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Fighting for your beliefs

Michael Schmidt. Remember that name. He's taken up a fight that many believe he can't win, a fight that ultimately may cost him his life.

Michael Schmidt. Remember that name. He’s taken up a fight that many believe he can’t win, a fight that ultimately may cost him his life.

Mr. Schmidt has, according to the Ontario Court of Justice, broken the law. He’s been convicted of 15 provincial offences all related to what many consider to be Mother Nature’s most wholesome food: milk.

You see, Mr. Schmidt is a dairy farmer who has been giving his fellow co-op members (who technically own part of his herd) unpasteurized milk and that is what has gotten him into a heap of trouble. The law states that anyone selling milk is required to have it pasteurized for safety reasons.

Mr. Schmidt doesn’t think he’s broken any law. He’s asked Dalton McGuinty to listen to his side of the story but the Premier refuses. After numerous futile attempts to set up a meeting, the Durham farmer decided his only recourse was to begin a hunger strike. That strike began in early October and was still on when I wrote this column on Nov. 1.

He’s bound and determined to get the powers that be to listen…even if it means losing his life in the process.

If our beloved Premier doesn’t allow him the time to be seen, and this gentleman does end up making the ultimate sacrifice because of his convictions, it would be a shameful example of what’s wrong with our country.

Accessibility to an elected government official shouldn’t be something that requires countless hours of negotiating and stick handling.

Mr. Schmidt believes that people should have the right to make their own choices in the foods they eat. That sounds like it should be a given in a country like Canada, land of the free. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be the case.

This fundamental fight over pro-choice has been rearing its head a tad too often lately. We’ve seen the advent of speed limiters and more than likely EOBR legislation is just around the corner. South of the border, CSA is now the law.

The argument can be made that these were all mandated for safety reasons. Maybe so, but none of you had a choice. Either you comply or get out of the business.

Mr. Schmidt is fighting for pro-choice and deserves to be heard. I hope our Premier takes the time out of his busy schedule to save this man’s life. All it will take is a few minutes; about the same time it takes him to get his hair cut.

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