Raw Milk Loses, Obstruction Appeal

Earlier today, Michael Schmidt’s Facebook feed had three text only posts that read: “Justice Sutherland has rendered his ruling. WE LOST. No Raw milk for anybody.” “In case people don’t know they now have the power to enter the farm ANYTIME”. “IF THEY COME TO SHUT US DOWN, I can be jailed because I informed you that they can come anytime”.

York Region and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture were successful with their injunction actions. York Region had brought an injunction seeking to make the distribution of raw milk within the region illegal. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture brought a separate injunction seeking to essentially shut down the raw milk operations of at Glencolton Farms. The two proceedings were subsequently amalgamated, and the court released its decision earlier today.

Just before the Christmas break we caught up with Michael Schmidt on the November 14, 2017 conviction on charges of obstructing a peace officer. Michael had been serving a 60-day “rehabilitation and deterrence” sentence on weekends at the Central North Corrections Centre in Penetanguishine, Ontario. Today’s decision in the injunction proceedings serves to magnify the injustices imposed by authorities on our right to food freedom.

Michael shared with us that, after serving two weekends of his sentence, he was able to file a formal Notice of Intent to Appeal the ruling which led to his incarceration. As a result, his sentence is suspended pending resolution of the appeal and no weekend attendances in Penetanguishine are required at this time.

As is typical with most court proceedings, the appeal process is a long and drawn-out affair. Michael has filed a general Notice of Intent to Appeal and awaits receipt of the transcripts from the original hearing so that he can prepare his comprehensive appeal documents for filing with the court. Once that procedure has taken place, there will be a waiting period for the Crown to file their response. A hearing date will then be assigned followed by a ruling from the appeal court judges. This could take upwards of a year or more.

The Bovine wrote about the details of Michael Schmidt’s release on bail pending appeal.

Ontario lawyer, Karen Selick, wrote about the destruction of relevant police records surrounding the obstruction charges against Michael Schmidt and his co-defendants.