Canada’s top cop says that being part of a “pro-Trump movement” will be a factor determining whether the federal government can seize a citizen’s bank account under the newly deployed Emergencies Act, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s weapon of choice to crush the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker occupation.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti, appointed by Trudeau as part of the Liberal Party’s minority government, made the comments during a remote interview given to CTV’s Power Play on Feb. 16 in response to a prosaic question presented by the host:
“Look, you just compared people who may have donated to [Freedom Convoy] to the same people who are funding, maybe a terrorist. I just want to be clear here, sir. This is really important. A lot of folks say: ‘Look, I just don’t like your vaccine mandates, and I donated to this. Now it’s illegal. Should I be worried that the bank can freeze my account?’ What’s your answer to that?”
Lametti didn’t hesitate to the question rather decisively, with a wry look on his face, “Well, I think if you are a member of a pro-Trump movement who’s donating hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars to this kind of thing, you ought to be worried.”
On Feb. 13, hackers took down crowdfunding website GiveSendGo, where more than $8 million USD had been raised for the Freedom Convoy. In the process, names and email addresses of contributors who made donations were released in a large-scale doxxing event.
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The attack came after the Government of Ontario obtained a court injunction on Feb. 10 that attempted to prevent GiveSendGo from distributing funds raised to Convoy truckers, but was rebuked by the service, who stated the government held no jurisdiction over who it serves.
The same day, banking institution TD Canada Trust announced it had seized bank accounts containing $1.4 million connected to organizers of the occupation
$1 million of the seized funds were distributed by GoFundMe, which was the original crowd funding site that Freedom Convoy relied on. The movement switched to GiveSendGo after GoFundMe closed the campaign, also after it amassed more than $8 million, on Feb. 4.
Originally, GoFundMe stated it planned to launder all donations it received to certain charity organizations it approved of. However, after public backlash, the organization simply refunded all monies.
One Twitter user noted four of Canada’s biggest banks, Scotiabank, RBC, TD Canada Trust, and BMO all registered an exceptional spike in service outages over the previous 24 hours. While Scotia, TD, and BMO all reported double digit outages, RBC reported as many as 3,000.
Independent Canadian media outlet Rebel News Head of Post Production, Efron Monsanto, posted a photograph on a sign of a door to a TD Canada Trust branch on Feb. 16 stating that effective immediately, ATMs would only be accessible during business hours.
Rebel News founder Ezra Levant likewise reported on Twitter during the afternoon of Feb. 16 that a number of major Canadian banks were currently offline.