Monday, November 28, 2011

Victimless Crimes Lead to Victimless Compensation

A fact that hasn’t yet been publicized following the sentencing of CCF client Michael Schmidt on Friday, November 25 is that in addition to the fine of $9,150 imposed by Justice Tetley, a “victim surcharge” totaling $1,945 was also added to the tab. The total amount that Michael is supposed to pay is therefore $11,095.

Under section 60.1 of Ontario’s Provincial Offences Act, the “victim surcharge” gets added automatically. The amount is determined on a little chart found in the regulations, here.

According to the Office for Victims of Crimes, the money from victim surcharges gets put into a “victim’s justice fund account” and is used “to assist victims of criminal offences”. However, criminal offences are defined as offences under the Criminal Code—things like murder, assault and robbery. These have nothing to do with the offences under the Provincial Offences Act.

So for the peaceful acts of distributing raw milk and operating a milk plant without a licence, Michael is forced to pay compensation to people who were violently assaulted or robbed by unknown criminals. Does this make sense to you?

Of course, in Michael Schmidt’s case, there were no victims. Not a single person has ever been known to have gotten sick from milk he produced at Glencolton Farms. On the contrary, we submitted 21 letters of character reference from cowshare members who told the court about ways in which Michael and raw milk had helped them. Another 114 people had written to the judge on their own initiative to praise Michael and raw milk.

4 comments:

  1. Alberta also collects from regulatory offences which are unrelated to the purpose of the fund ... the bulk of the funds money is spent administratively and in politically motivated 'grants'. To qualify for compensation, you must:

    Eligibility for financial benefits
    12(1) Subject to subsection (2), a victim may apply to the Director for financial benefits in accordance with the regulations if the injury to the victim was the direct result of an act or omission that occurred in Alberta and that is one of the offences under the Criminal Code (Canada) specified in the regulations.

    The regs are here:

    http://www.canlii.org/en/ab/laws/regu/alta-reg-201-1997/latest/alta-reg-201-1997.html

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  2. Crikey, those regs go on forever....

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  3. I spent yesterday in a Calgary court opposing an injunction against "Occupy Calgary". The justice who opened declaring his willingness to grant an interim injunction ended by reserving his judgement and allowing the occupation to continue while he crafts his findings. Amongst many other things, I informed him that the Calgary Parks and Pathways Bylaw contained 107 regulatory offences.

    Karin, I do believe we are somewhat over regulated.

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  4. While travelling in Switzerland last year, my wife and I noticed a farm that had a stainless steel milk dispenser that served cold raw milk. It was so fresh and cold we could not stop gulping it until it was gone. It tasted complete, as if nothing had been removed by processing which, of course, it hadn't. We had never had, nor have ever had since, such deliciously whole milk in our lives. I can only hope that all Canadians will soon be able to experience the same fresh, cold, wholesome, delicious milk here in Ontario.

    The question is, if it can be done safely in Switzerland, why can't it be done safely here in Ontario?

    The real crime is that our government is not providing Ontarians with the same protection that the Swiss government provides to the Swiss. It seems to me that it is the Ontario government, not the farmer, who should be charged with their refusal to use proven technology to provide safe raw milk.

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