Much of Canada’s legal system may be shuttered, but that isn’t discouraging the Ontario government from ramping up bullying surveillance against raw dairy farmer Michael Schmidt and his family.
Schmidt’s wife, Elise Vander Hout, initiated a court suit last year in Ontario seeking to have raw milk legalized under Canada’s constitution. The action came after Schmidt lost more legal battles than he won in cases dating back to the 1990s over his efforts to make raw milk available to his food club. By 2018, he was threatened with ten years in jail.
Everything seemed to have calmed down, with the parties to the current court action submitting studies and testimony backing up their support or opposition to the legal action. Then, last week, an Ontario regulator with the Ministry of Agriculture, who led a previous raid on Schmidt’s farm, suddenly appeared, apparently carrying out surveillance. Here is what Schmidt posted on Facebook, together with two of the photos accompanying this post (above and below):
“This man is GLENN JARVIE who was in charge of our farm-raid in 2015 which ended up with the blockade of 70 farm share owners and a tense stand-off defending their farm. He was also the guy who was in charge of installing surveillance cameras on our road. This morning he was stalking and watching us. First he tried to follow our van and then he tried to get away but we managed to identify him. It’s Corona time and theses guys are starting to harass us once again.”
Schmidt concluded his message with a public note to Jarvie, as follows:
“Dear Mr. Jarvie if you have questions, call us make an appointment and talk to us. Your underhanded approach does not solve anything. Are we heading towards another confrontation?????”
Schmidt asked help from his neighbors: “Anybody who notices something abnormal on Conc. 2 please let us know. and be here when something happens again.”
About all you can say about this aggression at this time is that some parties in the Ontario food and farming establishment must be feeling nervous about the court action from the Schmidt-related parties. They must think the pro-raw-milk side has a good case, and that a win would decimate what’s left of the industrial milk business in Canada.
Left: Glenn Jarvie as a Mason, district deputy grand master.