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Legalizing Natural (untreated) Milk in Ontario

IF YOU LIVE IN ONTARIO, PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION - CLICK ON

Last update: March 12, 2014

The decision to make raw milk avaiable to consumers is a political one and not health related. Raw milk can be made safe to drink if you adopt production procedures of a sufficiently high calibre. As examples, 90% of Canadian dairy farm families drink their own raw milk and every other G-8 country except Canada sells raw milk. So you have to ask what is the political interest in Canada for banning the sale of raw milk to consumers?

To reverse this situation requires either a critical mass of voters or a legal decision. The voter interest is too small now to influence anything. Therefore the only real hope is a legal resolution and one is in the works. Michael Schmidt is a cow-sharing coordinator and is being dragged through the courts. He's now only one court away from the Supreme Court of Canada. The problem for the government is that it used a bogus health rationale to implement an economic monopoly.

This website is dedicated to researching and promoting raw drinking milk for Ontario consumers. For a good summary of the issues and links, click on Wikipedia.

If you have any comments or suggestions: Send us a comment.

What's New:

  • On March 11, 2014 the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision and dismissed Michael Schmidt's appeal. Click here for the court's decision. Michael intends to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • On February 5, 2014, Michael Schmidt made his appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The decision of the court will be released at a later date, possibly in a few weeks time.

  • On December 16, 2013, Michael Schmidt announced to the media that his court date with the Ontario Court of Appeal will be February 5, 2014. He explained this date was later than expected because he had requested new evidence be considered.

  • On July 26, 2012, the Ontario Court of Appeal granted Michael Schmidt leave to appeal his conviction made by the appeals court of the Ontario Provincial Offences Court. The date will be set later, likely in a few months. Michael's lawyer also introduced fresh evidence that pasteurization may not neutralize the harmful effects of toxins produced by the E.Coli bacteria in raw milk, even though it does neutralize E.Coli. Click here for the new evidence motion. Click here for the lawyers' affidavits.

  • On December 19, 2011, Michael Schmidt's lawyer filed a motion to appeal the conviction of Jutice Peter Tetley, an appeals court judge of the Ontario Provincial Offences Court who overturned Michael's earlier acquittal from Justice Paul Kowarsky. Click here for the text of the motion to appeal.

  • On November 25, 2011, the judge for Michael Schmidt's appeal issued his sentence - a fine of $9,150 and 1 year probation for Michael. Click here for the text of the judge's Reasons For Sentence.
  • On November 4, 2011, Michael Schmidt ended his 37 day hunger strike after meeting with the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty. Michael feels there is now a real prospect for change.

  • On October 28, 2011, on day 30 of Michael Schmidt's hunger strike, Conservative MPP Randy Hillier and Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara formed a bipartisan group to pressure Premier Dalton McGuinty into meeting with Michael.

  • On October 6, 2011, Dalton McGuinty was re-elected as the Premier of Ontario with a minority government, losing his former majority. This creates an opportunity to bring additional political pressure on the Premier because the opposition parties have enough power to overturn any government position.

  • On September 29, 2011, Michael Schmidt began a hunger strike which will end if Premier Dalton meets with him to discuss the type of raw milk that is fit for human consumption without commercial processing.

  • On September 28, 2011, the judge for Michael Schmidt's appeal reversed Michael's earlier acquittal and found him guilty on 15 out of 19 charges. Click here for the text of his decision. Michael's lawyer announced her intention to appeal this verdict.

  • On June 16, 2011, the judge for Michael Schmidt's appeal announced a delay of his decision until September 16, 2011. He also mentioned that his decision would be forwarded to the lawyers and no one needs to come to court.

  • On April 13, 2011 the appeal hearing of Michael Schmidt's successful lower court decision took place. Arguments were permitted for Charter rights. One important item was the confirmation of the right of ordinary Canadians to consume raw milk but no practical way for them to obtain it. The decision of the appeal court judge will be made on July 8, 2011. For an excellent summary of the proceedings and for copies of the court documents, click here.

  • On January 21, 2011, the author of this website, James McLaren, appeared for cross-examination in the appeal proceedings of Michael Schmidt. Mr. McLaren represented consumers and their Charter right to consume raw milk for health purposes.

  • On December 17, 2010, the appeal court judge gave his permission to include the charter arguments of two consumers in the appeal of Michael Schmidt, one for health reasons and one for religious reasons. Because the judge was late with this decision and because the prosecution wishes to cross-examine the new witnesses, the date for the appeal hearing was delayed.

  • On October 21, 2010, we attended the Ontario Court of Justice for pre-trial planning for Michael Schmidt's appeal. The judge decided he would try both the cow-sharing and the charter issues together in the appeal. He also heard arguments for and against the expansion of the number of charter arguments to be considered at the appeal and will release a summary decision on this matter by mid-November and a full ruling on December 2, 2010.

  • On October 14, 2010, we formally requested the assistance of the Ontario Ombudsman to compel the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission to perform their statutory duty of conducting research into dairy production procedures that would produce raw milk of sufficiently high quality that it could be safely consumed raw without pasteurization, unlike the current procedures which require pasteurization for milk to be consumed safely. Click here and click here.

  • On August 30, 2010, our lawyer was in the Ontario Court of Justice re pre-trial planning for Michael Schmidt's appeal. A trial date for the appeal was set for February 8, 2011.

  • On June 24, 2010, our lawyer was in the Ontario Court of Justice to argue a motion regarding Michael Schmidt's appeal to include Charter arguments for consumers. However, it was delayed until October 21, 2010.

  • On February 11, 2010, the government appealed Michael Schmidt's acquittal. Click here for the text. The appeal was later set for February 8, 2011.

  • On February 8, 2010 our lawyer sent a request to meet with the new Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Carol Mitchell. She didn't even respond. Click here.

  • On January 21, 2010, Michael Schmidt won at court. He was acquitted of 20 charges of selling and distributing raw milk. His cow-share program was found to be a legal way for consumers to obtain a legal product, specifically raw milk. Click here for the judge's decision.

  • On December 9, 2009, Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, refused to meet with our lawyer to discuss the issue of raw milk for consumers. Click here.

  • On December 2, 2009, we launched the paper version of our Ontario Raw Milk petition. For a Word version click here and for a .pdf version click here. If you live in Ontario, make copies and spread it around - YOU CAN HELP! This petition conforms to the rules set out by the Ontario Legislature (click here) and consequently the Legislature will be required to file a response to the petition within 24 sitting days.

  • On November 17, 2009, the litigation director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, Karen Selick, LL.B., announced their support and representation for our cause. Click here.

  • On October 30, 2009, we activated an online petition for Ontario residents, since we are working with a lawyer to ensure that if the petition is ignored by the Ontario authorities, legal proceedings can be started to compel them to perform their statutory duty. Click here or on .

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