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Canadian Finance Minister Says Law Enforcement Already Targeting Bank Accounts Of ‘Freedom Convoy’ Supporters
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Canada's Foreign Secretary Chrystia Freeland speaks to delegates during day two of the Global Conference on Press Freedom on July 11, 2019 in London, England. The conference sees speakers from around the world sharing their experiences and thoughts on protecting the rights of members of the media around the world. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday that Canadian federal law enforcement has already begun cracking down on the financial accounts of individuals suspected of aiding “Freedom Convoy” protesters.

Freeland said in a press conference that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has referred a number of accounts that have subsequently been frozen by financial institutions. Freeland deflected a question on whether the frozen accounts belonged to any of the donors to fundraising campaigns on the platforms GoFundMe and GiveSendGo.

One reporter at the press conference questioned Frreeland: “I’m just wondering if the bank accounts will be targeted of individuals who donated to the GiveSendGo and GoFundMe campaigns? Are they considered designated people under the Emergencies Act, meaning that their credit cards could be cut and financial services are targeting them as well?”

Freeland responded: “The names of both individuals and entities as well as crypto wallets have been shared by the RCMP with financial institutions and accounts have been frozen and more accounts will be frozen. Crowdfunding platforms and payment service providers have started the registration process with [the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada].”

The deputy prime minister, who also serves as Canada’s minister of finance, skirted the question on if the frozen accounts belonged to those donors who gave through GoFundMe and GiveSendGo. The latter was hacked earlier this week and the data of tens of thousands of Freedom Convoy donors leaked online.

“In terms of the specifics on whose accounts are being frozen, you now have the regulations. The financial service providers have those regulations now, as well, and they, working with law enforcement, will be making the operational decisions,” Freeland said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act Monday as a “last resort” to break the protest that has continued in downtown Ottawa for roughly three weeks. The act, in addition to empowering law enforcement, authorized banks and other financial institutions to unilaterally freeze the accounts of any individual or entity suspected of aiding the protesters.

Days after the announcement and amid fears of a run on the banks, some of Canada’s largest financial institutions experienced an outage. The cause of the blackout has not yet been determined. The disruption blocked Canadians from accessing their bank accounts online for about an hour Wednesday afternoon.

Freeland announced Monday alongside Trudeau that the Canadian government is targeting the assets of people suspected of aiding the “illegal blockades” in Ottawa and elsewhere. As The Daily Wire reported:

Crowd-funding platforms, which protesters have used to sustain their weeks-long demonstrations, would fall under the enforcement of “Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules,” Freeland said.

“These changes cover all forms of transactions,” she said. “The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowd-funding platforms and some of the payment service providers they use are not fully captured under the proceeds of the Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Canadian Finance Minister Says Law Enforcement Already Targeting Bank Accounts Of ‘Freedom Convoy’ Supporters