The following is a roundup of news and views on the raw milk situation in Ontario heading into the May 29th and 30th court dates at which the injunction applications by the Ontario Milk Director and by the Region of York will be considered. If approved those injunctions would result in court orders shutting down the “milk plant” at Glencolton Farms, and distribution to Our Farm Our Food Coop members in York Region and elsewhere. The proposed injunctions would also criminalize the act of advocating the consumption of raw milk:
This video was recently posted by farmer Michael Schmidt:
From Liz Reitzig:
The Canadian Government is gearing up to criminalize raw milk consumption!
Show up to court on May 29-30 at 9:00am. This hearing is the most crucial one in the 23 years of the raw milk battle in Ontario. It goes to the core of food rights.
- Show up in court on May 29-30, 2017 9:00am to send a clear message that Canadians care about food rights. (If you are unable to make it due to geography or logistics, please share this message far and wide) The courthouse is located at 50 Eagle Street Newmarket Ontario
- Donate to help cover ongoing court costs https://www.gofundme.com/foodrights
In October 2015, Glencolton Farm was raided for the third time. During this raid, several farm owners stood in defense of their right to farm and have access to their foods. Continue reading
From the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund:
“This June the trial of Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt and three other farmers for obstructing a police officer will resume. The charge stems from a 2015 raid of Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms where members of a food cooperative obtaining raw milk products and other foods from Schmidt stopped police from confiscating those foods.
The province of Ontario and local government authorities have been prosecuting Schmidt since 1994 for distributing raw milk, spending millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money in the process. The sale and distribution of raw milk have remained illegal throughout this entire time in all Canadian provinces. It’s interesting to contrast the provinces’ refusal to change laws on raw milk sales with legal developments in the U.S. over the past 23 years.
While provincial and local governments have been wasting millions of dollars since 1994 in prosecuting Schmidt, 16 states in the U.S. have either legalized the sale and/or distribution of raw milk or increased access to it through changes in statute, regulation, or policy. The states are Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Continue reading
Michael Schmidt raw milk story is getting some “ink” on Modern Farmer:
“The latest court battle isn’t actually even about distributing raw milk, per se. Schmidt and four others, John Schnurr, a business consultant; and George Bothwell, Robert Pinnell, and Enos Martin, all farmers, were charged with obstructing a peace officer after a standoff at Schmidt’s farm during a October 2015 raid by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Natural Resources, along with local police. This was the third raid on the farm. The first was in 1994 and the second in 2006,
In this latest raid, around 50 people—mostly co-op members—blocked the farm’s entrance with a tractor and prevented the officers from removing some of the farm’s equipment. Pinnel and Martin later had their charges dismissed, but the other men, who are representing themselves, are still fighting it out in provincial court. After a 1o-day trial in March, the case was adjourned until June due to scheduling conflicts. The prosecution has finished its case and the defense is set to begin when the trial resumes, says Schmidt….”
Get the full story on “Modern Farmer”.
Court report just in from farmer Michael Schmidt:
Ken McPherson, formerly a detective with the West Grey Police, addresses the crowd at the standoff October 2, 2015, from which the obstruction charges, now being tried in Walkerton, are related.
Six weeks after the standoff at Glencolton Farms on October 2.2015 five arrest warrants were issued. As a result Michael Schmidt, John Schnurr and Robert Pinnell turned themselves in at the West Grey Police Station. They got arrested, fingerprinted, mug-shots were taken and then they were released.
Enos Martin a local farmer never got notified. They violently arrested him three times on the same charge, twice on the same day and a third time weeks later in front of his crying wife and young children. He ended up in hospital filed a complained to charge the officers for assault. His charges got dropped.
The arrest warrant for George Hugh Bothwell was made public by West Grey Police in the Owen Sound Sun Times. No success.
A facebook page FIND GEORGE achieved only humorous postings and George Hugh Bothwell was not to be “found”, despite Geo happily living and farming at home.
Ken McPherson is the West Grey Detective in charge of investigating the failed spy camera affair, was in attendance as a peace officer at the raid October 2. 2015. He laid the charges and issued the arrest warrants for the 5 accused.
He suddenly resigned from West Grey Police and deleted all his e mails on the police computer according to a response from the Police department after a Freedom of Information request had been filed. Continue reading
Perhaps in connection with the latest court appearance today and yesterday of five men charged in connection with the October 2, 2015 raid on Glencolton Farms, The National Post and the Financial Post have recently run stories highlighting the absurd amount of money which the government has been spending on prosecuting farmer Michael Schmidt and his friends over what amount to victimless crimes of supplying raw milk to people who want it.
Says Michael Schmidt: “Wow we found George. After 15 months on the lam he showed up in court to answer to charges against a Bothwell Hugh The judge instead of being happy to see him ordered him arrested. 5 riot cops took care of him and later we got happily re- United. He got released on his terms according to him.” That’s George in the middle between Michael Schmidt on the left and co-accused Robert Pinnell, on the right.
Word from the farm is that Michael has fallen sick, and so has gotten sick leave from court for two days. The trial is postponed until Thursday, March 9 and will go until March 10.
Michael is uncertain how far we will get, if at all, as fitting a five-day trial into two days seems a bit far-fetched.
For those of you who did not know, this trial is for the obstruction charges relating to the October 2015 raid on the farm.
Supporters are encouraged to attend the trial which will be in Walkerton, now on March 9th and 10th.
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.