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

Count shows slight decrease in Red Deer’s homeless

In two years, the number of homeless in Red Deer has decreased… Continue reading

Remains of all eight Bruce McArthur victims now identified: Toronto police

Toronto police say they’ve now recovered and identified the remains of all… Continue reading

Manslaughter case in court

Manslaughter charge was laid more than a year after alleged victim died in Red Deer

Ottawa announces $26M for noise reduction research to help right whales

HALIFAX — Ottawa has announced $26.6 million in funding for research to… Continue reading

Get your guilty pleasures: Westerner Days food

Traditional sugary treats were served up by the plate, bowl and bucket… Continue reading

WATCH: Cirque ZUMA ZUMA puts on a show at Westerner Days

ZUMA ZUMA performs three times a day during Westerner Days

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Scathing suicide inquiry finds gaps, shortcomings at Royal Military College

OTTAWA — Members of a board of inquiry into three suicides at… Continue reading

Premiers strike deal to allow increased flow of beer, alcohol across borders

ST. ANDREWS, N.B. — Canada’s premiers are set to wrap up their… Continue reading

Trump ready to hit all Chinese imports with tariffs

President Donald Trump has indicated that he’s willing to hit every product… Continue reading

Canada’s annual inflation rises 2.5% thanks to boost from higher energy prices

OTTAWA — The country’s annual inflation rate rose 2.5 per cent in… 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