Raw milk consumers across Canada have spent decades peacefully trying to obtain raw milk from local farmers despite the threat of harassment from the authorities. Finally, some of us have stepped forward to tell the courts that our constitutional rights are being violated by laws restricting access to raw milk – a food that is perfectly legal to consume in Canada.
A January 2018 injunction against anyone “selling, delivering or distributing” raw milk in Ontario was the last straw, criminalizing peaceful citizens who want access to this safe, unprocessed food. So, with the encouragement of leaders from several cow-share communities in southwestern Ontario – we’ve mobilized!
We found a highly experienced lawyer to represent us on a partly pro bono basis, and his legal team has been building our case at lightning speed. In early February they served a Notice of Application against the Attorneys General of Ontario and Canada, on our behalf – 19 raw milk consumers and two raw milk producers, whose freedom of conscience or religion, and security of person, are being violated (under sections 2 and 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms).
All 21 of us applicants made this commitment despite financial risk, the ordeal of being cross-examined, and fear of the unknown consequences of taking on the Government. We did this not only based on our personal conviction, but on behalf of our raw milk communities and other consumers across Canada, who all stand to benefit from this constitutional challenge.
Please help us pay the legal bills: $100,000 during the next ten months. (Regardless of which side wins at the Ontario Superior Court, the decision could be appealed and ultimately the case may be decided by the Supreme Court of Canada. So next year, unless the case is settled, we will have to raise money for the next round.)
Does $100,000 seem like a lot of money to you? Well, it’s $100 each, from 1,000 people who want the right to consume raw milk without fear of prosecution. Your donation is an expression of solidarity with the 21 of us who put ourselves on the line for this cause.
Everyone has different financial circumstances, so we’re asking you to please give between $10 and $1,000, as you are able. We hope to show the broad base of support across Canada, and internationally too, for legal raw milk. Will you join in, with your donation?
Elisa Vander Hout of Glencolton Farm* and the other 20 applicants – Allyson, Amy, Beverley, Carol, Eleanor, Era, Eric, Frank, Jerry, John, Karen, Lanny, Liliana, Maria, Maria-Theresia, Mascha, Merle, Paul, Sanda, and Werner
* The farmers of Glencolton have been subject to decades of harassment and prosecution for following their conscience in providing raw milk from their herd of heritage-breed Canadiennes, to cow-share members who need it. Elisa Vander Hout is one of the two raw milk producers among the 21 applicants in this constitutional challenge; the other producer is Paul Noble of Elbonshady Farm.
- IAN GARTSHORE
- Wayne Omega Blue Farms
- Caryn Colman
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