Regular readers of the Bovine may have noticed a dearth of stories about Michael Schmidt in recent months.
A couple of weeks ago, the eighth anniversary of the 2006 raid on Michael’s Glencolton Farms passed with no fanfare, no demonstrations, and not even a commemorative post on The Bovine.
Michael Schmidt has just about disappeared from public view. There’ve been no trips to speak at faraway conferences, no rallies of raw milk supporters, no media interviews. It would seem Michael has quite consciously stepped back from his former role in the limelight as a public advocate for raw milk and food rights.
And aside from a smattering of stories in the press earlier this fall when Canada’s Supreme Court turned down Michael’s bid to have them hear an appeal of the case that began with that 2006 raid, there has been almost complete radio silence on the Schmidt front.
The last news we heard was simply that Michael’s request to appeal his case to the Supreme Court of Canada was turned down this past autumn. So what then?
But to recap the story, back in January of 2010, despite an earlier conviction for contempt of court in 2008, Michael was acquitted on all charges stemming from the Nov. 2006 raid on his farm. For a month or so, it looked like the start of a new era for raw milk in Ontario.
The Crown then appealed that decision, leading to a conviction in April 2011, followed by sentencing in December 2011.
Michael asked for and was given leave to appeal that reversal, which he did in Feb. of 2014. Michael lost that appeal as the appeal court upheld the prior conviction. That appeal court decision was announced in March 2014.
Which is why there was a request made to have the Supreme Court of Canada hear the case. The Supreme Court’s subsequent decision not to hear the case, as announced in August 2014, would seem to leave it at pretty much a legal dead end.
Chronology of the Case in Posts on the Bovine
Early next year, however, Michael Schmidt will be back in court along with farmer Montana Jones in February and March of 2015 for a preliminary trial stemming from charges of conspiracy related to sheep-napping. Details here.