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Canadians’ Bank Accounts Reportedly Frozen Over Small Freedom Convoy Support, MPs Speak Out

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: February 21, 2022
MPs have spoken out after constituents had their bank accounts frozen over as little as a $20 tshirt purchase and $50 donation in support of Freedom Convoy
Flowers and a flag hang on a barrier fence near Parliament Hill on Feb. 20, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario. Some Members of Parliament have reported their constituents have had their bank accounts frozen under the Emergencies Act over as little as the purchase of a $20 Freedom Convoy t-shirt. (Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Two Members of Parliament have spoken out on behalf of constituents whose bank accounts have been frozen after making small contributions to the Freedom Convoy trucker occupation protest in Canada’s capital, Ottawa.

The first case was by MP Mark Strahl, the Conservative Party’s representative for the Chilliwack-Hope district in British Columbia in a Feb. 20 tweet, “Briane is a single mom from Chilliwack working a minimum wage job. She gave $50 to the convoy when it was 100% legal.”

He added, “She hasn’t participated in any other way. Her bank account has now been frozen. This is who Justin Trudeau is actually targeting with his Emergencies Act orders.”

In one follow up reply, Strahl decried Canada’s establishment media outlets for actions against doxxed Convoy contributors following the hack of crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo, “To those of you, especially the media, demanding more details on Briane, having seen what has been said about her online today and what has been done to other convoy donors in the last weeks I am not going to help you dox her.” 

“I know who she is and I won’t stop fighting for her.”

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Stahl pledged to “keep working with Briane to resolve this matter with her bank and will provide updates as they are made available.”

In response, a second Conservative Party MP, Marilyn Gladu, who represents the Sarnia-Lambton riding, commented that a “lady in my riding had her bank account frozen for buying a $20 Freedom Convoy Tshirt.”

On Feb. 20 RCMP Deputy Commissioner of Federal Policing Mike Duheme said during a news conference that the agency had seized 206 “financial products,” composed of personal and corporate bank accounts, “disclosed the information of 56 entities associated with vehicles, individuals, and companies,” targeted 238 cryptocurrency addresses in actions aimed at exchanges, and froze a payment processor holding $3.8 million, according to Epoch Times.

In a Feb. 21 statement published on the RCMP’s website, the federal law enforcement agency clarified that “the list that was provided to financial institutions included identities of individuals who were influencers in the illegal protest in Ottawa, and owners and/or drivers of vehicles who did not want to leave the area impacted by the protest.”

Importantly, the RCMP stated, “At no time, did we provide a list of donors to financial institutions.”

On Feb. 21, U.S. news outlet Fox News reported that one trucker who participated in the Freedom Convoy and had his vehicle towed had his personal account, trucking account, and a separate business account all frozen over the weekend.

He added that authorities have not revealed the yard where his truck is being impounded during the long weekend.

Reports of account seizures were not limited to Canadians in the east.

In Calgary Sun pundit Rick Bell’s daily opinion piece on Feb. 18, he paraphrased Conservative Party MP Shannon Stubbs, who represents the Lakeland riding in Alberta, as stating “folks in her riding have had their bank accounts frozen.”

“One guy knew some individuals driving across the country and donated $20. Account frozen. ‘That’s nuts,’ says Stubbs,” reads Bell’s rendition.

During a Feb. 21 press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Deputy, Chrystia Freeland, stated, “Let me say, for anyone who is concerned that their accounts may have been frozen because of their participation in these illegal blockades and occupation, the way to get your account unfrozen, is to stop being part of the blockade and occupation.”

“These measures were put in place to disrupt illegal activity in Canada,” she claimed.