Tag Archives: Chris Schafer

Michael Schmidt’s raw milk tribulations as an example of the evisceration of liberty in Canadian courts

From the Fraser Institute.org

by Karen Selick, Derek From, and Chris Schafer

A scene from the operetta “Milk Trial by Jury”, a retelling of the Michael Schmidt story with music by Gilbert and Sullivan. July 2010

“….A constitutional guarantee of liberty, to be consistent with J.S. Mill’s description, should ensure that everyone has the right to freely pursue their own happiness as long as their actions do not harm others. Such a constitutional guarantee would protect individuals from unjustified state inference with their chosen way of life. But there are many ways in which the courts in Canada have permitted the government to impede individual liberty.

For example, the government may confiscate your property without compensation (R. v. Tener). It can force you to have your photo taken even if it conflicts with your deeply held religious beliefs (Alberta v. Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony). It can force parents to educate their children in a particular fashion (R. v. Jones). It can force individuals to pay union fees even if they are not union members (Lavigne v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union). It can punish you for putting certain substances in your body (R. v. Malmo-Levine; R. v. Caine). And it can prohibit you from entering into mutually agreeable contracts with other individuals (Reference re ss. 193 & 195.1(1)(c) of Criminal Code (Canada)). Continue reading

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CCF – the legal engine behind Michael Schmidt and the ongoing fight for raw milk freedom in Canada’s courts of law

From Chris Schafer, lawyer and executive director, Canadian Constitution Foundation:

Farmer Michael Schmidt with litigation director Karen Selick and executive director Chris Schafer of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, at this summer's Liberty Summer Seminars.

Late last week the fight for food freedom suffered a setback. The Ontario Court of Justice reversed a lower court decision and found Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt guilty on 15 of the 19 charges related to his raw milk cow-share program. Schmidt had been acquitted of all charges by Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky in January, 2010, but the Ontario government and the Grey Bruce Health Unit appealed that decision.

The lawyers at the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), a registered charity, defended Michael Schmidt on a pro-bono (no cost) basis and will continue to do so on appeal of this most recent court decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The CCF supports Canadians who want to be free to decide what they feed their families and themselves. Continue reading

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