18 February 2022
The Canadian government has warned that more financial accounts and cryptocurrency wallets will be frozen as law enforcement attempts to end the Freedom Convoy trucker protest. However, truckers are standing their ground even after the police arrested two protest organizers. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says, “It’s high time that these illegal and dangerous activities stop.”
The Canadian government has confirmed that a number of financial accounts and cryptocurrency wallets have been frozen under the Emergencies Act invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The confirmation came after several banks and crypto exchanges said they received a letter from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday:
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 their registration process with FINTRAC,” she added. The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) is Canada’s financial intelligence unit.
The deputy prime minister was further asked whether individuals who donated to fundraising campaigns — including the “Givesendgo” and the “Gofundme” campaigns — will be targeted and whether they are considered “designated persons” under the Emergencies Act. She replied:
In terms of the specifics on whose accounts are being frozen, you now have the regulations. The financial service providers have those regulations as well, and they, working with law enforcement, will be making the operational decisions.
Freeland also tweeted Thursday: “We are making progress. Do not doubt our determination to act, to defend our economy, to defend our democratic institutions, and to restore peace, order, and good government.”
In addition, Ontario Superior Court Justice Calum MacLeod issued a sweeping order Thursday freezing all the crypto assets and bank accounts of Freedom Convoy leaders. He ordered any banks, financial institutions, money service businesses, fundraising platforms, cryptocurrency exchanges, and custodians of any cryptocurrency wallets to halt transactions related to the organizers’ accounts and crypto wallets.
However, hundreds of truckers clogging Ottawa stood their ground and defiantly blasted their horns Thursday, even as police arrested two protest organizers, Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, several news outlets have reported.
One of the Freedom Convoy organizers, Pat King, was quoted as saying:
I’m prepared to sit on my a** and watch them hit me with pepper spray.
“There’s no tow trucks in Canada that will touch them,” he added, referring to the trucks that are parked bumper-to-bumper.
Police are also sealing off much of the downtown area to outsiders to prevent them from helping the protesters.
Prime Minister Trudeau declared in Parliament:
It’s high time that these illegal and dangerous activities stop. They are a threat to our economy and our relationship with trading partners … They are a threat to public safety.
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