Michael Schmidt Trial preview 3: Notes and “Will Say” from Ministry of Natural Resources Investigator Susan Atherton

MNR Investigator Susan Atherton feeds cows at Glencolton Farm. Susan Atherton is the Undercover Cow share member under the false Name Susan Taylor.

MNR Investigator Susan Atherton feeds cows at Glencolton Farm. Susan Atherton is the Undercover Cow share member under the false Name Susan Taylor. This photo of Susan Atherton/Taylor was provided as disclosure material from the investigators' undercover visit to the farm.

It seems weird but the way the Court works is that each side informs the other in advance of what their witnesses “will say”. So the following is the first part of a “will say” document for one of the Crown witnesses. This Court document has been provided to the Bovine by Michael Schmidt: 

Investigator Susan Atherton will state the following:

I have been a Provincial Offences Officer since 1988. I am currently employed with the Ministry of Natural Resources, and I am appointed under the Milk Act as a Field Person. This is a Provincial Act which is under the mandate of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.

I am also appointed as an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, which is a Provincial Act under the mandate of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The Ministry of Natural Resources provides investigations services to these Ministries through Service Level Agreements.

These are the facts as they relate to the investigation of Michael Schmidt of 393889 Concession Rd. 2, in Durham Ontario:

  1. On June 14, 2006, I was given an Ontario licence plate number that was seen attached to a blue school bus (Blue Bus). This licence plate number was FY4043. This number was given to me by Domenic Fortuna (Fortuna), Public Health Inspector, York Region Public Health. I sent a query to MNR’s Provincial Coordination Unit who then accessed Ministry of Transportation records, and found that this plate was registered to Michael Schmidt (Schmidt), Lot 44, Concession 3, Glenelg, Durham, Ontari. Fortuna advised that, based on his observations, it appeared that milk was being distributed in plain jars from this vehicle.
  2. I checked for criminal records history on Schmidt, and I also searched the internet using Google, and found that Schmidt is connected to Glencolton Farms at 393889 Concession 2, Durham, Ontario. There were photos of Schmidt on the the internet in connection to “Symphony in the Barn”, as well as a connection to “Real Milk” also known as “raw milk” in Ontario.
  3. On June 27, 2006, Rodger Dunlop (Dunlop) and I went to 393889 Concession 2 Rd. Durham. The Blue Bus was parked there. The name on the mailbox was Glencolton Farms. On this date, we followed the Blue Bus to 9100 Bathurst St. in Thornhill, Ontario, the address of the Toronto Waldorf School. The bus then parked in the upper parking lot. This was easily visible from the sidewalk. There was produce and fruit on display outside the bus, and people were selecting items and putting them in bags. These people carried coolers, boxes, cloth bags, and plastic bags, containing empty glass jars.
  4. I walked up to the produce and looked it over and began speaking to one of the cutomers. I asked if I could buy here as well. He asked if I was buying milk. I told him I was lactose intolerant. He told me that ‘Michaels’ milk would not make me sick. He said it is raw milk. I selected some fruit and waited in line with this gentleman. After a couple of minutes, the man that I recognized from the internet photos of Schmidt came out of the bus. the gentleman I was standing with called him ‘Michael’, and said that I wanted to buy from him. (from Michael) Michael said “is she a member?” the gentleman replied “no, she is referred by a member”. Michael allowed me to purchase fruit. This Michael was the man who had been driving the bus that day.
  5. As I waited in line, I saw customers go in with empty glass jars, and come out with heavy coolers boxes and bags.
  6. While waiting in line, an unknown female came out of the Blue Bus and handed everyone, including me, a publication called ‘My Cow’s Mooosletter’. This publication was dated Summer 2006.  This publication had articles such as ‘A Message from Michael’, ‘Blue Bus Business’, ‘Raw Milk Reflections’, and ‘Appreciation from a Blue Bus Fan’. In Michael’s message he wrote about being under the “radar screen of Government”. In Raw Milk Reflections, he writes “where you, the cow share members can share your stories about your experiences with the Blue Bus and the consumption of raw milk products”
  7. On July 25, 2006, MNR Investigators Nixon, Campbell and I followed the Blue Bus to  9100 Bathurst St. Thornhill, again. On this date, we each observed customers lined up at the Blue Bus, carrying empty containers, and leaving with full ones. We also obtained licence plate numbers of vehicles, where the occupants exited the vehicles, lined up with containers, entered the bus, left with full containers, and got back in their vehicles and left. We followed the vehicle as it left the lot that evening, and followed it to 393889 Concession 2 Rd, Durham, Ontario. It entered the farm lane, and parked.
  8. On August 22, 2006, I attended the “Blue Bus” at 9100 Bathurst Street, Thornhill. I was not able to purchase milk, but I bought a soft cheese that was wrapped in cellophane with a price tag on it of 3.20. The lady that had been in front of me asked if it was fresh, Schmidt replied “it is fresh, it was made Friday”. I received a handbook from Michael called “Glencolton Farms Cow Share Members Handbook (Handbook). This Handbook outlined what being a cow share member is all about, including responsibilities of the member. It had been sitting on the counter beside Michael, and when I paid for my cheese, I laid it on the counter as well. Michael gave me my change and gave me the Handbook. I observed 12-14 people buying milk and cheese from Scmidt. One customert talked to Schmidt about his restaurant.
  9. On October 17, 2006, I visited the Blue Bus and purchased cheese again. Immediately after I paid Schmidt for the cheese, I left the Blue Bus and took the cheese I had purchased and put it on ice, and, the next morning, October 18, 2006, took it to the University of Guelph Laboratory Services, Sample Reception, which is an accredited laboratory qualified to conduct the tests required in these circumstances. When I received the Lab test results, they indicated a high level of Alkaline Phosphatase. This result, in liquid milk, is conclusive evidence that milk is unpasteurized. On this date, I observed approximately 15 persons buying from Schmidt.

To be continued

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Michael Schmidt Trial preview 3: Notes and “Will Say” from Ministry of Natural Resources Investigator Susan Atherton

  1. Bernie Bailey

    Again let me show the contras in the milk domain. In this statement from the Inspector/investigator he said that he put the cheese on ice . As a small dairy operator and according to the law dairy products are to be held at certain temperatures ,milk and cheese at thirty six degrees farinhight and I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so and inspected every time I turned around but this inspector/investigator dose not check temperatures at all and just freezes the cheese and eventually sends it to a lab with the soul purpose of destroying a small farming operation on behave of the Ontario government .since they are after Mike for supposedly not obeying the law you would think that the inspector/investigator would at least try to obey the law .Safety and health have nothing to do with this case its just lets get rid of Mike because the inspectors have the power, but he did not go quietly like other operators of the past that the government employees bullied and now the public is seeing a glimpse of this civil servant corruption .I hope Mike makes it farther than I did

  2. Catherine Beattie

    We are having big problems here in Toronto with poachers hunting deer illegally with crossbows in Rouge Park. The MNR are the only ones who can stop this. The police say it is not their responsibility and to call the MNR. Rouge Park staff have known about the poaching for over two years now and nothing has been done. The MNR are the only ones who are armed and have the ability to arrest the poachers, yet they claim they “don’t have enough officers to send someone down” to investigate. Yet I remember seeing literally dozens of “MNR officers” on the TV news, raiding Mr. Schmidt’s farm a couple years ago. Where did all these officers go? Why can’t they send some of them down to Toronto? Why are they even involved in enforcing laws pertaining to food, farming and domestic animals? Who is here to protect our wildlife and stop illegal hunting? Is that not in MNR’s mandate?
    http://www.cbc.ca/video/popup.html?http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/toronto/ondemand/video/deer-hunting-060209.wmv (recent CBC TV news story on the shooting of deer in Rouge Park)

  3. Pingback: Michael Schmidt calls police because of threat from an MNR officer and Grey County Chief Medical Officer of Health, Hazel Lynn gets $100,000 pay raise « The Bovine

  4. Pingback: Michael Schmidt’s Hunger Strike For Raw Milk Rights and Responsible Food Freedom | Good Food 4 All

  5. Pingback: Michael Schmidt’s Hunger Strike for Raw Milk Rights and Responsible Food Freedom - Hartke Is Online!

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