Raw milk developments in B.C. — not necessarily court, but court if necessary

From Gordon Watson in British Columbia:

Here’s your comic relief for the day, fans of REAL MILK

Lately I’d been reminded that a section of the Milk Industry Act referred to farms being able to retail raw milk to the public in British Columbia. That section was a vestige of the Act as it was before 1996. Up to 1996, the act had 3 sections explicity saying that a farm could be certified by the Province to retail raw milk to the public. But when I wrote to the Milk Marketing Board, asking how to go about doing that, they replied saying they had no idea what I was talking about

I used that point in my letters to officials, arguing that that proved there was still a statutory duty to accomodate those who want raw milk, as set out in the Report of the Royal Commission on milk marketing, upon which this Act is predicated.

Up ’til August 13th 2011, it used to say:

3 The Lieutenant Governor in  Council may make regulation as follows :  (q ) defining rural areas known as “milk pasteurization areas” within which milk delivered or sold to consumers must be pasteurized, and making just and equitable provision for the sale of milk from approved raw milk dairy farms in the milk pasteurization areas, and the requirements, restrictions and exceptions under which the raw milk may be sold”

I did an interview over the phone today with Robert Freeman of the Chilliwack Progress newspaper, in which I quoted that section. Hours later, he tells me that that section [was] repealed on August 13th!!

Why I’m laughing is because I’m eagerly looking forward to the Hansard of the debates of the Legislature of BC on this topic.  Oh? … you say that the Legislature was not in session that day? Then perhaps one of the bright lights of the Legislative counsel can direct me to how an Act got amended, without it being considered by the people’s representatives? Who – precisely – is running this poor suffering Province, pray tell?!

This Liberal administration have shown themselves to be a bunch of Court-certified bunglers. A couple of months ago, Madame Justice Susan Griffin of the Supreme Court of BC declared a certain piece of  legislation unconstitutional, which had rescinded the contracts of BC teachers, back when Christie Clark was the Minister of Education. Judge Griffin cited precedent from the Supreme Court of Canada saying that there is a duty upon a government to consult with those directly affected by a new law.

Yet these dunces avoided doing that when they rung-in the regulation which deemed all raw milk a hazard to the public health, back on April fools’ day 2009. And they’ve done it again with this incredible piece of stupidity.

Today, I got word of the Grounds for Belief stated by Inspector George Rice to obtain the Warrant to Search our farm.  One doesn’t need a law degree to see where this one’s headed … Insp. Rice is framing me up for prosecution. Oh, well. If I never darken the door of a courtroom again, I’ll still have a  lifetime average of hours in there, higher than many lawyers.

The really fun part will be putting former Minister of Agriculture John van Dongen on the witness stand, and putting to him a few pointed questions!!

As Brer Rabbit put it… “Oh, please don’t throw me in that briarpatch”.

Gordon S Watson

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