In a bid to quell the Freedom Convoy, Canadian officials lumped crowdfunding platforms into a “terrorist” funding law Monday, days after a judge unsuccessfully tried to freeze millions donated to the truckers.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the never-before-used “Emergencies Act” on Monday, announcing among other things that financial institutions will be allowed to regulate and prohibit the use of the property to fund or support illegal blockades.
Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said the government would be broadening their “terrorist financing” rules to cover crowdfunding platforms raising money for the Freedom Convoy.
“We are broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover crowd funding platforms and the payment servers providers they use,” Freeland said. “These changes cover all forms of transactions … the illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowdfunding platforms and some of the payment service providers they use are not fully captured under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financial Act.”
GoFundMe took down a fundraising page started by organizers of the Freedom Convoy and refused to disburse the funds. The website cited police reports of “violence and unlawful activity” as justification for its decision. (RELATED: ‘So Much Love’: Ottawa Locals Discuss Freedom Convoy, Say People ‘Spewing Out Hate’ Haven’t Talked With Truckers)
“Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms and Services (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform.”
GoFundMe originally said the $9 million in funds would be sent to “credible and established charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe.”
GoFundMe announced all donations would be refunded to the donors, following pushback.
Donation pages for the truckers popped up on GiveSendGo, with the platform issuing a stark rebuke Thursday after a judge tried to freeze the funds.
A spokesperson for Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, said Ontario’s attorney general successfully filed a request with the Superior Court of Justice for an injunction preventing GiveSendGo from distributing funds donated to the site’s “Freedom Convoy 2022” page and “Adopt-a-Trucker” page.
GiveSendGo later said “Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo. All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign.”