Newmarket, Canada—September 27, 2016—At a two-day hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice Tuesday, in a dramatic turn of events, farmers walk away from the proceedings claiming the proceedings are not about justice.
The farmers, Elisa Vander Hout and Michael Schmidt, and representatives of Our Farm Our Food coop will hold a press conference on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 3:00pm 901 Rutherford Road Vaughan, Ontario, Canada at the Christian Community Church. At the press conference, Elisa Vander Hout will address the reasons that she withdrew her participation in the court proceedings and next steps for the farm owners.
“There is no justice in the courts,” claims Elisa Vander Hout, farmer at Glencolton Farms. “I would rather risk arrest than continue down this vicious cycle in the court system. The public needs to see what the Canadian government is doing here—they are criminalizing farmers and mothers, for choosing foods produced on our farms.”
During Tuesday’s proceedings, the judge told Vander Hout that the bureaucrats could not have a conversation with the farm owners because that would be like getting legal advice. Vander Hout, Schmidt and the hundreds of coop members are requesting dialogue with the bureaucrats to move this issue forward without criminal charges.
The past year has seen an unprecedented rise in consumer interest in raw milk as well as escalating, aggressive action against Elisa Vander Hout, Michael Schmidt and the Glencolton Farms community.
“It is clear that the government will stop at nothing to persecute and prosecute peaceful farmers,” states Schmidt. “I have spent more time in courtrooms and under surveillance this past year than I have farming. As a farmer, it is my calling and my right to feed my community. This is what humans have done for millennia. The Ministry of Health interfering with private commerce is not right.”
In January of this year, York Region, The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Health filed an application to get an injunction against the distribution or sale of raw milk against Michael Schmidt, Elisa Vander Hout, Glencolton Farms, Agricultural Renewal Coop and anyone who provides, distributes or recommends raw milk.
Our Farms, Our Foods Coop is a 200 member cooperative formed for the purpose of boarding personal cows with a responsible dairyman. The group is just one of the many interested stakeholders in the petition to the Canadian Parliament. For additional information on raw milk www.realmilk.com