority of the courts without punishment, as sacred is the moral responsibility to question the actions of those who rule and govern our country. I can understand how frightening these experiences can be if your motives are not clear or if you stand alone. Continue reading
At the 2008 International Plowing Match, left to right: Agriculture Minister Leona Dombrowsky, Premier Dalton McGuinty, Huron Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell. Photo from Carol Mitchell's website photo gallery. Read Carol and Leona's debate below:
Official Records for 02 December 2008
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
Mrs. Carol Mitchell: My question is for the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Minister, there has been some media attention lately associated with the sale and distribution of raw milk. Ontario has required pasteurization for over 70 years in order to kill pathogens which can flourish in raw milk if it’s not properly handled. Advocates have suggested that our law banning raw milk is antiquated, as new technologies are now in place that could allow raw milk to be safely produced, sold and distributed to consumers across the province.
Minister, can you explain the government’s policy on raw milk and why we should continue to not allow it to be sold in this province? Continue reading
Is this man a criminal? Opinions differ.
Yesterday we turned our attention to what readers were saying on the Globe and Mail website in response to the latest developments — a $55,000 fine — in the Michael Schmidt raw milk case. Well, since then, lots more exciting commentary has been posted by impassioned readers, from both sides of the fence. Here’s a sampling:
“ Bob F from Canada writes: I find the comments of posters here perplexing. Wonder what your thoughts would be if this article read ” Raw milk producer kills 7 children”. The Laws of the Canada are in place to keep people safe, no matter how small the perceived risks may be. You cannot simply break the law because you deem it unfair. If you wish to have a law changed work within the system to do so. Without this we would have anarchy. There are some exceptions to this rule but we are talking about the right to drink milk. Continue reading
Picture of countryside from Dianne's Weblog
This excerpt is from “Dianne’s Weblog”, from a post titled “Prosecution of Organic Dairy Farmer is Ridiculous”:
“Last week, an organic dairy farmer from Owen Sound knowingly defined the government and the courts once again to stand up for what he truly believes in. Michael Schmidt has being selling raw and unpasteurized milk to his friends and neighbours for over 20 years. This is an illegal act in Canada because health officials say that the milk MIGHT carry various forms of bacteria. When Schmidt refused to stop selling his milk, he was charged and given a court order to cease sales. Schmidt, believing his milk was very safe to consume, continued to sell his milk to people who wanted it. Last week he was charged with contempt of court for knowingly defining a court order. Undeterred, Schmidt has asked the court for the highest penalty they can find, suggesting that he is willing to go to jail to prove his point. Continue reading