Schmidt’s Crowdfunding Campaign Gains Urgency As Canadian Agencies Ratchet Up Pressure

MichaelSchmidt-withmilk

Michael Schmidt

Six weeks ago, I published an article by Canadian lawyer Karen Selick about the government “sheep-napping” case against food-rights activist and dairy farmer Michael Schmidt and sheep farmer Montana Jones.

That article described how the Canadian government, via the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, was trying to legally, and financially, strangle Schmidt, Jones, and a third defendant in the case, Robert Pinnell, dating from 2010. Selick, of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, charged that the Canadian government has intentionally dragged the case out, and made it very difficult for the defendants to legally defend themselves, as part of an effort to deplete their funds, and force them into plea bargains that would likely lead to them being jailed.

Selick also announced the launch of a crowd-funding campaign to raise $50,000 to help funds for the defendants’ legal defense.

Well, since that announcement, Canadian agencies continue to ratchet up pressure on Schmidt and his co-defendants.

-Yesterday, Ontario public health officials seized samples of raw milk from a delivery of raw milk being made north of Toronto to shareholders of Schmidt’s farm. Shareholders apparently stood in the way of public health inspectors, who were about to seize much or all of the milk; the inspectors returned shortly after with a search warrant and took milk ”samples.”

-In just the last few weeks, Schmidt discovered high-performance video cameras hidden in trees near his property, photographing people who might be visiting his farm. When Schmidt reported the existence of the cameras to surprised local police, they came back to him—clearly on orders from higher-ups—and threatened to charge Schmidt further for taking possession of the cameras. I suggest you read Schmidt’s account of the camera affair on The Bovine blog.

-All this is on top of a twenty-year campaign by Ontario officials against Schmidt’s raw milk sales that had seemed to end last year. It’s a campaign that saw Schmidt win as his own lawyer in court against a team of government prosecutors in 2009, only to lose a few years later when the government appealed, and the case went to the Canadian Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case last year. (For articles on his earlier raw milk struggles, search out “Michael Schmidt” on this blog.)

In the meantime, the campaign to raise legal funds is going slower than it needs to go, having raised $16,000-plus of the total $50,000 needed. Now, with less than a week to go, the campaign needs to swing into high gear.

It seems clear that high-ranking Canadian regulators have decided to continue ratcheting up the pressure against Schmidt, in hopes of having him jailed, and unable to continue challenging them.

The Canadian government’s Shropshire sheeep case is being carried out in secret, not much different from a case against a terrorist or high-ranking drug kingpin. In the case of Schmidt, the government seems especially concerned about reports of irregularities and possibly illegal behavior on the part of government agencies, that has emerged from prosecution documents handed over to the defense as part of the case.

Part of the problem confronting Schmidt and his co-defendants is that their alleged “crime” in the sheep-napping case is difficult for people to fully understand. It’s not just a case of challenging statutes against raw milk, but rather standing up for arbitrary government seizure of rare farm animals in a dubious case alleging illness of the animals.

Regulators clearly became very angry with the defiance of Schmidt, Montana, et.al. The regulators made the case personal. But in doing so, they broke rules and cut corners in making their case. As the prosecution handed over documents suggesting misconduct by the regulators, a judge slapped a news blackout on the case, as I described in a previous post.

The government would like to break the Schmidt defendants—bankrupt them financially and thereby force them into a plea deal whereby they are forced to plead guilty to the various conspiracy charges, in exchange for a lesser jail sentence than they could receive if they are convicted. But the chances of them being convicted by a jury that learns about all the outrages? It’s not a slam dunk, but the Schmidt group has a pretty good shot at vindication, and making the government look real bad. That’s why it’s so urgent to support the Schmidt group’s crowdfunding campaign.

39 comments to Schmidt’s Crowdfunding Campaign Gains Urgency As Canadian Agencies Ratchet Up Pressure

  • Julie

    Incredibly troubling. I am surprised there have not been more donations. This abuse of power and infringement on the local farmer’s freedoms is unconscionable. Thanks for posting, David. I hope everyone who reads this will donate and, if they cannot, at least promote the campaign on social media.

  • Barbara Hassan

    Where does one donate? I have followed this story & the Montana Jones story,& I find it to be one where the Government Agencies are horribly corrupt.God Bless him in this struggle.Every person in Canada needs to Stand Up & fight this kind of bullying & corruption.,next ,it could be YOU !

  • Julie M.

    Thanks for posting, David. Amazing how officials will go after people like this who are harming no one, but banker-gangsters and other real criminals who have caused real harm (like John Corzyne embezzling billions from small farmers) are out walking around free with no pending charges. I know this is Canada, but they seem to be no different than the US with this.

  • brad

    Youtube has a video about how to make an EMP from a disposable camera. Leave the damn cameras in place and kill them, lol.

  • John

    It is possible that York Region simply has a case of food poisoning in individual(s) with a history of consuming Glencolton products. Public Health would then investigate this, and other food distributors in the patient’s history. If this happens to be the case, they will likely be screening for pathogens.

    • Gordon Watson

      how droll that … this time York region is being ever-so-polite, versus the way they came down on Glencolton farm in 2006 = with a full-on SWAT team of 22 thugs in the uniforms of the OPP. If there were so much as a hint of anyone getting ill after drinking raw milk from that farm, the so-called “health Authority” would be up on their hind legs, braying like a jackass for the prime-time news. But one thing we do know after a few rounds, is : In Ontari-ario, the situation is same as in B. C. … not a single demonstrable instance of anyone getting ill from consuming raw milk, in the last 3 decades

      Michael Schmidt is “a longtime political activist”… and this latest incident is another, laughably-obvious abuse of the powers / prestige and resources of the Crown FOR A POLITICAL PURPOSE. … retaliation for him embarrassing the over-educated idiots in high places, as they squander obscene amounts of $$ spying on him, hoping to dredge-up some dirt which can used in the upcoming sheep-napping thing.
      … I’ll tell you who the real criminals are …. Read lawyer Shawn Buckley’s letter to the Prosecutor in the CFI A case, to see how the govt. minions are shameless as they conspired to obstruct / pervert Justice.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    It’s no coincidence that the raid happens to coincide with the recently announced and soon-to-be-signed Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    “Dairy farmers can no longer milk the system”
    http://www.troymedia.com/2015/09/03/dairy-farmers-can-no-longer-milk-system/

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    This just in: Your contribution to Michael Schmidt legal defense now DOUBLED, thanks to generous matching commitment from Ron Schmid, author of “The Untold Story of Milk.” He has pledged to match donations to Michael Schmidt’s legal defense up to $25,000. He’s already matched the $16,000 pledged previously, so the campaign now at $33,000+. The legal defense fundraising campaign is in its final few days now. Campaign ends on Saturday! Send a message to Canada’s enforcers.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-defend-farmers-charged-in-rare-sheep-case#/

    • Theresa

      Thank you very much for your attention to our friend Michael Schmidt. Double thank you to Ron Schmid for the integrity to put his money where his mouth is. Our family has made a humble donation as well. United we stand, divided we fall. Integrity matters. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball.

  • Jack

    Mmmm. A couple of things to consider. And not taking away from the need to raise funds for a legal case. But firstly, in the last 8 weeks there has been other activity around raw milk in Ontario. Three other incidents of officials showing up and raiding raw milk operations , or trying to. So this raid on Michael may not be due to a need to put pressure on him. And second , While Michael was defending himself in his victory he had help.

    • Michael Schmidt

      This is exactly one of the challenges we always have in the raw milk movement. Splinter groups, farmers and non farmers who are in the ” raw milk business” but disappear into the underground when busted.
      Why did those who got busted not raise hell is a mystery to me.
      May be they hope to not get punished. The tactic of fear is working and that’s what bureaucrats want.
      The other phenomena is that very often those who stand up to the challenge get criticized and slandered.
      Sad but happens over and over again.
      If people really think it’s fun to get prosecuted , harassed and dragged to court because one does not bend down to authorities should go through the process. It’s not worth any amount of pictures and news articles about oneself.
      And those who actually know always what to do but never actually follow their own suggestions are more destructive than helpful for the cause. This is not about me at all this is hopefully tha last attempt by authorities to squash the rights of people in regards to their own body, food and property.
      The time of lecturing what has to be done without taking action is as useless as a teat on the bull.
      There are four farmers I know of who committed them self to a quality program. The rest working in the background hoping to evade authorities and some working with no experience and proper training.
      Acting out of the consciousness that only if we are willing to face the dragon without fear we will achieve what every human being has been given. The dignity of respect for its own free will to decide its own fate. Nobody can and should be forced into anything as it relates to their own body.
      This is the ultimate mantra, that’s what gives me strength, and that is what at the end will prevail.
      There are many many brave women and man who care for the land who fought with utmost dignity and fearless the dragon of our time.

      • Michael Schmidt

        Actually I meant four farmers in Ontario just to clarify.

        • jack

          And those who actually know always what to do but never actually follow their own suggestions are more destructive than helpful for the cause.

      • jack

        Not everyone shares your perogative, and not everyone wishes to share your fate. You certainly have been the person pointing the finger at others the most, and making up stories to boot, while doing well to conceal relevent information from the vary people that are on your side. Its well that you talk of dragons for yours is well known. I for one am looking forward to read the book.

      • Jack

        It must certainly be realized, that the best way for industry and government to ensure that raw milk remains “splintered and fractioned” is to keep it about Michael Schmidt. it is both frustrating and sad, that anyone or anybody that wishes to act effectively toward seeking any viable solution gets stuck working with Michael. Who is great at a number of things, Like engaging in conflict and initiating things, but so very poor at working with others. Raids of this kind are troubling for everyone . Are we to expect more of the same?

        • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

          Jack, Your statement certainly threw me for a loop. You might want to elaborate on it because from my perspective as an Ontario milk producer who has followed Michael’s situation for a long time, I think you are grossly mistaken in suggesting that he is, “very poor at working with others”. His philosophy, humility, and transparency would suggest otherwise.

          • Jack

            Admittedly, it is already poor taste to be critical , in such a forum , while the man is before such high stakes. I was actually attempting to be somewhat giving in my remarks. There are some fine qualities in this man, and for now we can leave it there.

  • Jack

    True, the recent activity of health officials around raw milk might have to do with the dairy boards issues with the new trade agreement. The aggreement is likely the best thing for raw milk in this country, or could be. It was brought up at the science policy conference by a government analyst that raw milk represents neich market in a post quota outlook , and should get the green light. So upset dairy people over the trade situation and eventual loss of quota nay be putting pressure on government , who can only appease them by raiding raw milk operations throughout the province

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    In the following article the president of Dairy Farmers of Canada states, “”Dairy Farmers of Canada does not oppose international trade; Canada has negotiated numerous trade deals in the past while maintaining the integrity of supply management. However, we will continue to stand firm on defending the interests of dairy farmers and the Canadian dairy supply management system. We oppose endangering the stability and viability of our industry.”
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/things+know+about+canadas+dairy+supply+management+system/11405238/story.html
    Indeed, they will defend those farmers who conform to the current system. If you’re a nonconformist you will be labeled a criminal/felon and dealt with by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the police.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      As far as it opposing, “endangering the stability and viability” of the dairy farm “industry”, I’d say they have done a good job at undermining it by kowtowing to processors and government in that they allowed policies that were initially designed to protect localized small family dairy farms to fall by the wayside. Their reason so they claimed was to improve overall industry efficiency; however, in reality it did little more then prop up national and international cheap food policies.

      • Gordon Watson

        back in about 2010, the National Farmer’s Union of Canada, came out with a statement saying that they were in favour of raw milk being available for human consumption, as long as such production conformed with the dairy supply system. Investigating the history of this issue, I learned that quota racket was proposed in the early 1930s by the Fabian society, in Great Britain, under the Progressive Economic Plan. That plan included a Milk Marketing Board like a govt. regulated utility.
        … the quota racket does not matter to the overall Campaign for REAL MILK. Communism IN-evitably fails. So what happens on this sacred cow supply management issue, is irrelevant to us who prefer to get our own proper nutrition contrasted with the swill retailed in the super-stores.
        … the fact that raw milk dairies in Ontario are being visited by the health authorities, yet NOT being shut down immediate-ment, is a most important signal. We’re at the stage in this political scrap, where a formerly novel idea has become “self-evident”> meaning = we can expect the regulators to say “oh well, all we ever wanted was assurance that the milk was being handled properly”
        if the regulators DO haul people into Court for more show-trials on the REAL MILK issue, it will be a very different story this time, as we’ve learned how to ‘shove them back’ by demanding full disclosure. As Shawn Buckley proved in Michael and Montana Jones’ CFIA gong-show, their corrupt administrative machinery cannot withstand the searchlight of public scrutiny

      • Jack

        Mmm. Been spending some time considering this. I recall a consorted effort a few years ago from big corporates in food, to eliminate the supply management of milk. For a more U.S. style of dairy. It made or raw milk to have odd partners in a struggle of existence. And now as the trade talks are leaning heavily in this direction there is equal weariness about this potential. Supply management , as far as I understand, has kept the prices higher in Canada. But it has also made for more small family farms and a more viable farm enterprise. I think too often the raw milk gets into conflict with the wrong part of supply management.

        • Gordon Watson

          as you’re pondering, Jack, fold-in to your ruminations the fact that less than 10% of the farms which participated in the dairy quota scheme, as it was originally, are still in it . … Kind of undoes the Potemkin~village cartoon with which you’ve been bamboozled, eh? No small co-inkydink that we see photos of big Holstein cows on the front page of Canada’s national propaganda outfalls ( the Nat. Posture ; the Trawna Grope&Flail ) every week in the run-up to this election.
          … beyond doubt now, the dairy farmers have ALREADY been sold down the river of liquid manure, in negotiations for incremental globalism, lately imposed as the TransPacific Trade Pact. As trivial as its drop in the bucket is, the raid on Glencolton farm is part of brass-knuckles electioneering … cultivating sympathy for good little law-abiding quota-holders, so as to justify throwing money at them = buying them out = after the election. In that scenario, the only entities able to finance a licence to serve the CAFO milk racket, will be some mega-corporate food processor, who’ll then be ENTITLED to guarantee supply of raw material : confer with the fiefdom presided-over by Fontera = ie. New Zealand, the largest dairy farm in the world.
          …. But “it’s an ill wind which doesn’t blow someone good”. In NZ, REAL MILK is sold at the farm gate, perfectly legally, and the dairy can sell its milk in town. Same thing will happen here in the Dominion of Canada.
          …. A master’s thesis awaits some political science student : tracing the bribes disguised as “contributions to a political party” by which this was pulled off. T’was ever thus.
          … All that crap~ola is irrelevant to the Campaign for REAL MILK. What matters, is : producing the good stuff and getting it into hands mouths and bellies. Milk and honey are our birthright : We must secure the existence of our race, and a future for white children

          • Pete

            I find the prior name for what we call globalism more enlightening…colonialism.

          • Theresa

            Wait. What?! David Gumpert are you OK with this kind of commentary? Specfically Gordon’s final sentence regarding the “Campaign for REAL MILK” being tied to securing “the existence of our race, and a future for white children?” Perhaps it slipped past the moderator. I wonder how Gordon feels about chocolate milk. Is it allowed to share refrigerator space with the white milk or is it not real enough? Everyone has their own opinions I reckon, much like sphincters.

          • Gordon Watson

            I’m guessing you’re coming in late to this party, Theresa? so you wouldn’t be familiar with my record on this forum as the token white supremacist. As hard as it may be for you to accept – after 12 years’ brainwashing in the public fool system – there remains in this nation, a remnant who love our own race. You got a problem with that?
            …. For laughs … track down the origin of that final sentence in my previous message. Hint : he was Time magazine’s Man of the Year for 1938. What’s it got to do with raw milk? Simple : the more hard science is done, the more evidence there is proving innate differences between the races. First and last, The Campaign for REAL MILK is = white people remembering our heritage, that which is written on our hearts and minds by our God. The opposition to us feeding ourselves, arising from our ancient mortal enemies. If you can’t handle ideas as big as that, perhaps you’ll be happier in the recipe section

          • David Gumpert David Gumpert

            Theresa, I have had my tussles with Gordon over his racism. So long as he keeps his views general, and doesn’t direct his racism at particular individuals here, I tolerate it, in the spirit of free speech.

          • Bill

            As a (the token?) non-white here, I’m not offended by Gordon – his sayings are rather amusing. I’ve seen worse racism on all sides of the spectrum — go live in an Asian country for a few years and see what you encounter as an American. In many there are no laws against racial discrimination in every-day life – so good luck getting that job or apartment you want. Unfortunately, racism is alive and well planet-wide. Gordon’s version is mostly harmless.

          • Pete

            University union officer who wrote ‘kill all white men’ tweet will remain in post
            Bahar Mustafa claims she can not be racist because she is an ethnic minority woman

            A university’s diversity officer will remain in post, despite provoking a storm of protest by tweeting #killallwhitemen and labelling people “white trash”.

            Bahar Mustafa also banned white men from a university event on diversifying the curriculum at Goldsmiths University, London.

            She then defended her position by stating that she could not be racist because she is an ethnic minority woman.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11633305/University-union-officer-who-wrote-kill-all-white-men-tweet-will-remain-in-post.html

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    Update on what Bill reports–seems Canadian authorities (at least six agencies participated in today’s raid) as of 3:30 pm (Eastern) are unloading the equipment they seized. It’s not entirely clear if they decided they didn’t want to arrest the more than 50 people blocking their exit, but what had been a completely discouraging situation seems to have reversed.

    From Michael: “We won. They are leaving and all the confiscated stuff stays.”

    More at The Complete Patient Facebook page.
    https://www.facebook.com/TheCompletePatient?fref=ts

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