From a recent news release from Kimberly Hartke:
Recent swat-style raids and arrest warrants on small farmers have inspired mothers and other activists to take their message, and a cow, to the courthouse where they plan to gather for a peaceful milk and cookies picnic. The rally will be at 8:30 am on March 16, 2016 Ontario Court of Justice 50 Eagle Street West in Newmarket Ontario.
The gathering will be followed by a court hearing to determine if an order will be issued to enforce the ban on distribution of raw milk in Ontario. Explicitly targeted by the application is anyone–mothers, farmers, fathers, health practitioners–who are engaged in distribution of raw milk or even ‘counseling others to….distribute unpasteurized milk.”
“We envision farmers peacefully feeding their communities, so we and future generations may be nurtured by the gifts of the land. And in turn nurture the earth through our inherent connections,” Says Marta Bak, an owner of a raw milk farm. “We are here today to make our voices heard and counted so that we may continue to engage in this peaceful activity with the farmers we know and love.”
Glencolton farms, a pristine biodynamic farm in the lush hills of Durham, is at the center of the controversy. Michael Schmidt, farm manager at Glencolton and one of the farmers named on the application for injunction, has faced legal issues since 1994. Ontario authorities have been challenged by Schmidt’s persistence in providing fresh milk to people who want it. Due to legal rulings, members of Glencolton Farms acquired full ownership of the farm in 2012 in order to be in compliance with Ontario law.
Protestors at the Wednesday rally do not agree with the law banning distribution of raw milk and have worked on changing it for years.
“We will assert our fundamental right to access the foods of our choice,” says Elisa Vander Hout. “For years, we have offered an open dialogue with the Ontario government. We have won court cases that reinforced our right to do this. But the Ontario government does not recognize these wins and keeps appealing. All we are doing is continuing to peacefully farm and supply our community with the food they are asking for. We are not criminals and should not be treated like criminals. Raw milk is available worldwide. Now it is time for Canada to catch up. Our Queen drinks it, so should we.”