Province refuses to accept raw milk acquittal — Michael Schmidt to hold news conference Tuesday Feb 16th

The following is from a news release dated Friday February 12:

Farmer Michael Schmidt, surrounded by reporters and supporters following last month's "not guilty" verdict in Newmarket court. The Province is now appealing that decision.

Farmer Michael Schmidt will hold a media conference on the Province’s appeal, Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 9:30am, in the Press Room, Queen’s Park

Stung by a court ruling last month that declared its enforcement of raw milk laws “deplorable,” the Province is appealing Justice Paul Kowarsky’s decision from January 21.2010

They’re clutching at straws,” says Michael Schmidt, the Durham, Ontario farmer whose innovative “cow-share” program for raw milk consumers elicited a raid by the Ontario Ministry of Health in 2006, and a six day trial that began in January, 2009.

That trial ended Jan. 21 with a ruling by Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky that Schmidt’s program – in which consumers become “part-owners” of Schmidt’s dairy cows – was legally exempt from the Province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and from its Milk Act. Kowarsky dismissed 19 charges under the acts.

The current Government is underestimating the Food Freedom Movement,” Schmidt says. “This is not about milk, this is about the respect for the individual’s right to make choices without Government interference. This is now the next stage in a serious battle, a clear declaration by Government to rob people of their fundamental freedoms.”

Schmidt will hold a press conference Tuesday, Feb. 16 to respond to the government’s legal manoeuvre. He will be joined by Karen Sellick from The Canadian Constitution Foundation, whose organization has supported Schmidt, and offered to represent him in court in case of an appeal.

Says Schmidt: “In 2006, after the raid on our farm, I said the Government made a big mistake using an army of 25 armed officers to shut a farmer down. Justice Paul Kowarsky proved me right.”

In his decision, the Justice described as “deplorable…  the actions of the officers who were in the process of executing the search warrant and interrogating the defendant.” He added these actions “should be viewed with disdain”.

Schmidt says he is “ready to move to the next level. And I have thousands of people ready to stand with me.”

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Province refuses to accept raw milk acquittal — Michael Schmidt to hold news conference Tuesday Feb 16th

  1. Walter's Dad

    I noticed your statement “In his decision, the Justice described as “deplorable… the actions of the officers who were in the process of executing the search warrant and interrogating the defendant.” He added these actions “should be viewed with disdain”.

    I can’t find this anywhere in the JP’s written ruling. Where did this statement come from?

    • I heard the Justice of the Peace say this in the original trial last January, in his judgement – as far as I remember he mentioned it again but I cannot recall the exact wording.

      • Walter's Dad

        If this is true, then someone should post that portion of the transcript from the original trial or judgement . Otherwise, it looks like just another piece of unsubstantiated propaganda.

      • Transcripts are creatively edited all the time in Ontario courts. For 100% accuracy, you can only trust a voice recording of the proceedings you’ve created yourself, which in some cases may not be allowed.

  2. thebovine

    This story is being picked up by many of the major GTA media outlets. After more than three years, public and media interest remains strong, in “the news story that just won’t go away”.

  3. Beverley Viljakainen

    Murray McQuigge, an earlier Chief Medical Officer of Health, Owen Sound-Bruce-Grey, was quoted as saying, after J.P. Paul Kowarsky’s recent ruling in the Michael Schmidt raw milk case, “This is a sad day . . . ” I didn’t happen to agree; however, this phrase does apply, in my opinion, to the decision of the current government to appeal this very thorough, well-thought-out written decision. I see this reaction as nothing but a face-saving gesture that is a blatant mis-use of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. One only has to examine the statements of those in favour of this appeal to detect the vested interests in profit and control and in being “right” without bothering to seriously consider the hard evidence. This refusal to budge, to dare to expose one’s current thinking to the light of present-day realities, especially in those in whom we have granted decision-making powers, means that the rest of us have no recourse but to become activists in every sense of the word. A very sad day indeed in this part of the world that we claim to be a democracy.

  4. From below the border, Health Canada’s actions look more like those of a socialist state than a democracy. Are you really sure you have a democracy up there??

    • Walter's Dad

      Pretty sure. It may not be perfect, but it seems a lot better than what’s happening south of the border – particularly when comparing health care systems.

  5. Pingback: Stay tuned for Queen’s Park raw milk news conference proceedings later today « The Bovine

  6. Devon H

    …maybe I missed something but I thought Canada already had Socialist party in power? I dunno.

    Walter’s Dad, our healthcare “might not be perfect” but at least we can get elective surgery whenever we want/need and not to have to travel over the border to cash clinics 🙂

    • Walter's Dad

      Sure Devon, anyone with enough $$ can jump the queue and go to the US. But at least, I don’t have to take a second mortgage out in order to pay for a medical procedure.

      I’m sure that most Americans, particularly those who can’t afford treatment or have no health insurance, would not find any comfort in your comment.

  7. Bernie Bailey

    Devan/Walter

    This site is for the food movement

    Please keep that in mind

    Thanks
    Bernie

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