Tag Archives: Canadian Constitution Foundation

Raw milk gets its day in court — Feb. 5, Michael Schmidt at Osgoode Hall

The Bovine reports:

Snow falls as farmer Michael Schmidt and Canadian Constitution Foundation lawyer Derek James From answer reporters’ questions on the steps of Osgoode Hall, during a lunch break Wednesday.

More than 100 raw milk supporters from across the province made the trek through stormy weather to Toronto’s Osgoode Hall to hear the third-round appeal in Michael Schmidt’s raw milk saga last Wednesday Feb. 5th. Continue reading


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Raw Milk and Michael Schmidt in court today, Feb. 5th, Osgoode Hall, Toronto

Today is a big day for raw milk in Ontario.

Photo of Michael Schmidt with Canadian Constitution Foundation lawyer Karen Selick on the steps of Osgoode Hall back in July 2012 following a successful request to be able to appeal Michael’s 2011 conviction on raw milk charges related to the 2006 raid on his farm near Durham Ontario. Now finally that appeal is to be heard today February 5th, 2014.  Photo David Pickett.

Supporters of raw milk and food rights from across the province will be on hand today in Toronto to show their support to Michael Schmidt as he and his lawyers argue that the 2011 conviction against him on raw milk charges should be overturned. Continue reading


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Raw milk showdown at Osgoode Hall

From the Canadian Constitution Foundation blog, “The Justice Report”, by Derek From:

Photo credit: National Post.

On February 5th, 2014, the Canadian Constitution Foundation will ask the Ontario Court of Appeal whether the government can take away your freedom to eat foods to promote your health when those foods cause harm to no one.

CCF client, Michael Schmidt, grew up in rural Germany where the sale of unpasteurized milk is legal. He obtained a masters degree in agriculture in 1978, writing his thesis on bio-dynamic farming—an early form of modern organic agriculture. He developed the “cow-share” concept in Germany for the purpose of reconnecting consumers and producers to ensure a safe milk supply. Continue reading

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Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt in Cobourg Court, March 27, 2013

Supporters and media are not being encouraged to show up at the courthouse in Cobourg for the proceedings this Wednesday March 27th. As Karen Selick states in the media release below, the actual trial of this case will be many months in the future. Legal counsel for the defense, however, will be seeking changes to travel restriction which are currently a part of bail conditions. 

Montana Jones, Michael Schmidt, sheep Image via Montana Jones

Belleville—The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) confirmed today that their clients Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt will appear in Provincial Court in Cobourg, Ontario on March 27, 2013 in connection with charges relating to the disappearance of 31 rare Shropshire sheep in April, 2012.

The sheep were scheduled for slaughter by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on suspicion of having a disease called “scrapie” but they disappeared from Montana Jones’ barn before the CFIA arrived to seize them.  A note saying that the sheep had been taken into “protective custody” was found in the barn, signed by a previously unknown group called the Famers Peace Corps.  The 31 sheep were ultimately found and tested negative for an illness called “scrapie.” Continue reading


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CCF litigation director Karen Selick writes to the CFIA re their plan to kill four of Montana Jones’ lambs

This letter was sent to the CFIA on August 31st on Montana Jones’ account, by her lawyer, Karen Selick, litigation director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation. As of Sept 5, no answer has yet been received.

Inspector Duane Boyd attended at Ms. Jones’ home on August 29 and informed her that he intended to kill four of her lambs that day.  For reasons which are not clear to us, he failed to conduct the euthanization that day.  Perhaps it was the arrival of the cameras from CHEX-TV that dissuaded him.

We have no idea what the CFIA’s intentions may be at this point, but obviously the element of surprise is gone.  We suspect that perhaps CFIA staff are planning to re-attend at the farm over the upcoming Labour Day weekend when they think Ms. Jones will be less able to contact her lawyer, the media, and supportive friends. Continue reading


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Canadians jailed over unpaid fines

From Karen Selick on The Justice Report:

“Canadian news sources reported today that the federal government is seeking a collection agency to handle the task of collecting some $129 million in unpaid fines.  See, for instance, this story in The Globe and Mail.

The part that interested me is that approximately 150 people were sent to jail from April 2010 to March 2011 for refusing to pay federally imposed fines that the government says they have the ability to pay.  (See page 14 of the Annual Report of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), here.)  In fiscal 2009-2010, that number was 265 people.  In 2008-2009, it was 165. Continue reading

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You have the right to remain silent, and film the proceedings — Karen Selick

Canadian Constitution Foundation litigation director Karen Selick, writing in the National Post:

That’s “Ur-Papparazo”, Ron Galella, in the football helmet, stalking his celebrity prey. Marlon Brando (left) had previously punched him in the face during a prior encounter. Galella was the subject of the recent documentary “Smash his Camera”. Photo copyright Ron Galella.

What have cops got against cameras these days? Increasingly, people are getting arrested, charged or even assaulted by police officers, merely for attempting to take photos or videos of officers at work. Often, police simply command people to stop photographing. Scared into thinking they must be breaking some law, citizens comply.

When Polish visitor Robert Dziekanski died after being tasered at the Vancouver airport in 2007, police seized the now famous video made by witness Paul Pritchard, who had to hire a lawyer and threaten court proceedings to get it back. Continue reading


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Another day in court for raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt — Sun News

From the Toronto Sun: 

Click image above to go to Sun News site to watch video

“TORONTO — These hallowed walls of Ontario’s highest court have heard arguments about murders and embezzlements, bitter divorces and ugly assaults.

But the Court of Appeal has never before been asked to rule on the legality of distributing unpasteurized milk. That’s about to change.

It didn’t take long for Justice Eileen Gillese to decide that raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt deserves yet another day in court. After listening to morning arguments, she ruled the dairy farmer, originally acquitted in 2010, should be allowed to appeal his 2011 conviction for selling his controversial product. Continue reading


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Michael Schmidt and raw milk in court today, July 26, Osgoode Hall, Toronto

Today (Thursday July 26th) is the day when raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt returns to court at Osgoode Hall, Toronto to argue that an appeal of the judgements against him for raw milk offenses should be allowed by the court.

Osgoode Hall. Photo via the Law Society of Upper Canada. Click image to go to their website.

Michael Schmidt’s court appearance will take place at the Ontario Court of Appeal, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West (at University), Toronto.  Court will start at 9:30 a.m.  Spectators are permitted.  People who wish to attend should be aware that they will have to go through security to enter the building.  Continue reading

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Media advisory — Michael Schmidt at Court of Appeal on July 26, 9:30 a.m.

From the Canadian Constitution Foundation:

TORONTO: Dairy farmer Michael Schmidt will return to court on Thursday, July 26, 2012 seeking leave from the Ontario Court of Appeal to appeal his convictions on 13 counts relating to the sale and distribution of raw (unpasteurized) milk.

The motion will take place in Courtroom 1, in Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto (NE corner of Queen St. and University Ave.) commencing at 9:30 a.m. and is expected to take approximately 3 hours.

Spectators and media representatives are welcome to attend.

Schmidt’s lawyer Karen Selick will also be asking the court for permission to re-open the cross-examination of the Crown’s expert witnesses.  A study published several months after Schmidt’s trial found that although pasteurization kills the pathogenic bacteria E.coli O157:H7, it does not inactivate the related Shiga toxin.  Selick says the expert testimony at trial may have led the court to believe that pasteurization renders milk safe from pathogenic E.coli when in fact it may not. Continue reading

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