Canadian Raw Milk in Parliament

 

New Canadian Raw Milk Petition Grants Producers, Consumers a Possible Voice in Policy

 

QueenieCanadian raw milk is gaining appeal to the people of Canada. Canadian citizen, Cory Harris, has launched a petition directed to the Minister of Health. The petition states, in part:

“We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Health to Modernize and amend the Food and Drugs Act and the corresponding Food and Drug Regulations, to permit the legal sale of, and/or access to, raw (i.e. unpasteurized) milk and milk products through small scale certified herd share programs, or other such suitable arrangements, capable of managing any associated health risks in a responsible and reasonable manner.”

In Canada, this petition is required to be brought before the House of Commons if it reaches 500 signature before the end date. As of this writing, the Canadian raw milk petition is over 3,400 signatures with an August 11, 2016 deadline for signatures.

The Canadian government is required to respond to each petition that is read in the House of Commons. The government has 45 days to respond to each petition that garners the necessary number of signatures. Once the deadline passes, the petition will be read in the House of Commons when they return from recess.

Canadians have the opportunity to make this the number one issue on the petition site with an influx of signatures over the next two months. This would send the message loudly and clearly that it is past time the Canadian government reevaluates its outdated position on the prohibition of fresh milk. Please sign the petition and ask your Canadian raw milk friends to do the same.

Different than the US, the Prime Minister’s cabinet is made up of sitting Members of Parliament (MPs). These members are elected to their position in the House of Commons and then chosen by the Prime Minister as members of his cabinet. The current minister of Health, which is the designated recipient of the petition, is Jane Philpott. She will most likely be the one who responds to the petition after it is presented in the House of Commons.

As the Canadian raw milk petition makes its way through the proper procedures, there will be many opportunities to ask friends in Canada to share and sign the petition, write letters and bring greater awareness of raw milk to the Canadian public. Make sure to stay up to date on what’s happening by following this blog.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Urgent Update on Glencolton Farms

To survive the government harassment, Michael and Elisa of Glencolton Farms make an urgent appeal for legal defense funds.

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt on food freedom

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt on food freedom

As the Canadian government continues their targeted harassment of Michael Schmidt, farmer at Glencolton Farms, the legal cases continue through the Canadian court system. Michael Schmidt’s 23 year-battle with the Canadian government has entered a new chapter. This time, the Canadian government has taken a new approach by targeting all consumers of raw milk in addition to the farmers.

 

 

Agents harass Michael and Elisa and other farm owners while raiding Glencolton Farms

In this video, that is sure to make your blood boil, Canadian agents threaten peaceful farmers while farm co-owners express their opinions in October of 2015.

Current Court Battles

In February of 2016, the Provincial government filed an application for injunction against Michael Schmidt, his wife and son and, for the first time, all the herdshare members or anyone involved in distribution including property owners who allow their space to be used as a drop site for Glencolton Farms.

At a past court hearing on March 16, 2016, the court set a date in September for the final hearing on the applications. Since that time, Michael and attorneys for the coop have successfully argued for a separate hearing on the motion to have a jury trial. It is unlikely that this case will be heard as soon as September. Whether it happens sooner or later, Michael Schmidt and the Canadian people need your support to continue this fight and to set a beneficial precedent.

Michael and Elisa recently sent out a message to their supporters reminding them that legal fees are necessary and should be shared by all with an interest in Glencolton Farms or raw milk from any source. Since this case will be watched throughout Canada and the US, it is imperative that those of us who care about food access and the farmers who feed us also take note and contribute where we can.

Letter from Michael and Elisa to supporters:

(For additional information and background on the case, the Bovine has comprehensive coverage of the cases and actions against food freedom related to Glencolton Farms.)

June 2016

Dear Supporters,

By now you must know that Government is very serious to shut down any attempts of people to make an informed choice about their milk, their food and their individual relationship to their farmer and farmer to their shareholders.

This battle is going on for me now over 22 years. I have been in and out of court so many times that it is impossible to even count. Endless nights are spent on formulating defence, filing papers, responding to new threats.

Our beloved farm has been the focus of at least 3 major raids with up to 25 armed officers.

I have fines of over 100 000 dollars hanging over my head, got a jail sentence in BC for helping a raw milk farm there.

We are now in our last round. There is so much at stake that we at Glencolton Farms might as well pack it in unless supporters of food freedom understand that we cannot do it alone.

We are willing to fight. But we are not willing to worry 24 hours a day how to pay the lawyer to defend that last action.

We keep shelving out money, some money comes in from some members and a trickle here and there from other farmers. That is NOT enough.

We are not able to continue this fight unless we know that everyone will do ALL you can to raise legal funds.

We don’t have the money either, but we have to keep paying and paying and paying out of our last resources.

We are asking all our supporters and all those who want food freedom to please step up:

10 dollars a week, or 50 dollars a month or 500 dollars in one shot.

Unless we raise these funds we will have absolutely no chance of succeeding.

So we might as well pack it in now put a for sale sign up and look back in 10 years how we have miserably failed to bring about positive change.

Thank you for your support. It is through a true community and through our efforts together that we will succeed. Please donate directly to our legal expenses here.

The time is now

Elisa and Michael

Note: if you are donating from the US, the exchange rate is currently to our advantage; your generosity will go further in Canada. Thank you

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Canadian Raw Milk Petition

Queenie

Canadian Raw Milk Petition Garners Thousands of Signatures in a Few Weeks

Just a couple of weeks after we originally reported on this petition, the Canadian Raw milk petition has soared past 2700 signatures putting it in the top 12 active petitions on the site.

When we first reported on it, we asked members to send the information to friends and family in Canada so they could sign the Canadian Raw Milk Petition. While we have made it past the initial 500 signatures needed in order to make sure this issue is heard in Parliament, we want to see the Canadian Raw Milk Petition in the top three on the site so that we can show the Canadian government and the Canadian people that a policy change is long past due.

Please add your voice to the other thousands who have signed by going to the petition site and filling out the requested information.

Action:

  1. Sign the petition
  2. Using email or social media, spread the word and ask others to sign it. Sample wording below.

Canadian citizens are petitioning their government to create meaningful dialogue about raw milk availability. Please sign this petition and ask others to do the same. You do not need to be a raw milk drinker or even a supporter to sign this petition. This is about our rights as citizens to choose the foods of our choice from the producer of our choice.

Thank you.

Unlike in the United States where raw milk is legal in most states, Canada raw milk laws are much stricter making it almost impossible for farmers to provide raw milk to the people who want it.

A recent court case has brought this issue to the attention of Canadians. On March 16th 2016, a huge rally outside an Ontario courthouse, showed tremendous support for the Canadian raw milk farmers who are providing the wonderful health food to their communities.

Blogger and activist, Liz Reitzig, chronicles the case, the hearing and the farm of noted raw milk farmer, Michael Schmidt. To get a sense of the farmers who are targeted and what the government is trying to do to these farmers, take a look at her article about Glencolton Farms.

For those in Canada who are looking for a reliable source for raw milk, check out the Real Milk website.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Raw Milk Petition Underway in Canada

QueenieSupporters have garnered over 1100 signatures for the raw milk petition

A Canadian raw milk advocate, Cory Harris, has started a raw milk petition asking the Canadian government to examine their position on the legality of fresh milk.

According to the Canadian Parliament’s website, once a petition here reaches 500 signatures, the House of Commons will bring it up in session and the government has 45 days to respond. The petition began on April 13, 2016 and is already over 1100 signatures.

Weston A. Price Foundation website sent out an action alert about the raw milk petition last week. They are asking people to sign it and share it with their Canadian friends.

Raw Milk Could be Legal in Canada with your Support

Raw milk advocates in Canada have created a petition to ask their government to legalize availability of raw milk. In the petition, they state facts about raw milk and conclude with their request.

We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Health to Modernize and amend the Food and Drugs Act and the corresponding Food and Drug Regulations, to permit the legal sale of, and/or access to, raw (i.e. unpasteurized) milk and milk products through small scale certified herd share programs, or other such suitable arrangements, capable of managing any associated health risks in a responsible and reasonable manner.”

Currently, raw milk is completely illegal in Canada even if obtained through cowshares or herdshares. If this petition reaches 500 valid signatures of Canadians by its deadline on August 11, 2016, the petition will be presented in the House of Commons. Once presented, the government is required to respond within 45 days. Of course, we want to far exceed the minimum requirement.

Action:

  1. Sign the petition
  1. Using email or social media, spread the word and ask others to sign it. Sample wording below.

Canadian citizens are petitioning their government to create meaningful dialogue about raw milk availability. Please sign this petition and ask others to do the same. You do not need to be a raw milk drinker or even a supporter to sign this petition. This is about our rights as citizens to choose the foods of our choice from the producer of our choice.

Thank you.

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Canadian Dairy Farmers See Support from Community

 

Canadian dairy farmers get support from comunity

Canadian dairy farmers get support from comunity Photo: David Pickett

This past week saw a notable celebration in Canada for Canadian dairy farmers in support of raw milk and food rights.

Hundreds of people gathered at the courthouse prior to a hearing on March 16 in support of Canadian dairy farmers. The rally and celebration of food rights was about an application for injunction that would ban Canadian dairy farmers or anyone else from distributing raw milk.

Several national media attended the event. Reported on “The Bovine” blog:

“The record turnout of raw milk consumers and supporters at today’s rally — an estimated 250-300 men, women and children — underlines just how unpopular such a move would be with the constituency that would be most affected by the proposed injunctions. The courthouse security police, who know Michael Schmidt from the many times he’s come to this courthouse before, told him that “every time you come here, there are more people”.

Durham-area farmer Michael Schmidt has been a lightning rod for raw milk issues in this province since 1994, largely because he has been very open in the way he operated.

On many occasions over the years Michael has sought various avenues to legalize the much-in-demand product, whose production and sale in the province remains largely underground. But the response to Michael’s overtures has not yet led to any improvement in raw milk’s legal status.

In his talk, Michael praised other raw milk farmers for also “coming out of the closet”. For instance, Michael was not the farmer who brought a cow to today’s event and milked it in front of the crowd. But even this could be just a tip of the black market iceberg.”

The article, “Massive Raw Milk Rally in Newmartket” continues on The Bovine site, describing other speakers at the fun event.

David Gumpert covers the event supporting Canadian dairy farmers in a similar vein. The “Big Demonstration” that David refers to alludes to the hundreds of people there. David goes on to explain the intricate and somewhat complicated court matters involved in the case.

“On this particular day, Schmidt brought about 300 people with him, the largest demonstration ever on his behalf. They were in good spirits, much more animated and outspoken in demand of their food rights than I’d ever seen before—radicalized might be the description that is beginning to apply.

It was a testimony to Schmidt and his cause that such a turnout materialized on a frigid and damp morning, since the actual court case is only in its infancy. The proceedings on Wednesday, which took about an hour, were devoted to scheduling future hearings and determining technical issues, like whether to combine two complaints against Schmidt—one from the York Region and another from the Ontario dairy director.

Or possibly people are simply becoming ever more outraged that the legal beat against Schmidt refuses to end, and has been renewed on entirely new grounds….after 22 years of farm raids and trials. I recalled in my talk to the crowd how the last time I was in Newmarket in January 2010, the legal assault against Schmidt was already 16 years old, and how that January day, he was acquitted by Judge Paul Kowarski. But because Canada doesn’t prohibit double jeopardy, like the U.S., Michael’s acquittal could be appealed and in effect, he was re-tried. The Ontario government jumped on the opportunity to keep the case alive, and found judges to overturn the acquittal.

Schmidt has ignored that conviction, and the fine that came with it, insisting he has done nothing wrong in providing milk to members of his herdshare. His persistence, together with his ongoing resistance, appears to have enraged Ontario officials and the dairy cartel they support, and so this latest legal case represents a new wrinkle in the seemingly endless legal entanglements thrust upon him.”

For the rest of the article, see David’s blog post on “Big Demonstration Buoys Michael Schmidt in Ontario’s Latest Raw Milk Case

For additional pictures of the event, attendee Dave Pickett shared his wonderful photos of the event.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt on food freedom

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt on food freedom

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt to Hold Peaceful Celebration of Food Freedom

Dairy farmer Michael Schmidt issued a media advisory alerting the media of the planned rally in celebration of food freedom. The rally and celebration is designed to bring awareness to the draconian measures against dairy farmers in Ontario. Full press release below.

MEDIA ADVISORY

CONTACT: Liz Reitzig 301-807-5063 liz@hartkepr.com Elisa Vander Hout 519-372-6570 arc@bmts.com

March 10, 2016

Mothers, Farmers Threatened With Arrest Over Milk

Farmers, Others Criminalized for Feeding Communities

Raw milk activist, Michael Schmidt, his wife, Elisa, his son, Marcus, and a church pastor are threatened with arrest if they do not immediately cease raw milk distribution. A peaceful protest supporting Michael will be held at the Ontario Court of Justice on March 16. The media is invited to witness the peaceful milk and cookies picnic celebration. The gathering will be followed by a court hearing to determine if an order will be issued to enforce the ban on distribution of raw milk in Ontario. Explicitly targeted by the application is anyone else, including mothers, who are engaged in ‘counseling others to….distribute unpasteurized milk.” 

SPEAKERS:  Michael Schmidt, Farmer; Liz Reitzig, Founder Nourishing Liberty; David Gumpert, Journalist, Author and raw milk expert; Elisa Vander Hout, Founder Our Farms, Our Food Coop

WHAT:  Protest, and celebration, by mothers and others in support of raw-dairy farmer Michael Schmidt, and the right to “voluntary exchange,” outside Ontario courthouse in Newmarket.

Recent swat-style raids and arrest warrants on small farmers have inspired mothers and other activists to take their message to the courthouse where they plan to risk criminal charges, and possibly jail, by gathering for a peaceful milk and cookies picnic.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 8:30a.m.

WHERE: Ontario Court of Justice, 50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket Ontario. Self-parking is available

WHY: The March 16 rally is in advance of a court hearing on issuing the injunctions, which could lead to jailing of ANYONE—farmers, moms, dads—who even encourage the distribution of raw milk.                 

OTHER SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

Local mothers sourcing raw milk for their families.

VISUALS: Cow being milked, crowds with signs, courthouse building, families with small children, children with raw milk and cookies, mothers, farmers distributing milk, law enforcement.

Mothers and farmers are available for interview prior to March 16th and at the rally.

For additional information on raw milk www.realmilk.com For additional information on this case read Raw Milk Trial In Canada. For additional background and to support farmer Michael Schmidt, visit their legal defense fund.

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Raw Milk In Canada Heats Up

Families will rally for raw milk in Canada at upcoming court hearing

If you want to see raw milk in Canada widely available, consider supporting this upcoming court case and rally. When people search for raw milk, usually sources abound. After all, it is available in most countries and all 50 states. Even in the places where it is difficult to find, there are still options. One might wonder why there is so much opposition to raw milk in Canada when there is strong support for raw milk in other parts of North America and Europe.

As reported on Nourishing Liberty, famous Canadian dairy farmer, Michael Schmidt, his wife, Elisa, and son, are named in an injunction to permanently cease distribution of raw milk in Canada, specifically, Ontario. Also targeted are the individual herdshare owners as “Jane Doe” and “John Doe.” These citizens who enjoy raw milk government is attempting to enjoin them for distribution or even recommending raw milk to others.

By implicating “Jane Doe” and “John Doe,” for the first time, the Canadian government is allowing it to pertain to anyone involved, including mothers. Canadian mothers are now explicitly threatened with arrest simply for participating in a herdshare. This is a new low, even for Canada, to hold raw milk trial in such a way.

As one raw milk proponent, Angela Kang, says, “What is safe raw milk to me? It is my direct, unadulterated connection to the Earth that feeds my family and me. It is as intimate of a relationship as my relationship with my God. We are supposed to be a country of peace and tolerance and acceptance. No government in a free country should interfere with this. I want raw milk in Canada.”

If you are anywhere near Canada, join the mothers, farmers and community at the food rights rally as they gather to celebrate the connection they have with their food.

Organizers of the rally say, “We envision farmers peacefully feeding their communities so we and future generations may be nurtured by the gifts of the land. And in turn nurture the earth through our inherent connections. The goal of this rally and celebration is to bring this vision to the front and stand empowered to proudly participate in our communities through peaceful food production and food distribution.”

Read more about the case on the Nourishing Liberty Blog, Raw Milk Trial In Canada

Michael Schmidt and his supporters are raising funds for their legal defense. Please contribute on the Michael Schmidt GoFundMe page.

If you would like to help spread the word, here is a Food Rights Rally Flyer with all the details.

Family Food Freedom Rally Family Food Freedom rally for raw milk in Canada

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Michael Schmidt Faces Possible 10 Years In Prison

International Legal Defense Funding Requested to Help Court Costs for Michael Schmidt

In recent news, Michael Schmidt faces ongoing legal harassment for running his dairy operation in Ontario Canada. But, it is not technically his dairy operation that has him facing 10 years in prison.

In writing about this case, bloggers note that:

Sometimes it is someone’s humility that has the greatest impact on us rather boisterous heroics. Such is the case with Ontario farmer Michael Schmidt. For 21 years, Schmidt has peacefully run his farm and provided his community with fresh, nourishing foods including raw milk. Schmidt produces raw dairy products for a group of families who want these foods and go to great lengths to obtain them.

In a recent article about Michael Schmidt, it states:

“In fact, these families have actually purchased the farm from Schmidt and his wife, Elisa, in an attempt to avoid violating the law. Absurdly, Canadian law outlaws raw milk distribution. It is legal for farmers to drink raw milk from their own animals, but not to distribute it. Schmidt claims that it is his natural right to peacefully farm and to provide clean, wholesome food to his community, so he continues to milk the cows and make the products available to the community of farm owners. Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and other Canadian agencies, both federal and local, continue to harass him for this peaceful act.”

Rather than responding to the antagonism in kind, Michael calls on the strength of character to search for a positive outcome despite the Canadian government attempting to escalate it. As the government continues to treat Michael like a violent criminal, Michael remains peaceful.

“Schmidt continues to challenge the government on its authority to criminalize him and his community over milk. This past summer, the government escalated its harassment of him and the farm owners, by planting surveillance cameras on the road by the property to spy on anyone entering or leaving the farm. Schmidt discovered the cameras and publicly questioned who put them there and why. A concerned neighbor removed the cameras, leading to theft charges against Schmidt.

When he reported to the police station for identification, authorities demanded that he submit to fingerprinting – a procedure not required for the type of offense he was charged with. When he refused, he was jailed overnight, before being forcibly fingerprinted in the morning and set free. Meanwhile, around this time the MNRF and a multi-agency task force conducted multiple raids on his farm and delivery vehicle.

During one farm raid, farm owners, concerned neighbors and community members blocked the driveway and prevented the government from removing thousands of dollars’ worth of food and farm equipment. The government then said that the peaceful activists were promoting “anti-government” sentiment. Five people present at that raid have been charged by the West Grey Police for ‘obstructing police.’”

His raw milk politics have him in hot water, but the 10-year prison term is over the sheep case he became embroiled in over 3 years ago. It takes a lot to dispel the government of the notion that peaceful people should go to prison for saving harmless animals from abuse, nonetheless, that is what Michael is facing. We have a chance to help his legal defense through a fundraising effort that now seeks a final push past the initial limit so that the team supporting him can make the best possible effort to keep this modern milk hero free and farming.

Donate to their legal expenses. All donations at this link go to the Canadian Constitution Foundation in support of Michael and Montana’s legal fees.

Follow the cases on the Facebook groups page.

The original fund set up by the CCF shows that it is fully funded. However, with the additional charges and the pre trial hearings taking many months, they are in dire need to legal funding immediately and ongoing. In an effort to save a farm, save a farmer and save a family, please donate what you can and remain involved in this case as we watch the dramatic impact that true humility can have on a community.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Michael Schmidt Arrested for Removing Surveillance Equipment from His Farm

Michael Schmidt was arrested on October 19, 2015 on charges of criminal theft for allegedly removing surveillance equipment he found on his farm in August. After discovering the cameras, which had no identification on them, Schmidt removed them and contacted police to report their discovery and ask who they belong to.

Schmidt believes the cameras belong to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and were put there to spy on the happenings and visitors of his farm. He refused to turn them over to the police and, several weeks later, a summons was issued for his arrest. Schmidt was arrested and held overnight in jail on October 29th.

His arrest came on the heels of two back-to-back raids of his farm, which took place during the week of September 29th and ultimately ended in a tense standoff between local authorities and Schmidt supporters, who prevented authorities from leaving the farm with farm equipment and dairy products.

“I am convinced that these charges about the cameras are some sort of revenge,” Schmidt says. “After the investigator and the agents had to leave the farm without the equipment they seized on the October 2, 2015 raid, they want something to show for it.”

For now, the tension between Schmidt and authorities continues to build as his farm has pledged to continue to peacefully grow and produce food as it has always done.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

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Overheard in a British Columbia Cheese Shop

Rumor has it that legislation to legalize raw milk is in the works in British Columbia. Though nothing is official yet, this tip comes to us from a customer of a high-end specialty cheese shop who heard from a reliable source with connections to the health department. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  westonaprice.org/lab

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