DURHAM — A Charter challenge by Durham-area raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt’s supporters got the go-ahead last month.
Raw milk consumers launched the challenge to Ontario’s milk legislation, alleging that prohibiting them access to raw milk violated their charter rights. A motion to dismiss the challenge was denied by Justice J.A. Nordheimer.
But an application that would let the raw milk enthusiasts get back to consuming raw milk was struck down. The consumers that launched the Charter challenge had also applied for a stay of an injunction against them, forbidding any distribution of raw milk, granted in January.
Nordheimer denied their application. “A law must be obeyed until it is declared unconstitutional. People do not have the right to disobey a law on the basis that they view it as unconstitutional,” he wrote in his judgement.
This isn’t Schmidt’s first time in court over raw milk. A 2015 raid on Glencolton Farms saw him and some of his supporters charged with obstruction of justice, a charge that fell off two of his supporters but stuck to him. Schmidt was convicted last October, and sentenced to 60 days in jail, but ultimately only served two weekends, as he was released on bail while appealing his conviction.