With news of the postponement of the announcement of the verdict being given just an hour and 40 minutes ahead of the time for which the verdict was promised, there wasn’t time to reschedule the planned news conference. Although notice of the change in date of the announcement was sent out to media in advance of the event, several reporters and photographers showed up anyway and listened to Michael Schmidt’s state of the raw milk address.
Of course the top news story of the hour was the Court’s mysterious fourth postponement. Could their computers really have been down if they notified Michael’s lawyer of the postponement by email? One cowshare member vowed to camp out at the courthouse tomorrow until the verdict was released. The latest postponement has the decision promised for “sometime tomorrow”. She’ll be keeping us up to date with regular progress reports which we will post on the Bovine tomorrow.
Michael also talked about the charges of contempt of court with which he was served yesterday, and for which he will need to appear in Vancouver court November 2nd, and how curious it is that they have chosen the same requested penalty as he was assessed with in Ontario.
And of course the big question was, what about the ruling. What if the province’s appeal is successful? Or what if Michael’s original acquittal from January of 2010 is upheld? Michael asked if after 18 years of struggle they really expect that he’s just going to quietly go away and give up promoting raw milk if he is defeated in this appeal.
Michael explained that his case in Ontario had garnered continent-wide interest, in part because it was one of the few cases in which the legal system had stood up for people’s rights to obtain access to raw milk through private cowshares. That’s also why so many people across Canada and the United States will be watching the outcome of this appeal with great interest. Michael said there have been upwards of 60 or 100 such cases in the courts across Canada and the U.S. in recent years.
Reporters and photographers from The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and Sun Media were on hand to listen to Michael and talk to the many cowshare members who had come out to get their milk and show their support.