“OWEN SOUND, Ont. — Durham, Ont., raw milk proponent Michael Schmidt said Monday he’s still pondering whether it’s worth seeking leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision against him to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“Is it worthwhile going to the Supreme Court to look at that and throw that ruling out? Or if we just, you know, leave it at that because we’ve moved on anyhow,” he said in a telephone interview.
Five or six years ago the structure of his farm changed, he said, away from the cow-share arrangement which the Court of Appeal decided last month didn’t exempt him from public health laws forbidding the sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk. The court also dismissed Charter of Rights and Freedoms arguments.
“The people don’t own a cow anymore, they actually own a share in the farm,” Schmidt said. “So they have a share in the land, in the machinery, in the animals, in basically in everything, OK?
“So that has completely changed. It’s a farm-share operation. It’s basically a co-operative.”
He has 60 days from the March 11 decision to seek leave from the Supreme Court to appeal.
Schmidt said the raw-milk operation at his home is called Agricultural Renewal Co-operative.
He said he holds no position in it other than “maybe you’d call it an advisory role or something like that… But I have absolutely, I have no ownership in it, I’m not sitting on the board of directors, nothing.”
As for compensation from the co-operative, “I can live here. That’s my compensation.”
“The reality is, people are legally allowed to drink milk,” he said. “So either we keep going back to court and fight about it or the government (gives) us an indication how the people who need the milk can in fact obtain the milk.”…”