“Close to 300 people attended a rally outside a Newmarket courthouse on Wednesday in support of the right to produce and distribute raw.
The rally held at the Ontario Court of Justice, included a cow being milked, which was followed by a milk and cookies protest, said Durham-area farmer Michael Schmidt who has for decades been fighting for the right to produce and distribute raw milk.
“There was a cow right in front of the courthouse, which got milked,” said Schmidt. “There were friends from the U.S. there who have been important in the changing of legislation in the U.S.”
The rally was held in advance of a court hearing to determine if an order will be issued to enforce the ban on the distribution of raw milk in Ontario.
In Ontario it is illegal to sell, deliver or distribute unpasteurized milk and the provincial government has stepped up efforts to shut down the farm that was once operated by Schmidt….”
“In a separate notice the same court is being asked to prohibit the sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk products in the Region of York. Michael Schmidt is named on that one, as is the Church of the Christian Community on Rutherford Road in Vaughan Township, a drop off point where cow share holders pick up their products delivered from the farm near Durham once a week.
Schmidt said the courtroom had to be cleared and reassigned on Wednesday because of the large crowd in attendance.
“It was an incredible strong showing of people visibly upset that this keeps on going,” said Schmidt, who added the reason for the rally was to show solidarity and to send the message to “stop criminalizing farmers.”
Schmidt said the injunction is being sought so criminal charges can be laid against those who produce and distribute raw milk.
“If you break the injunction it becomes criminal and it is not any more a civil or regulatory offence,” said Schmidt. “They are basically criminalizing farmers.”…”