The Ontario government, led by conservative Doug Ford, says it has effectively frozen all donations made to the Freedom Convoy through their second crowdfunding campaign launched with GiveSendGo. Reportedly, it is now a criminal offence to have any dealing with money from donations through the platform.
A statement from Doug Ford’s office reads, “Today, the Attorney General brought an application in the Superior Court of Justice for an order pursuant to section 490.8 of the Criminal Code prohibiting any person from disposing of, or otherwise dealing with, in any manner whatsoever, any and all monetary donations made through the Freedom Convoy 2022 and Adopt-a-Trucker campaign pages on the GiveSendGo online fundraising platform.
This afternoon, the order was issued. It binds any and all parties with possession or control over these donations.”
According to someone with knowledge of the matter, the Ford government is targeting the Canadian non-profit “Freedom 2022 Human Rights and Freedoms” which was initially set up on Jan. 30 after GoFundMe suspended the protesters account. The funds collected from GiveSendGo however are being distributed to an American non-profit corporation, “Incorporated Freedom 2022 Humans Rights and Freedom Association” which then distributes the funds via cryptocurrencies to the trucker convoy.
Moving funds like this is legal and Canada may not have any jurisdiction over the funds. The American non-profit is said to be in a state sympathetic with the truckers’ plight.
According to GiveSendGo the campaign is still open and able to receive donations. To date the campaign has raised US$8,459,563.00 and shows no signs of slowing down.
In response to the Ontario government’s order GiveSendGo tweeted, “Know this! 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.”