Here’s the latest from Gordon Watson and Home on the Range cowshare:
Two weeks ago Fraser Health Authority served Notice on our Agister that it will apply for an injunction to stop her from “packaging and/or distributing” raw milk produced by our herd of cows.
For a few moments last week, after the decision came down in Michael Schmidt’s case in Ontario, we were hopeful that the Petitioner, Fraser Health, would be reasonable and back off. But no: today, legal counsel Guy McDannold made it clear he’s headed to Court this coming Monday, February 1st, at 9:45 am in Chambers, in the Supreme Court in New Westminster. I and Alice Jongerden, and not a few others, will show up to oppose him.
I will send out more comments between now and Sunday, explaining the various ways this could go. For now, suffice to say that if Fraser Health gets the Order it wants, it will be OK for Alice Jongerden to continue to work for us as herdswoman, caring for our cows up to and including doing the actual milking. But past the point of the milk being put into the jar filler, such an injunction would prohibit her from doing anything more to package and/or distribute our milk.
Court order or not, our cows are going to keep on giving about 60 gallons a day. The REAL MILK will keep on flowing and we will figure out a way to get it to its owners.
For starters; it‘s worth noting that the lawyer misled the Court in the documents with which he originated the application by stating that “the parties have been unable to agree to the date of the hearing …”. And that “the parties have been unable to agree as to how long the hearing will take …” And that “…the Respondent has not given a time estimate.“
In fact, Mr McDannold had never so much as contacted Alice Jongerden, let alone did he confer with her about the hearing. Nor did he ever contact me, although he’s perfectly well aware that I am one of the people in the category “JANE DOE and JOHN DOE”, being people whom he says in his Grounds are “ …persons whose names and whereabouts are unknown and who participated in the Home on the Range business with the Respondent Alice Jongerden.”
A couple of dozen shareholders have entered a “Response”, then given Notice of it to the lawyer for Fraser Health. Mr McDannold then tells each of them that ‘they got it wrong… the injunction he‘s after only concerns those who are in business with Alice Jongerden’. Well, as they used to say on the farm “don‘t eat that Elmer”: that’s BS … dis-information calculated to trick you into forgoing your right to be heard on this matter.
Of course, these outright lies and chicanery are just “business as usual” in the business of lawyering.
In an interview last night, Michael Schmidt said he’s ready to come out to BC and support us. So there’s a good chance he will be at the Courthouse on Monday morning. I encourage as many shareholders who can make it, to literally pack the Court. The newsmedia will definitely be there. A good crowd will influence public opinion on this topic. Inside, such sheer numbers will demonstrate to the judge that the idea this can be dealt with in half an hour, is laughable.
The Court building in New Westminster is at 651 Carnarvon Street, between 6th Street and 8th Street, adjacent to Douglas College. Parking is hard to find in that neighbourhood in the morning. There is underground parking in the Court building … it’s not cheap. The Court building is about half a mile – uphill – from each of the Columbia or New Westminster SkyTrain stations.
Gordon S Watson
Justice Critic, Party of Citizens