Durham-area farmer Michael Schmidt is asking for leave to appeal his conviction on 15 charges related to the sale of raw milk along with the sentence handed down following the conviction. Schmidt was sentenced to a fine of $9,150 and one year of probation. The appeal would be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Justice Tetley's reasons for sentencing Schmidt are available on the website of the Canadian Constitution Foundation. The Crown had asked for $1,000 per count for each of ten convictions under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H-7, and $200 for two other counts under the same Act. The Crown sought a fine of $5,000 for the offence under the Milk Act of operating a milk plant without a licence during the fourteen week period of the investigation by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
In handing down the sentence, Justice Tetley declined to rule that Schmidt's was a test case in which it would be appropriate to moderate the sentence. Tetley did agree, however, that a relevant factor in sentencing was the fact that Schmidt believed he was complying with the applicable legislation. Justice Tetley added that the extended period of time where regulatory enforcement procedures were not instituted may reasonably be concluded to have contributed to a mistaken belief on the part of Schmidt that he was in compliance with the law.
Read the decision at: R. v. Schmidt.