Transition Salt Spring

Southern Gulf Islands-athon for Food Security and Sustainability


Southern Gulf Islands-athon for Food Security and Sustainability

Is an event to provide food security promote sustainability, network Gulf Islands food advocacy groups and raise awareness of the virtues of sporting local agriculture economically, ecologically, and nutritiously.

Location: Southern Gulf Islands
Members: 4
Latest Activity: May 8, 2014

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Comment by Jan Steinman on October 19, 2011 at 2:52pm

Food Freedom -- not to be taken for granted!


Our government has declared war on a gentle, mild-mannered dairy farmer, assessing $110,000 in fines. Michaels Schmidt's terrible offence? He set up a shared-ownership situation in which he cared for people's cows and distributed THEIR milk to them! He initially won a court battle, but it was reversed in a higher court, in which the judge stated that Canadians do not have a fundamental right to drink milk, pasteurized or not, from animals they own.

Here on Salt Spring, I have set up a herd share operation so that the co-owners of EcoReality Co-op's dairy goat herd can legally (so we thought) obtain raw milk from their goats. So far, the regulators have not noticed our little operation. But you can be sure they will someday.

I would gladly go to jail for this cause. But they are too smart for that -- they don't want martyrs on their hands. Instead, they levy usurious fines, upon which they can seize assets, putting the raw dairy operations into bankruptcy.

But now they have a martyr on their hands. After trying to work with the authorities for 17 years, brave Michael Schmidt is in his 19th day of a hunger strike. He is seeking to meet with the Ontario Premiere in order to find a way that citizens can eat food of their choosing, from animals they own.

"But I don't drink milk," you might exclaim, or even "I'm vegan, and don't believe animals should be milked."

Well, remember what Pastor Martin Niemoller* wrote in the days of Nazi Germany? It may be milk they're after today, but it may be your bean sprouts tomorrow. This is not someone else's problem! This is a problem for ANYONE who wants control over what they eat.

Please join me in signing the petition!

After you've done that, please send a note to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty asking that he agree to meet with Michael Schmidt, so he can end his hunger strike. So far, the Premier of Ontario is unwilling to do so:
Keep in mind this is not an "Ontario" problem; BC has also levied $55,000 of fines on Michael Schmidt for his work on Alice Jongerden's cow share operation in Chilliwack.
It could be here next. Act now!

Jan Steinman

* "In Germany they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me -- and by that time no one was left to speak up." -- Pastor Martin Niemoller

Comment by Jon Healey on September 6, 2011 at 2:39pm

Hello Sandor and All,

Transition Salt Spring will be having a booth at the fall fair.  We would like to have a board featuring the groups that have set up on the transition website, listing current activity, any particular successes, and upcoming events.  Is there anyone in this group who could send me a short e-mail with information?

recent activities

particular successes

upcoming events


Jon Healey

Members (4)


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