The Canadian Government’s decision to freeze digital assets and crypto donations toward protesting truckers in 2022 was deemed unconstitutional by the Canadian Federal Court.
The Federal Court ruled against the government’s decision to freeze financial assets including digital assets donations to protesting truckers calling it unreasonable.
In 2022, “Freedom Convoy” protests saw truckers demonstrate against laws mandating truckers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to cross the Canada-United States border.
During the protest, truck drivers blocked major streets in the Canadian capital, making certain areas impassable for three weeks.
Government officials described the protest as an illegal occupation and began a freeze on hundreds of bank accounts and other assets of people and groups associated with the protest.
GoFundMe has deleted Canada’s Freedom Convoy fundraiser for violating its terms, stating the “peaceful demonstration has become an occupation” now. $9 million funds to be sent to “credible charities.”
— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) February 4, 2022
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister invoked the Public Emergency Act for the first time in the country’s history, stating that they cannot allow illegal activities to continue. The Act gave police and other authorities the power to go after protest organizers’ funds.
However, a week after the freeze, it was reported that the government had begun the process of unfreezing with banks unlocking funds as the measure was only to ensure protesters left the streets.
Judge Rules In Favor of Protesters Regarding Frozen Crypto Donations
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and other groups filed actions challenging the government’s approach to freeze protesters’ assets.
Per Justice Richard Mosley’s judgment, the actions of the government do not meet the standards enshrined in the Emergency Act and cannot invoke it because it is more convenient than other tools available.
“In brief, I find that the reasons provided for the decision to declare a public order emergency do not satisfy the requirements of the Emergencies Act and that certain of the temporary measures adopted to deal with the protests infringed provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
Following the decision, the CCLA issued a press release noting that “Emergency is not in the eye of the beholder,” adding that the actions were not justified by law and a breach of freedom of expression as well as the right against forceful seizure.
The body praised the legal team adding that it will make further disclosures to the public after it has fully digested the judgement.
Canada’s Extensive Protest Clampdown
The Canadian government’s ban was wide-reaching as it gripped many fundraising platforms including traditional bank accounts. GoFundMe pulled the plug on the campaigns leading to a freeze of $9 million in funding. This decision came after pressure from the government, and the platform saying protest organizers broke its terms and conditions.
Organizers soon turned to GiveSendGo and raised another $8 million for protesters. However, the government froze accounts linked to these donations as well.
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.
— GiveSendGo (@GiveSendGo) February 11, 2022
This led organizers to move to Tallycoin, a crowdfunding campaign platform on the Bitcoin blockchain, and raise 22 BTC, approximately $920,000.
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