What’s happening at Queen’s Park while Michael Schmidt continues with his hunger strike for food freedom?

From Denis Langlois in the Owen Sound Sun Times:

Michael Schmidt speaking today at a rally in Vancouver.

“….”I am asking simply for dialogue. I’m not asking for any concessions,” Schmidt said Tuesday in a telephone interview while participating in a rally in Washington, D.C.

“My condition is there is a dialogue started to get advice on how we can move forward from this stalemate.”

Schmidt began his hunger strike on Sept. 29 to push for a “well-educated dialogue” with McGuinty “about the issue of food freedom and responsible food freedom choice.”

Schmidt said he is for the establishment of standards for the safe production of raw milk and has “no problem” with health unit inspectors keeping an eye on raw milk production.

But he said he is against the outright “zero tolerance” ban against distributing raw milk.

A spokeswoman for the premier’s office said Schmidt’s written request to speak with McGuinty is “still being reviewed.”

Leslie O’Leary said federal law also prohibits the sale of raw milk in Canada. The provincial government “has no plans to change our position on this matter,” she said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Schmidt said he has lost about 40 pounds so far and his hunger strike has left him too weak to work at his farm. But he said he will continue consuming only water and lemon juice until he meets with McGuinty.

“There’s no sense stopping now when things get tough,” he said.

Three Ontario MPPs, including Liberal Greg Sorbara, sent a letter to McGuinty on Oct. 26 to request a meeting with the premier to “discuss ways and means for the legislature to examine” regulations that ban the sale of raw milk in the province.

The letters, also sent by Progressive Conservative MPP Randy Hillier and NDP MPP France Gelinas, suggest an all-party committee would be the best vehicle to examine the issue.

“It behooves the legislature to examine this issue and offer the people of Ontario both knowledge and insight into the benefits and/or drawbacks of raw milk sales,” the letters say.

“Mr. Schmidt has assured us that, if agreement is found on having a meeting, he would be willing to halt his hunger strike and await the results of our discussion.”

Schmidt is currently awaiting a sentencing decision after the Ontario Court of Justice overturned a lower court’s ruling in September and upheld 15 charges, brought by the province against Schmidt in 2006, related to the production and distribution of raw milk.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit is also planning to lay new charges against Schmidt in connection to the distribution of raw milk at a rally in early October. A lawyer for public health is considering how to proceed, spokesman Chris Munn said Tuesday. The decision could be made after Schmidt is sentenced for the other charges, he said.

Schmidt is scheduled to be in court today in British Columbia in connection with a cow-share program that has been banned from distributing raw milk. He faces a contempt of court charge in that case….”

Read it all in The Owen Sound Sun Times.

Photo from from Tirra Del Giudice via Facebook. See more photos from the rally here.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “What’s happening at Queen’s Park while Michael Schmidt continues with his hunger strike for food freedom?

  1. Marietta Pellicano

    God Bless you, Michael, God Keep you, and give you strength throughout this time of trial. Regardless of the outcome, you will achieve lasting Peace.

  2. Raoul

    Seems like a very challenging “work ” schedule ( and all unpaid but that is beside the point ).
    How could such a simple thing like milking a cow become this complicated anyways ?
    2. Perhaps it is time that citizens vote directly on the major issues and simply hire managers instead of (or in addition to ) voting for politicians to implement their decisions ?
    There simply is no viable current mechanism to guarantee the will of the people once a politician is elected . Even a single referendum here or there is not sufficient as there are thousands of issues that require more active citizen direction and engagement and involvement .
    It will be interesting to see how far social media can sway political direction for the greater good in the years to come .

    Our prayers are with you Michael !

  3. jhoe

    Is this a cult?At times it sure appears to look like one, you have Mr.schmidt saying he is preparded to die for the cause if McGuinty will not meet with him.So called hunger strikes,going on speaking engagements,but to ill to work at the farm.What is next,. Mr. schmidts family will join him on his hunger strike,then all of his customers and finally the cows. Then do u think McGuinty will talk? Maybe then Canada will change the LAW to allow raw milk to be sold to the public.What do u THINK?

  4. SA

    I’m thinking there’s a good chance the government won’t talk. They haven’t.
    That’s sad…really.
    Does that make you, and people like you feel good Jhoe? Is that a win for the government? That is very sad too. Really.

  5. Pingback: Food Rights Network » Raw Milk in the News

  6. BC Food Security

    Which “cult ” are you talking about ?

    The Provincial bureaucratic cult ?
    The Federal government cult ?
    The Bruce Grey Health unit cult ?
    The Ontario Dairy Marketing Board Cult ?
    The Corporate Sector Cult ?
    The Ontario Agricultury ministry cult ?
    The Ontario Health ministry cult ?

    Take your pick .
    All of the above are “mind-controlled” to some degree or another for better or for worse .
    Mind control comes in many different shades and colours. Isn’t blindly following instructions,rules and regulations that make no sense and do not serve the greater public good (or worse cause outright harm ) a form of dangerous brainwashing as well ?

    The really question should be how to do we break FREE FROM ALL THE CHAINS THAT BIND US ?

    2. Fasting is a noble exercise on many different levels. At least it does no physical harm to others . Which would be a great starting point for the government in this case .
    If you are shocked by Michael’s determination and resolve then perhaps you begin to grasp how shocking the provincial governments cruel and unprofessional handling of this issue going back 17 years has been.

    Remember : All that Michael is asking for is a simple dialog.
    Who is the government serving and reporting to if they will not communicate normally with the biggest stakeholders in the raw dairy movement in Canada for 17 continuous years ?

  7. Zeb Landon

    Yesterday columnist Jim Merriam in the London Free Press and other papers laid out some of the issues quite well, though it used the word ‘fanatic’ about Michael.
    It seems in Ontario everyone is supposed to just ‘roll over’ to the nanny state.
    And if you don’t ‘roll over’ and stand up for something, then you are called ‘fanatical’.
    It reminds me of the frog in the lukewarm water that is gradually heated, until boiling. Is that what we are waiting for?

  8. jhoe

    Thats a good statement Zeb,thats whypeople do what they do.BUT THE SAD PART IS U CANNOT BEAT GOVERNMENT ,if it is not on there agenda they will break u.Remember it is your money there fighting u with,it is there law ,courts,JUDGES,and it does not matter which party is in power.That if raw milk was legalized Mr.Schmidt would still be put out of business by them,It would only be amatter of time.Just like now.SAD but true

  9. Milk Wench-Pat Winter

    Dearest Jhoe
    The responsible food freedom movement is not a cult. It is a growing awareness that there is something wrong when we cannot choose our own food without a prescription from big business. It is regaining our health by ingesting good food that my friend, hero, and farmer produces “illegally”. It is the individual search for truth (something money hasn’t bought) in knowing what food our body needs to heal. It is a community of like-minded citizens searching for ways to make ourselves responsible for our actions. It is a slow and deliberate crawl out of the box that the economy has created for consumers, it is awakening to our role as citizens. I owe a great deal to Michael Schmidt, not because he is a cult leader but because he is a great teacher and a role model far removed from society’s dumbed down, stupification agenda. Michael will die for his convictions because he knows that he must stand up or he will fall for anything. He believes in responsible food freedom that much! What do you believe in so much that you would die Jhoe? “To ill” to work on the farm? HORSESHIT!!! The man has not eaten since September 29. His body is growing weak. In his weakened state he still attends speaking engagements, he still bakes, he is still a husband, still a father, still a friend, still a farmer, still a teacher (on Saturday he took part in Cowshare College Level 1) and he is still standing! What do you do when you have not eaten? Have you ever stood for your principles? You emphasized “law” and “think” in capital letters. Why? Do you assume we do not think or believe in law? It was law that put Rosa Parks on the back of the bus. It was thought that people committed civil disobedience that changed the law. I leave you with more thoughts from Michael;
    1. Just love them Scotty
    2. It’s not hard to fight for freedom when you have nothing to lose Patty
    3. “Our land, our food and lives are the most powerful tools we have to shape the future of our country.”
    I go to bed now, sleeping for the energy I need to keep up with Michael when I pick him up from the airport.

  10. Raoul

    I am relieved just to see the photo of Michael finally drinking a glass of some “white liquid” – a bit more substantial than just plain old water !

  11. Sylvia Mann

    It is hard to fight for something when you never learned (even had to) how to fight, Canadians have lived in the Bliss of Freedom and Tranquility for ever. There was never a “real” War on canadian soil, and mostly everything was there in abundance. That´s why many people immigrated to Canada from the old countries overseas and made this country what it is today, A free, peacful Nation to live in. Who had ever thought, the real danger of loosing all this is not coming from the outside, but from the own government. We are living in the 21st century and Canada wants to play (I am talking politiclly) the big game with the rest of the world. But how can you be taken seriously when you still somehow covered in diapers (just comparing the age of Canada to the “older” countries)? this doesn`t work. The political field has to stop putting their heads into the sand and hoping, the issue sooner or later is resolving itself and everything is back to normal. False!!!! I am getting the impression that the canadian covernment and especially the ontarian government have no idea how close they can get to the woodchipper. There are other Nations and Cultures out there ( Past and Presents) which have fallen down because of a small unimportant issue. Mcguinty and Co I think have no idea what to do anymore of not loosing their face, and therefore have decided to sitting it out. It is a shame, when you are acting like an immature individual. Not only have Canadians lived in Bliss for to long, but certainly the government did so as well. We have to watch closely and hope, that the Raw Milk Issue and the Fight for Food Freedom will not make Canada a Laugh act for the rest of the world. that would be certainly a very bad thing.

  12. BC Food Security

    One important step for us to take in this issue is maybe not to see the Raw Milk issue as separate from the Health Food Supplements and Vaccination issue.
    The same heavy-handedness is evident in all three areas .

    People keep blaming the McGuinty government but the Raw Milk restrictions are also federal law . Wouldn’t it be good if the Harper Conservative government had to take 50% of the heat on this issue ?

    The agenda of Control of our food is definitely emanating from the Federal level and some would even say a higher level than that i.e North American or even a Trans-national one .
    Some people also theorize that Canada is a “guinea pig” for seeing how far multinational corporations can go in imposing their own rules and agendas on an uninformed or powerless public .
    This is evident in the brazen backwardness of the handling of the Raw Dairy issue. The same backwardness was evident in the handling of the so called “Swine Flu epidemic ” 2 years ago as well.
    When I say ‘backwardness” I mean the lack of public debate or input. Whovever is deciding to implement all those policies is doing it very systematically , intelligently and ruthlessly.

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