Government Harassment Threatens to Cripple
by Liz Reitzig
As the government threats against this peaceful family continue, Michael Schmidt makes an urgent appeal for legal defense funds to save the farm.
(Please donate here and spread the word)
The targeted harassment of Michael Schmidt, farmer at Glencolton Farms has taken the form of multiple legal cases that are painfully winding their way through the Canadian court system. Michael Schmidt has dedicated his life to peacefully providing nutrient dense foods to the people of Ontario, Canada. For the past 22 years, this has been in direct opposition to the draconian dictates of the Canadian Government. With the most recent charges, the Canadian government has taken the draconian approach of targeting all consumers of raw milk in addition to the farmers.
Glencolton Farms is a beautiful, biodynamic farm that is a true example of an ecological, restorative farm. In their more than 22 years producing food, including raw milk, they have never had an incident of illness. Other farmers admire and respect Michael and his family for their farming and community-building expertise. They are models for this type of farming and direct-to-consumer food sourcing.
Canadian Agents harass farm owners while raiding the farm
In this infuriating video, agents from multiple Canadian agencies threaten peaceful farmers while farm co-owners express their opinions. The raid occurred in October 2015 and Michael, Elisa and other individuals were named in charges related to the raid.
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 herd-share 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 all our support to continue this process and to set a precedent that gives us greater access to the foods of our choice from the producer of our choice.
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 anyone who desires to choose what foods they feed their family. 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.)
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 defense, 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
Food is the Foundation of Liberty. Nourishing Liberty is where we plant seeds for ideas to grow and flourish A place to be inspired by each other, to join together in peaceful activism, to build community.
Wherever you are in your personal journey toward clean living and local food, thank you for joining me in mine. I look forward to sharing it with you.