Michael Schmidt reflects on the Little Chilliwack Dairy Court Drama, part 2

Michael Schmidt continues with his review of the BC raw milk trial. Part 1 is here, if you missed it.

Photos from the operetta Milk Trial by Jury

I returned home to Ontario on a West Jet red eye flight. I was relieved that Nobody around me noticed, that I was out on bail for conspiracy to kidnap sheep. 

Lawyers worked frantically to make sure that I can continue to play my role in the six act drama of our “little Chilliwack dairy”. No doubt it would be the best scenario in the “Hunt for Michael Schmidt” if I  would be punished and locked up for 45 days as Susan Beach demanded before the “Sheep Heist Trial” even starts.

What an honor to travel 13500 km in less than 12 days to be on the BC stage of justice.

[Editor’s note: Michael had to return to Ontario after Act 3 of the trial, in order to obtain permission to go again out of the Province, since his original permission had been for only been for the trial’s anticipated duration of Feb 13-15th, and now it seemed the proceedings would take a few days longer than planned for.]

Act 4

Does life imitate art? This play was July 2010.

This will be the ultimate scene and climax to feature Susan Beach acting for Fraser Health in her role.

I had the best place because I stood at the witness podium and below me Susan Beach ready to jump.

The Curtain rose our wise judge entered, respectfully the entire theater paid respect and then sat down.

Susan Beach started with her cross examination.

A few days prior she told me face to face I can be finished with you in 35 minutes.

Without getting into details, it was remarkable how desperate she was to put the final nail into the coffin.

Splitting hairs, her voice dripping with sarcasm, she despised every answer I gave her.

More Milk Trial by Jury, July 31, 2010

By now all milk would have curdled on it’s own without any added culture.

Her voice almost hysterical, she made fun of my German accent, sometimes her voice was condescending sometimes like a feisty dog barking up a tree.

She turned the pages so violently on her desk i guess wanting to demonstrate her power and utmost despair.

She was after all the “CHOSEN” one to bring down OUR COWS’ little Chilliwack dairy. She was the one dreaming to end the battle for raw milk in Canada. She was the hope of the entire dairy industry to put an end to an almost 20 year old milk war.

And all she was, was a roaring paper tiger with no desire trying to understand the needs of others. No desire to admit the failings of her clients, no desire to recognize her own misery of having to be miserable.

But at the same time I admired her determination, her smartness and her ability to remember many details.

It was over. She suddenly said that’s all. I was surprised, because I had many more suggestions for her what to ask me to get to the bottom of the milk-can.

Gordon Watson rose to continue my cross examination.

Every time he walked calmly to the lawyers desk Susan Beaches eyes rolled and her body language expressed her distaste for this unlearned lawyer.

Gordon Watson impressed me. Yes he has his moments, but he has wit and a memory of a genius. He asked the questions which in fact mattered in this act 4 of this drama………..

The judge rose, everybody bowed their head and the curtain came down.

My desire to connect with Susan Beach on a more personal level has vanished, at least for today. I hoped that she will have a good sleep.

Act 5

What will the judge decide?

We are full of anticipation of the grand finale.

Everybody is ready to deliver the final plea for justice. Lots of questions remain……..will the judge rule today?

does the judge like us?

What will the penalty be?

No milk bath tomorrow?

A lot of questions swirling around before the final round, so we thought.

The curtain rose the learned judge gracefully entered the chamber and nodded his head towards Susan to begin her deliberations.

It was stunningly disappointing. It seemed hours and hours of monologue, reciting case law about a barking dog, no passionate appeal to the judge to save the world from raw milk.

Where was her heart?

Did she not believe in the cause of saving us from ourselves?

I was confused. The longer she kept going in her monologue the more people dozed off dreaming of a refreshing milk bath.

Eventually she wrapped up and stepped to the side.

Jason Gratl our low key lawyer laid out the rather un-complicated matter how cows can indeed make milk for drinking, but if the courts orders so, will produce the most wonderful milk bath. Versatile beyond comprehension. Even Health Canada agrees on that.

The last dissertation is from Gordon Watson. Laying the ground work for a broader understanding about the milk politics in BC, about his search for answers, his search for the truth, his search for due process, his search for milk, his search for justice in the face of Government corruption.

The judge awakens to Gordon and with a sense of grace engages in the final review of history. Like old friends they engage in conversations about great legal cases.

The judge seems thoroughly enjoying this trial. He shows no intention to finish this drama in five acts. He wants another act to follow.

The curtain falls we are all stunt. Susan visibly irritated had packed her suitcase already, makes arrangements on her phone for another dark night in New Westminster.

Act 6

No audience waiting like the other days. This drama is so emotional draining that we begin to see the toll.

Would they have known that the real highlight was yet to come.

The curtain rose. We bowed our head as the judge entered. I was stunned the judge appeared different. His suit was of much lighter colour. His tie was different. There was more light so it seemed.

Gordon rose, Susan rolled her eyes, Jason folded his hands and the judge gave Gordon respectfully his powerful but almost invisible nod.

This was Gordon’s moment.

I was mesmerized , I was elated, I was surprised, I was moved, I was in the middle of the battle of human minds where history came alive with battling soldiers, playing hockey in Korea and Gordons father dropping the puck. Only to be killed shortly after.

The Magna Charta  came alive in the courtroom through Gordons ancestors. Yes, Gordon was fighting the evil of communism in the country which battled communism in other parts of the world.

Gordon was finished. The court was silent………………..until Susan jumped up with a last attempt to highlight the reality that a milk bath is more dangerous than our corrupted agencies.  Susan did what she had to do.

She could have been my Valentine for a few days, but she threw my rose into a card board box.

The final curtain falls.

The books are closed everybody is hanging on the lips of the judge to catch the final words.

No ruling………… not for a while………. may be after the election.

Our cue….we have a job to do.

Michael Schmidt with the actor Mitch Smolkin, who played his role in the operetta.

If you missed Part 1, read it here.

Regarding the operetta: Back in 2009 some friends of raw milk and Michael Schmidt re-wrote the libretto of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta “Trial by Jury” to make it a “Milk Trial by Jury”. At the time they wrote it, the January 2010 acquittal had not been handed down yet by Justice Kowarsky and so they wrote two different endings for the piece. The original thought was that it would be performed sometime around when the court’s decision would be handed down in January 2010. However, due to complicating factors, it was not performed until July 2010 as part of the Symphony in the Barn summer season.


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7 responses to “Michael Schmidt reflects on the Little Chilliwack Dairy Court Drama, part 2

  1. Level Headed

    Thank you for both part I and II. It is encouraging to hear these events re-told. Her making fun of Michael’s accent and rolling her eyes (among other things) is very sad, I pity her. Her throwing the rose down is consistent with her disrespect for others, how sad, and these are all indicative of her convictions, and her actions and reactions define who she is. I do feel sorry for her. Many of us know many well-meaning individuals like her, but they cannot see past their grocery store shelf.
    I wish I had been there. Thank you for being there Michael and Gordon.
    And thank you for writing this.

  2. I am constantly amazed by the depth of knowledge that Gordon Watson has of the law and of his determination to make a difference. We are very fortunate to have such a strong advocate for raw milk as this man. He can be blunt and sometimes people don’t like what he says, but when push comes to shove he has the balls to stand up and speak his mind and the brains to research and learn everything he can to make his point. How many people are willing to go so far for a cause? Thank you Gordon for your good work on behalf of those of us who want to continue having raw milk.

    We also have to thank Michael Schmidt for not backing down when I’m quite certain it would have been far easier for him to do that years ago than to fight this fight. Without his unwavering determination to make some changes, the raw milk movement in Canada would not exist in the way it does today. We also wouldn’t have the vast number of raw milk farmers we have today or the number of consumers. The publicity of these trials that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars is serving to inform more consumers that there is a food they are being denied and helping to grow the movement. I guess I should also thank the government for their part in growing the raw milk movement to a point where thousands are accessing it and many many more are looking for it. Otherwise some of us would still be driving across the border to get our milk.

  3. Callaghan Grant

    BRAVO! Bravo, Michael! Bravo, Gordon! Encore! Encore! What a fool Susan was to snub your Valentine’s overature! She robbed herself!

  4. Richard Barrett

    Michael, keep your joy and love flowing. I know you have had a hard and challenging year. The way you wrote this, it kept me laughing, smiling, and thankful for your stand against an unjust government.

  5. Sounds like you both played a starring role in the theatrics. Unfortunate that so many thousands of dollars can be devoted to this when we see emergency rooms being run on shorter hours, MRI facilities being shut down and the list goes on. It shows where the priorities are. I should also mention the huge fleet shiney and expensive fully loaded hybrid vehicles cruising the B.C. highways.

  6. Pingback: Raw Milk Hostilities Fueled by Economics, Not Food Safety | Health Impact News

  7. Irina Makarski

    Being born in a “communist” country, I have all the reason and the right to despise the government corruption and violation of human rights deeply and passionately. But even then and there we were raised on row milk and could enjoy the benefits of healthy products, while our kids raised in our beautiful “democratic” society can’t. If we don’t mind corrupted officials to tell us what to eat, where to buy and how to raise out children today, tomorrow they may decide mothers must not breastfeed their children as they may find it “unsanitary”. It may seam like an exaggeration, but in fact, we are not so far from this if we continue in the same manner. Thanks a lot to Michael, Gordon and all their supporters for fighting for our freedom and our constitutional rights.

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