Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt interviews himself for the Bovine on the status of raw milk in the Ontario courts

Interview of Michael Schmidt with himself on his thoughts about the trial, the consequences, and the only possible outcome.

Raw Milk Farmer Michael Schmidt outside the Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket, in September 2008

Raw Milk Farmer Michael Schmidt outside the Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket

M.S.: Thanks Michael for taking the time to look at some of the events of the past. The trial is over, what next?

Michael: Well the trial might be over, however the final arguments regarding the constitutional challenge regarding section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, which refers to the issue of Governments infringement on our individual liberty, has not been made. The Judge agreed that we should have the transcripts of the trial first, before we formulate our final arguments.

M.S.: How long do you anticipate this will take

Michael: We have to submit our written closing arguments around June 16.

M.S.: When can we expect a decision in this matter?

Michael: Realistically may be in August may be later.

M.S.: How do you feel about the trial?

Michael: Yes most people want to know how I feel about the trial.  My answer is always the same: I feel good, I feel inspired and I feel satisfied that the court is the right remedy to challenge those in authority. It was revealing, it was fun and it was Shakespearian drama at its best.

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt

 

M.S.: Why do you say that?

Michael: We all know the term court room drama. I felt it was a wonderful experience to see all the actors on stage in all their different capacities and authorities, either as investigators or as expert witnesses. Every one played his or her role according to the rules and at the end of the day we parted not as enemies but as human beings. It is drama at its best. You have those who do their job enforcing the law, and those who get paid to testify as experts how dangerous raw milk is, but admit at the same time that the most hazardous foods are not banned, like Maple Leaf  Products which apparently killed over 20 people last year, or cigarettes or alcohol. It became very clear that everything is arbitrary it all depends on who calls the shots.

M.S.: Some people argue that it is impossible to fight the current law on raw milk because of the very powerful dairy lobby behind it.

Michael: They are absolutely right, if they believe it is impossible. I do believe it is possible, therefore I see a very good chance for change to come.

M.S.: The question is at what cost and when?

Michael: Let’s look at the reality of cost. I personally believe, that the cost of being compliant to unjust laws is far too high when you think of our future and our children’s future. In the so called western world we have lost our will, our courage to stand up against injustice. We tend to think, that if a law is passed by Parliament, it must be right and just. You will be surprised how many laws are passed, where the members of Parliament had no idea what was in the package and what gets finally signed into law. There are layer’s of bureaucrats, which control these complicated proceedings and know how to keep control. 

In respect to the time, time is on our side. As longer those in power refuse to enter into a constructive dialogue as more people wake up and join the battle.

M.S.: Are there organizational allies?

Michael speaks to the Media

Michael speaks to the Media

 

Michael: There are very committed allies in this battle. One of them are the Ontario Landowners known for their clear position against over regulation of property owners and small businesses. There is a wide range of groups which joint over two years ago and continue to play a vital role by networking, educating and informing more and more people.

The groups are very different, because they understand the principle of this fight. It is not about raw milk. It is about this fundamental principle of defending our God given rights of freedom.  

Food in future will create major conflicts in society. On one hand we have no way to know if we eat GMO food because of labeling laws to protect those in control, and on the other hand we are not allowed to make a food choice, when we know very well it is much better for us.

Look at the health care system, look at education, look at farming, we in fact living in the most destructive decades since the beginning of time. All is caused by us human beings.

M.S.: Lets slow down a little bit before we look at the big picture. You must encounter opposition which does not come from the Government, can you talk about that.?

Michael: Lets look at that very rational, we need to ask first what is real opposition, what is forced opposition and what is personal opposition.

Personal opposition is based on fear, experience and principle. They are all valid arguments. However one needs to understand, that I do not have the position that every one should be forced to drink raw milk. This is up to every individual to make that choice. All I am asking is, do not force your personal opposition to raw milk unto others who have different experiences. 

Interview for Star Media

Interview for Star Media

I also very often face the argument, that I should not break the law, because it is the law. They also argue, that I should obey court orders and the law is here for a reason. I do respect these comments but as you know, I do not agree.

Let me give you two examples of hypocrisy connected with this case.

Two years ago we went to California to explore the raw milk situation there which, as you know is allowed. You can buy your raw milk in the super market.

 When I returned I met the chief medical officer of health in Grey Bruce Dr Hazel Lynn and tried to paint her a picture about the situation there. As I recall she replied : “Michael why don’t you move to California. The only thing what bugs me is, that you broke the law ,”.

The other example was the unethical offer by the lawyer acting for York Region. Before trial last fall, he pulled me aside and offered me a deal before we went into the court room.” Go south of Keele street or anywhere else outside of York Region and he would be willing to drop all the charges. “

This highlights only the fact that this whole thing has nothing to do with health.

M.S.: What other opposition do you encounter?

Michael: Well, there is the forced opposition, which has its roots in unhealthy dependency. Farm organizations like the, the Ecological Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Cheese society but also friends and other businesses think they cannot take a position because of fear of repercussions. It is all matter of principle.

If they are afraid to open their mouth because they might loose funding, members or friends, they also loosing credibility. I have no expectations anymore, but I am really thankful whenever people have the courage to stand up for the principle.

One group I like to mention is the Canadian Chefs Congress and all the chefs which continue to root for the cause in Canada.

M.S.: What is best possible outcome?

Michael: There is only one outcome.

M.S.: What do you mean with that?

Michael: Since it is a matter of principle the only outcome can and will be, that people have the right to choose if they want to drink milk raw or pasteurized. Once we have that achieved this 15 year old battle will finally end. 

Let’s not look at that in a negative sense. Battles are good for society, for us, for our future. They express that we are alive, as long as we do not forget to love our enemy.

That’s part of this tragic that so many on the so called other side agree with us but have to do their job.

M.S.: You  have been ordered to pay a fine and cost of $55,000 at your trial in September, what are your plans?

Michael Schmidt with Randy Riesling of Star media

Michael Schmidt with Randy Riesling of Star media

 

Michael: The crown had an awful dilemma. They did not want to make a martyr out of me, but wanted to force me to stop providing people with their milk.

The judge himself faced another dilemma. He slammed civil disobedience as a self defeating act, ignoring history of the last 100 years completely. I do not believe that the judge truly in his heart believed what he was saying.

I asked for the maximum penalty not because of wanting to be a martyr but to expose how our legal system has to fail if it is not challenged on principle, we talking about man made law. Man made law can be wrong and needs to challenged.

No, I will not pay and I will not resist if they get me. They created the problem of starting a trial on an issue which has not been yet ruled on:. 

Did I in fact break the law? Does the law they accusing me of breaking conforms with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, and if not, it is no law at all. How can you get a court order under these circumstances? As they wade deeper into this legal jungle the more confusing it will get for them.

Why do I not stop? Because I owe it to society, I want to live in it and fell responsible.

M.S.: Does Jail time scare you?

Michael: No. It might be just part of a journey I have to take. At the end the resolution could be so easy. Goethe in his fairy tale of the Green Snake wrote a wonderful line.

“What is more valuable than gold?   The answer is: Dialogue”. Dialogue will be the solution. Dialogue is all I am asking for.

M.S.: Thanks Michael. Stay strong.

Michael: Thanks to all those, who tirelessly support this wonderful battle. The Milk of Human Kindness will flow until the cows come home, to those who deserve it. A toast to all the fearless cowshare members.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt interviews himself for the Bovine on the status of raw milk in the Ontario courts

  1. Bernie Bailey

    Here is a few cbc blogs from last week on big bs. small and the law

    BernieBailey wrote:
    Posted 2009/03/28
    at 12:36 PM ETtocentric

    You bring out the very point I am trying to make–for what ever reason –for what ever government level

    The small company Aylmer meats was convicted for fraudulent use of paper work , illegal cattle export and a fine of two hundred and seventy five thousand dollars and his business closed because of these actions and fines.

    Big Maple Leaf meats caused twenty one deaths over four hundred people sickened and no conviction,or fines as a mater of fact this meat company told the Government to not put in inspectors and new testing in their plants and the Government obeyed.

    So how can this be justified to any one provincial or federal. As for Aylmer he did the crime and paid for it. My problem is I have seen this before and have several Farm Products Marketing Commission meeting transcripts via Freedom of Information act that clearly shows that our civil servants favor big business and in order to make big business work you have to get rid of the competition.

    still one vote010Agree 1DisagreePolicy Report abusetocentric wrote:
    Posted 2009/03/27
    at 11:56 PM ETBernieBailey,

    The suspension of Alymer Meats was done by provincial authorities as it was a provincial plant. If anyone was in the bushes, it was provincial inspectors.

    You are making the fraudulent use of federal stamps sound much more innocent that the judge thought. $125,000 in fines is not something that is handed out for a clerical error.

    You seem to be buying Butch Clare’s spin that it was a mistake by his employees. However, Butch Clare personally pleaded guilty and was fined $15,000 in addition to the $110,000 penalty for the company.

    It’s noble to defend small operators but Butch Clare is the wrong symbol for the cause.

    As a bonus, Butch Clare Livestock was fined $25,000 in 2007 for illegal cattle exports.
    http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/projud/2007/20071119e.shtml101Agree 0DisagreePolicy Report abuseBernieBailey wrote:
    Posted 2009/03/27
    at 10:00 PM ETTo Centric

    Yes as I said that CBC said possible dead stock and they also said hiding in the bush and more important was the person in one of the CBC investigation reports that said some thing like this—– some one who had a house behind the meat shop thought the guts from dead animals were on their land .The federal inspectors hid in their bush to prove this . The fine that they got was as I said in a previous blog that they or their employees had transferred federal stamps and federal tags from the old Burns plant to their provincial plant with out realizing the consequences according to CBC and that is what they were fined for . Incase you do not know the provincial standards are far below the federal standards so the federal plants can export and what do you eat. Butch Clair ,that’s his name ,thank you for that as I forgot . As for my quest in the light of the demise of the small business in Ontario the government wins and you can all work for the government on unemployment,Volvo.Campbell Soup and all the big companies that the civil servants supported (that are leaving Canada) by proving that big can not fail by getting rid of small and after fighting this government wall that I have come up against and laid off my employees all I can say is that I can not hire any one as the Ontario civil servants got rid of Sun Rise Dairy ten years ago and you did not care so get a job at GM , Campbell, Volvo ect.Thanks for yor input and lets talk again
    I am one vote000Agree 0DisagreePolicy Report abusetocentric wrote:
    Posted 2009/03/27
    at 6:36 PM ETBernieBailey,

    Given your extensive experience, you should do a better job of distinguishing between federal and provincial law and inspection procedures in your postings.

    Alymer Meat was doing much more than making a mistake in paperwork. The plant was shutdown by the province and product was recalled because of possible deadstock processing
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2003/08/28/aylmer030828.html

    Later the company and the president of the company were fine $125,000 for illegal use of federal inspection legends.
    http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/projud/2008/20080124e.shtml

    Your fight against the vast conspiraracy of civil servants out to get small processors will not be aided by defending Butch Clare, Aylmer Meat and any others that flout the law.303Agree 0DisagreePolicy Report abuse

  2. Hi Michael & Beverley,

    I wish to commend Michael for bravely standing up for true justice. Unfortunately few people are willing to do the same, although many would like to. The overall situation in this country is deteriorating rapidly. Inversely however movements like Michael’s are a beacon of hope and inspiration for many including myself.

    The “Vision of Canada” and the freedoms and liberties that so many sought that have come to its shores from countless foreign lands is still alive.
    We must resist tyranny and educate ourselves on what is really going on. I feel furthermore we must
    strike a balance and work on rebuilding our crumbled society and establishing one based on true liberty, justice and indeed LOVE.

    Two things I really would like Michael and all to know about;

    1st the bad news- Bill C-6- Anyone familiar with
    last year’s efforts by the federal government to introduce Bills C-51/52 will understand that our
    rights to access the foods and medicines of our choice were threatened by these bills. Public outcry
    stopped these horrible bills from becoming law.
    Bill C-6 has already been read once in parliament –
    it has been described as, “Bill C-51 on STEROIDS!”
    The silence over this one is deafening- please educate yourself.

    The good news is that a major movement in the United States is underway that entails military service men and police that have augmented their oaths of service. These brave souls are officially pledging to refuse to impose any police state/martial law measures. They will refuse to violate the constitutional rights of their fellow countrymen. They will essentially refuse to carry out orders that infringe on the best interests of the people they should rightly serve. I am in the process of generating a similar movement in Owen
    Sound. The organization in the USA is called the Oath Keepers. My vision is “Oath Keepers of Canada!”

    I have posted info about Bill C-6 and Oath Keepers
    at http://www.owensoundfreepress.com. I would like to expand on the Oath Keepers to persuade public health and resource/agricultural enforcement officers to consider to simply not follow orders
    that do not act in the best interests of the people.
    The raids on Michaels’ property, confiscation of property and mistreatment/confinement of him and others at Glen Colton Farm are a classic case in point. This simply should not be happening.

    Keep up the good work Michael-
    If you need me, call me anytime
    Doug Schapira
    Owen Sound

  3. Pingback: “You will note the absence of a TB epidemic…” « Alice the Camel

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