Markus, Elisa, and Michael with a stack of documents outside the Newmarket court house after day three. Elisa said she just wanted to go home and sleep, after presenting for most of the day.
Day three of the hearing of the injunction applications from Ontario Milk Director Gavin Downing, and the Region of York was devoted to presentations from the respondents — Elisa van der Hout (on behalf of the Agricultural Renewal Coop), Rev. Jonah Evans (on behalf of the Christian Community church) and Markus Schmidt (representing himself).
Michael Schmidt and Lewis (Skip) Taylor (speaking on behalf of Our Farm Our Food coop) will present their responses to the application on Monday June 5th.
Michael Schmidt will be appearing in another court later this week to answer obstruction charges related to the Oct. 2, 2015 raid on Glencolton Farms.
A more detailed report on what was said will follow later in this space, but for now, here’s a video from Marianne Else, about the day’s proceedings:
Also watch the video and read the report on day three from Roger Klein at CTV Barrie
Lewis (Skip) Taylor talks to a reporter from CTV during the lunch break.
About two hundred coop shareholders, supporters, and interested members of the public came out today to Newmarket court to hear the start of the application for injunctions regarding the Glencolton Farms raw milk operation.
Although the hearing was scheduled for 9:30 am, it was nearly 11 am by the time things got underway in earnest. Some of that first hour and a half was taken up with a motion from the lawyer for Ontario Milk Director Gavin Downing (subsequently referred to here as “the Crown lawyer”). This motion would have converted Our Farm Our Food Coop’s status at the hearing to that of a respondent (from being an intervener). Council for OFOF, Lewis (Skip) Taylor objected to the motion, saying he would need time to consult with the members, because the motion had been filed so late. The Crown lawyer decided not to pursue it further.
The lawyers for the Crown and for the Region of York agreed that the ARC Coop and the Christian Community church could be represented by non-lawyers. Elisa van der Hout will represent ARC, which is the workers coop at the farm, and Jonah Evans will represent the church.
Most of Monday was taken up by presentations by the lawyer for the Crown. Both he and the lawyer for York Region were to have finished their presentations today — which raises the question as to whether the proceedings will be finished on Tuesday as originally envisioned. Tuesday was to have been devoted to hearing from the respondents, and presumably some counter-arguments after that.
Two reporters were on hand to cover the proceedings. A York Region Media Group reporter was there in the morning, interviewing people outside the courtroom. And a reporter from CTV Barrie was present during the morning court proceedings. He stayed to interview Lewis Taylor, counsel for OFOF, Michael Schmidt and Elisa van der Hout, over lunch hour. Continue reading
Video interview with Markus Schmidt (Michael Schmidt’s son) by Marianne:
The story below was originally published in the May 2017 edition of the Glencolton Moos (newsletter for Our Farm Our Food Coop members). It was written by Carl, who has been working in the administration at Glencolton Farms:
How far will we go to secure the future of local, healthful food in Canada? On May 28 and 29, Michael Schmidt, Elisa Vander Hout, Markus Schmidt, Agricultural Renewal Co-op (i.e., Glencolton Farms), Skip Taylor (representing Our Farm, Our Food Co-op [OFOF]), the Christian Community Church, many OFOF members, and many members of the wider community will be attending a court hearing that will decide the future of raw-milk drinking in Canada, and that will affect the whole small-scale farming community, as well as those who depend on it to get the food they want.
With this last point in mind, we here at Glencolton Farms want to emphasize that this court case is not just about unpasteurized milk. It is about the future of farming and small-scale agriculture as a way to obtain healthful, wholesome food that we feel proud to share with our families. It is about maintaining a connection with our local farmers so that each and every one of us knows where our food comes from, how it is grown, and what goes into growing it. Continue reading
March 3 2017—Ontario, Canada— EIN Presswire — A highly anticipated drama will unfold in the Walkerton Courtroom starting Monday, where Glencolton Farms coop owners will re-live the dramatic stand-off at the farm where they source their food. On Monday, March 6, 2017 at Walkerton (County of Bruce) Courthouse in Ontario, 207 Cayley Street, 3 farmers and a colleague face charges of obstructing police officers during a farm raid. The trial is set to begin at 9:30am.
The four men on trial are Michael Schmidt an outspoken activist on food rights who lives on the farm that was raided; Robert Pinnell, farm hand and mechanic; John Schnurr, business consultant; and George Bothwell.
The four men, along with a fifth whose charges have since been dropped, were charged with obstructing a peace officer during a well-publicized raid on Glencolton Farms on October 2nd 2015.
Glencolton Farms has been the center of the Canadian raw milk battle for over 23 years. Glencolton Farms is owned by 150 families who are members in the Our Farm, Our Foods cooperative.
As Trial Nears for One Farm, the Supporters Take Action on Raw Milk Policy and Access
Toronto, Canada– September 23, 2016—Raw milk itself is on trial, say supporters, at a Monday September 26, two-day hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice. The past year has seen an unprecedented rise in consumer awareness, demand, and action to obtain this food. Raw milk drinkers cite a number of reasons for drinking raw milk from health reasons and taste, to political. For some immigrants, raw milk is a staple food in their native country.
The Ministry of Health does not think anyone should be able to access raw milk or drinking the beverage. The hearing will be held in the court building at 50 Eagle Street, West, Newmarket, Ontario.
In January of this year, York Region, The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry 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. The hearing is to determine if the applications can be converted into an action. If successful, this would change the dynamics of the procedure from a hearing to a proper trial. People interested in procuring raw milk want this case to appear before a jury. Our Farm, Our Food Coop, one of the many organizations in support of consumer choice, has filed a motion to intervene as an added party to the proceedings, which would give all members a voice to defend their right to the foods of their choice. Continue reading
The following message was circulated today to the farmshare community around Michael Schmidt and Glencolton Farms:
“We need your quiet presence in court on Monday, September 26 and Tuesday September 27, 2016
Michael Schmidt, Agricultural Renewal Coop, mothers, fathers, pastors and anyone involved in fresh milk production or consumption is threatened with arrest if they continue to provide raw milk or even encourage others to provide raw milk. The court proceedings are giving us a voice and we need YOU to stand with us. With 70 affidavits from farm owners, Michael and the attorneys are making the argument that this is a case of public interest. We need you there to help prove it!
Background: York Region put in a motion for permanent injunction against distribution of raw milk. There is a motion in front of the court right now to have the application from York region to converted from an application to an action. This would change the dynamics of the procedure from a hearing before a judge to a trial before a jury. We want this case to appear before a jury.
ACTION: Show the courts this is a case of public interest! Join us in peaceful presence as we witness court proceedings against Michael Schmidt, his family, the entire herdshare and food freedom itself. Your presence is the strongest message we can send.
WHEN: Monday, September 26 and Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 8:30a.m.-4:00pm each day
WHERE: Ontario Court of Justice, 50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket Ontario. Self-parking is available”
From Liz Reitzig on the Nourishing Liberty blog:
“Perhaps it was the simplicity that made me smile. Or maybe it was the newness—I’d never heard a pre-meal blessing that was so simple. But there it was, we were all sitting around the table at Glencolton Farms saying this blessing before a steaming bowl of carrot and ginger soup topped with all the sour cream we could want. A wheel of freshly made brie and homemade rolls dripping with fresh butter and glasses full of fresh, creamy milk completed the meal. “Wow,” I thought. “Does food really get any better than this? Certainly this prayer works. We have in front of us all the goodness and abundance one could want in their food!”
Here I was, eating a meal that was produced mainly on this farm. The butter, sour cream and milk, all came from these cows. The cheese was from their milk and made right there. The bread, baked in the bakery downstairs, and the soup—made from their own carrots and chicken stock. Continue reading