“Fraser Health will wait for a B.C. Supreme Court judge’s decision on whether the former operator of a Chilliwack raw milk dairy is in contempt of court before the public health body tries to shut down the new incarnation of the dairy.
Alice Jongerden appeared in New Westminster on Thursday to answer to the civil contempt of court charge.
Fraser Health has been trying for several years to shut down Jongerden’s Home on the Range Dairy, which distributed raw milk to about 450 people.
In March, an injunction was issued to stop the flow of raw milk, but the milk continued to be distributed with the label “Not for Human Consumption.”
That label proves to be the crux of the judge’s decision, according to Fraser Health spokesperson Roy Thorpe.
“In our mind the intent was still to distribute for human consumption,” he told the Times Monday.
According to an affidavit filed in court and signed by George Rice, manager of environmental health for Fraser Health, Jongerden is “on a campaign of public defiance in support of the production of raw milk for human consumption.”
Jongerden was forced to resign from the dairy because of the contempt charge, but raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt from Ontario has stepped in to take over the dairy, which has been renamed Our Milk.
After the Oct. 14 court appearance, Jongerden, Schmidt and their supporters passed around and drank from bottles of milk outside the court.
On Sept. 28, the two drank milk in front of Chilliwack’s Fraser Health offices in a similar stunt. No one at the Fraser Health office reacted and Thorpe said they recognized that move as “a political-style demonstration and Schmidt has a right to his viewpoint.”…”