Raw milk crusader takes fight to Ontario’s top court

A crusading farmer and his supporters are taking their self-professed right to drink unpasteurized milk, which the government calls a “significant public health risk,” to Ontario’s top court this week. Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt is arguing that by making the sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk illegal, the province is infringing on both his and his customers’ basic freedoms.

TORONTO — A crusading farmer and his supporters are taking their self-professed right to drink unpasteurized milk, which the government calls a “significant public health risk,” to Ontario’s top court this week.

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt is arguing that by making the sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk illegal, the province is infringing on both his and his customers’ basic freedoms.

The charter includes “the right of individuals to make decisions pertaining to their own bodies and their own health,” Schmidt’s lawyers write in arguments filed with Ontario’s Appeal Court.

“The appellant’s long-standing efforts to make unpasteurized milk available to non-farmers have been an important and fundamental life choice, having demonstrably profound psychological, economic, social and ethical consequences for him.”

But the province doesn’t see it that way. The law is meant to protect public health and infringes neither Schmidt’s nor his customers’ charter rights, the government argues.

“Consumers of unpasteurized milk do not have a liberty or security of the person ’right’ to consume unpasteurized milk,” government lawyers say in their written arguments.

Just Posted

Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more provincial funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by FCSS

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month