Further to our post from yesterday, here’s the latest news from Gordon Watson in British Columbia:
I received a letter tonight in which lawyer Guy McDannold tells me that his client – the Fraser Health Authority – will not be rescinding the Cease+Desist Order which was issued to our depot at Rockweld Farm, Abbotsford, last Wednesday
So the battle is joined. I’ll start composing the documentation for appealing the Order, this evening. I may get it in to the Court Registry by tomorrow close of business … but if not, then by Thursday.
I am quite irritated with these people = the bureaucrats. It galls me the way they play the silly-bugger … pretending not to understand simple logic. A child can read my explanation and see that milk from our cowshare is not caught by the Milk Industry Act nor the Health Act. I guess one of the qualifications for receiving a law degree is the candidate’s ability to stifle common sense.
In his letter Mr McDannold warns me I’d better not start a civil lawsuit against his clients, because the Health Act categorically exempts an Inspector from being sued for things done in the execution of his duty. I knew that. He seems to have missed the part, though, where I explained how the Fraser Health Authority, Inspectors Rice and Dhillon could not be ignorant that the Act they cite for authority to issue the Order, precludes them having power over foodstuff ( our milk) which is not for sale.
I’m going out for a breath of fresh air to cool down, then get at it.
the REAL MILK is still flowing
And here’s the message that went out to Home on the Range cowshare holders:
“to shareholders in the Home on the Range herd March 25th 2009
On March 18th 2009 the Fraser Health Authority attempted to hinder us getting our milk at the Abbotsford depot. The Order issued to Rockweld Farm directs them to cease and desist “distributing raw milk” The way it is worded tells me that the Inspector had been prepped. He knew full well that we are not selling raw milk. You’d think that the words ‘NOT FOR SALE’ – advertised on every jar – would be enough for him to understand that the milk does not fall under the Health Act. But no … thinking for himself is not part of his job description.
I emphasize “attempted” because immediately after the Order was received, we moved the cooler off the premises stipulated in it. As we have since the first Order was served on our Agister back in July of 2008, we shall continue exercising our right to use and enjoy our property while being careful not to breach the Orders. Our milk is available for pick-up at a location very close by the Rockweld shop.
Tonight, I got a letter from the lawyer for the Fraser Health Authority rejecting my plea for them to rescind the Order on Rockweld Farm. It galls me that goodwill and common sense have been rejected out of hand, forcing us into Court. I’m not a lawyer, just a wanna-be cowboy, but I guess it’s fallen to me to educate the provincial govt. and its highpriced legal gunslingers what the Milk Industry Act and the Health Act actually say about raw milk. A quick summary of the legal argument is posted on my website < www.freewebs.com/bovinity > on the page ‘scrutiny by government’. By Friday, I’ll have the paperwork filed for the appeal. After which I’ll post it there.
Starting with one cow in May 2007, our herd has grown to 17 cows in milk today, providing REAL MILK for over 200 households. In that time, we haven’t had a report of anyone getting ill from milk produced by our cows. We have dozens of reports of improved health, some quite dramatic. Every day we get at least one new inquiry for shares. Our Agister has lined-up five more cows to buy, in order to maintain the current quantity and to meet increasing demand. We need a bigger farm, right now. If you are aware of a property for sale or lease around Chilliwack, please let me or Alice know.
The appeal proper is quite a ways away, in time. Meanwhile, we will not let the stupidity of the ignoramuses get us down. Rather, let’s be thankful that we continue to enjoy the best food in the world … fresh whole pure raw milk.
Gordon S Watson”