Michael Schmidt sentenced to pay $9,150 but an appeal is on the way

Canadian Press story, via the Kitchener-Waterloo Record:

Flanked by supporters and television cameras, the self-described Godfather of raw milk, Michael Schmidt, raises a toast following his sentencing last Friday in Newmarket court.

“NEWMARKET, ONT. — Raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt was handed a $9,150 fine and one year of probation Friday on convictions related to selling and distributing unpasteurized milk.

In an interview after the sentence was handed down in a packed Newmarket, Ont., courtroom, Schmidt said he would not be paying the fine.

“I’d rather go to prison than pay the fine, and that’s a matter of principle,” he said. “If I pay the fine, then this is almost like an admittance of guilt.”

An appeal will be filed within the next 30 days, he said.

The raw milk charges were laid in 2006 after a raid on Schmidt’s farm near Durham, Ont., and he was acquitted in a lower court last year.

Justice Peter Tetley overturned 15 of those 19 acquittals in September after the Crown appealed.

The Health Protection and Promotion Act makes it illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in Canada because it’s considered a health hazard. It is, however, legal to drink raw milk.

Since the raid in 2006, the farm northwest of Toronto has been converted to a co-operative run by 150 to 200 share-holders and is no longer owned by Schmidt. Dozens of his supporters packed the courtroom Friday, while others were outside.

“I don’t own anything,” the raw milk advocate said, explaining he has no way of paying the fine and no seizable assets.

“I’m basically living on the grace of other people.”

Schmidt, 57, went on a hunger strike following Tetley’s decision in September. He ended it five weeks later following a meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty.

The dairy farmer reported losing 50 pounds while living on a diet of water and lemon juice. He’s managed to gain back five or 10 pounds, he said Friday….”

Read it all on The Record.com

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Michael Schmidt sentenced to pay $9,150 but an appeal is on the way

  1. YAY, MICHAEL!

    Thank you for your principled stand regarding the fine. Powerful interest only win when the powerless cave in.

    I immediately thought the amount of this fine was carefully chosen to avoid an obvious “win” (like a $1 fine), but also to avoid creating a martyr with a huge fine.

    Michael, you always have a roof and meals here — unless I’m next to you in jail, which I would gladly do!

    FILL THE JAILS WITH MARTYRS! The sheeple are beginning to awake!

    In other news, a group of us in BC have filed a complaint about the raw milk situation with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, who will be investigating Canada in May — the first time such an investigation has been planned for an industrialized nation.

    • SA

      Well, that’s interesting! Keep us posted on the developments!

      • SA

        ….although, the UN is but another form of “higher up rule”, and I’m beginning to think it should start here….along the lines of inalienable rights.

      • Although I’m a vegetarian (lacto-ovo), I also filed a complaint with the UN about the BC meat processing laws, changed in 2005 to outlaw farm-processed meat on health and safety grounds. There were NEVER any illnesses associated with farm-processed meat! And yet, local meat production on our island has been cut by over 50% since the new regulations. The famous “Salt Spring Lamb” is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

        Well, the Deputy Minister of Health at the time, who was the big pusher behind the new abattoir regulations that made farm-processed meat impossible, he got a nice cushy job as Vice President of Government Relations at Maple Leaf Foods immediately afterward — where his company killed 22 people from Listeria, and never received any fine or punishment beyond a recall of affected products. Put Rory McAlpine on your list of self-dealing government/corporate criminals.

        Why isn’t HE facing fines? Why isn’t HE in jail? HE killed people! Michael Schmidt didn’t even sicken ANYONE!

  2. SA

    You have likely seen: The Future of Food. A film by D. K Garcia

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