Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt on the campaign trail in his local riding: “You can’t win if you don’t play.”

As you may remember, we reported earlier that raw milk farmer and food rights activist Michael Schmidt has decided to seek the Progressive Conservative party nomination in his local riding of Bruce Grey Owen Sound. Since then, Michael has been traveling around meeting people, hearing their stories and sharing his political perspectives. Here are some excerpts from material recently posted on his political blog and website:

The decline of farming and rural life can be seen along roadsides throughout Ontario, and not just in Bruce Grey Owen Sound riding, although that's where this picture is from. Photo by Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt on “Why I am seeking your support”: “One of the reasons I have decided to run in the upcoming provincial election is because people are telling me so many stories of their struggles – and defeats – in dealing with the endless streams of bureaucratic regulations.

Understand: these are not laws that have been passed by the legislative process. These are regulations that have been put in place by well-meaning people whose job it is to make the laws work. But in the process they have created a terrible situation that is strangling creativity and enterprise in Ontario.

Do you know that there are over 500,000 regulations in Ontario? And that every session, the legislature passes hundreds more? Can anyone remember and follow over half a million regulations? Even if you are not a small business owner or an independent worker of any kind, these regulations affect everything from your pet to your garbage, to the food you eat and the times you can have a celebration.

No one wants a free-for-all, but how bizarre is it that each fragile new business that is begun can drown in rules before it has a chance to succeed? Do you think the railway that built this country could be begun today? What about some of the medical breakthroughs that Canadians can take such pride in? What about some of the internationally successful businesses that began in Ontario, maybe 50 years ago? Who wants to even try, when they know there is a net of regulations slung over their head as soon as they lift it?

Here is a starting point for you to look at the government regulations that control our every move in this province:http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/navigation?file=home&lang=en (you can cut & paste if you have trouble getting there). Just go and browse alphabetically for a few minutes…

Good luck – and congratulations on your moves to better educate yourself – and take on personal responsibility. That’s what my decision to try for the PC nomination is all about.”

Michael Schmidt meets with felllow citizens in the town of Mar.

Click here to read the story behind the picture above, titled “Tears and Entrapment”. Here’s an excerpt: “We traveled up the Bruce Peninsula. Gods Country at its best. Not many proud farmers left. Barns almost completely demolished by nature and neglect. Pockets of human dignity still can be found. One of these places is in Mar.

Corner Gas in Bruce County. Food as good you can only dream of.  The center of it all is Rene. We had a heavenly Lasagna, all home made. You feel at home and at peace. This is where community meets, this is where the real stories get told this is where you can count on honesty and trust.

After Rene recognized me she began telling me the story of her encounter with the Tobacco Undercover Enforcement Agents.

A young women dressed up with a lot of make up and visibly pregnant asked for cigarettes. She was asked for her ID and then received the cigarettes. She triumphantly left the store and seconds later an officer appeared with a batch and charged Rene with selling cigarettes to a minor….” Read the whole story on Michael Schmidt’s political blog

Boundaries of the riding in which Michael Schmidt is seeking the nomination. If you live in this area and would like to support Michael Schmidt's nomination, join the local Progressive Conservative party as soon as possible so that you can vote to help select Michael Schmidt to be the candidate for the PCs in your riding. That's apparently how it works. Map above is from Elections Ontario.

From the Nominations Process page of Michael Schmidt’s political website:

Getting to Queen’s Park – The Nomination Process is NOW

As I have wrestled with this next step into public life, it has become clear to me how few of us – Canadians, Ontarians – fully understand our democratic process.

While the provincial election date is October 6, 2011, the process is already well underway.

In order to have names on the ballot you look at on October 6 next year, each provincial party – the Progressive Conservatives, the Liberals, the Greens and others – has nomination meetings in every electoral district in the province.

Ours is Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound; here’s a link so you can see what the district looks like:

http://www.elections.on.ca/en-CA/Tools/ElectoralDistricts/EDMaps/BruceGreyOwenSound.htm

Now, the only people who can pick the candidate for each party are those who are members of that party – so you have to join, say, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario if you want the right to vote in a particular candidate – say, me. That candidate will be determined at a nomination meeting; the meeting for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound is tentatively set for early October, 2010 – that’s about six weeks from the time I’m writing this.

There is a deadline for becoming a member, too: it’s 21 days BEFORE that meeting – or by early September, 2010.

To join the PC Party of Ontario, the fee is $10. It expires at the end of December, 2010 (after the nomination meeting). Then you would have to join again next year to be a member, but you don’t have to be a member to vote in the provincial election.

If you would like to become a member of the PC Party of Ontario, here’s a link to the online membership form (this way, you can use a credit card): https://secure.ontariopc.com/?type=membership

If you’d rather, you can contact my campaign team at 519-369-7520 and we can get a membership card to you directly. You can pay by cash or cheque.

You can’t win if you don’t play.”

Once again, here are the links to Michael Schmidt’s Political Blog and Political Website.

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