On Sunday, excessive force was used on a protester a the Ambassador Bridge. It’s unclear what the protester did to invite such a brutal response, but Canadian forces wasted no time making an example of him for others who might want to think twice about continuing their protest for free freedom.
Protestor tackled at Ambassador Bridge. Sign must have been a collage of all the police officers moms naked. Just kidding, it likely said “I Love Canada”
This force was clearly unnecessary.
I mean if it’s a numbers game they have already lost. pic.twitter.com/w538wHeYrO
— bu/ac (@buperac) February 13, 2022
On Monday afternoon, Canada’s iron-fisted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland ordered that bank accounts are frozen for any Canadian citizen caught offering food or money to truckers protesting for freedom from COVID restrictions and mandates.
Earlier today, it was announced that Prime Minister Trudeau would enact a Canadian Emergency Measures Act to shut down pro-freedom protests across Canada.
The CBC reports – The Emergencies Act, which replaced the War Measures Act in the 1980s, defines a national emergency as a temporary “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it.”
It gives special powers to the prime minister to respond to emergency scenarios affecting public welfare (natural disasters, disease outbreaks), public order (civil unrest), international emergencies, or war emergencies.
The War Measures Act has not been used since 1970 when Justin Trudeau’s father, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, enacted the act during the October Crisis.
Conservative Treehouse reports – According to the public statements by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, they have authorized banks, financial institutions, and insurance carriers to suspend the accounts of Canadian citizens based on their social media postings.
Yes, you read that correctly. Support of “blockades and/or occupations” are specifically noted.
Anyone in Canada (individual or business) who supports or “furthers” the Freedom Convoy or Freedom Protest on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media platform, is a target to have their bank accounts frozen and insurance policies nullified.
Ezra Levant, publisher of Rebel News reports –
Trudeau knows there is no violence amongst the truckers. The Ambassador Bridge was cleared easily and peacefully. It’s really just peaceful protests now.
The real move today is not policing. It’s being able to seize opposition/conservative bank accounts — without a court order.
Trudeau knows there is no violence amongst the truckers. The Ambassador Bridge was cleared easily and peacefully. It's really just peaceful protests now.
The real move today is not policing. It's being able to seize opposition/conservative bank accounts — without a court order.
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) February 14, 2022
Here is the stunning statement from Canada’s Department of Finance that explains why they’ve enacted the Emergency Act that includes serious punitive actions, which include freezing the bank accounts of individual citizens, businesses, and corporations who dare to support the Truckers for Freedom movement.
The statement includes several references to the international embarrassment the truckers’ protests have caused Trudeau and the Canadian government.
Around the world, liberal democracies have been facing serious and sustained threats.
We may have thought – we may have hoped – that Canada would be spared. Over the past two and a half weeks, we have learned that it is not.
This occupation and these blockades are causing serious harm to our economy, to our democratic institutions, and to Canada’s international standing.
The world’s confidence in Canada as a place to invest and do business is being undermined.
These illegal blockades are doing great damage to Canada’s economy and to our reputation as a reliable trading partner.
The statement also addresses the loss to businesses because of the protests. Were similar statements made about the financial losses for business owners and individuals over government-mandated, authoritarian lockdowns?
The blockade of the Ambassador Bridge has affected about $390 million in trade each day. This bridge supports 30 percent of all trade by road between Canada and the United States, our most important trading partner.
In Coutts, Alberta, about $48 million in daily trade has been affected by the blockades.
In Emerson, Manitoba, about $73 million in daily trade has been affected by the blockades.
Those costs are real. They threaten businesses big and small. And they threaten the livelihoods of Canadian workers, just as we are all working so hard to recover from the economic damage caused by COVID-19.
And then, Trudeau and his finance minister added a not-so-subtle dig at President Trump and his tariffs on Canadian products, and his undoing of the ridiculous NAFTA trade agreement between Canada and the US.
We fought tooth and nail to protect Canada’s privileged trading relationship with the United States during the NAFTA negotiations and in the face of the illegal and unjustified 232 tariffs.
We will not allow that hard-won success to be compromised. The world is watching. Our jobs, our prosperity, and our livelihoods are at stake.
That is why our government is taking action. We are resolute and determined. These illegal blockades must and will end.
As part of invoking the Emergencies Act, we are announcing the following immediate actions:
First: we are broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use. These changes cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.
In other words, Christian-based crowdfunding platforms like GiveSendGo will now be considered the equivalent of terrorists or money launderers in Canada.
The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowdfunding platforms, and some of the payment service providers they use, are not fully captured under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.
Our banks and financial institutions are already obligated to report to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC. As of today, all crowdfunding platforms, and the payment service providers they use, must register with FINTRAC and must report large and suspicious transactions to FINTRAC.
This will help mitigate the risk that these platforms receive illicit funds; increase the quality and quantity of intelligence received by FINTRAC; and make more information available to support investigations by law enforcement into these illegal blockades.
We are making these changes because we know that these platforms are being used to support illegal blockades and illegal activity, which is damaging the Canadian economy.
The government will also bring forward legislation to provide these authorities to FINTRAC on a permanent basis.
Second: the government is issuing an order with immediate effect, under the Emergencies Act, authorizing Canadian financial institutions to temporarily cease providing financial services where the institution suspects that an account is being used to further the illegal blockades and occupations. This order covers both personal and corporate accounts.
Third: we are directing Canadian financial institutions to review their relationships with anyone involved in the illegal blockades and report to the RCMP or CSIS.
As of today, a bank or other financial service provider will be able to immediately freeze or suspend an account of an individual or business affiliated with these illegal blockades without a court order. In doing so, they will be protected against civil liability.
Federal government institutions will have a new broad authority to share relevant information with banks and other financial service providers to ensure that we can all work together to put a stop to the funding of these illegal blockades.
This is about following the money. This is about stopping the financing of these illegal blockades. We are today serving notice: if your truck is being used in these protests, your corporate accounts will be frozen. The insurance on your vehicle will be suspended. Send your semi-trailers home. The Canadian economy needs them to be doing legitimate work, not to be illegally making us all poorer.
We are announcing these measures after careful reflection. I spoke directly with the heads of Canadian banks and I would like to commend them for doing their part to uphold Canadian laws and Canadian democracy, and to protect our economy.
Team Canada has stood together over the past two years. We have trusted one another. We have leaned on one another.
What we are facing today is a threat to our democratic institutions, to our economy, and to peace, order, and good government in Canada. This is unacceptable. It cannot stand and it will not stand.
But wait, it gets worse.
Not only are people subject to getting their bank accounts frozen, but the decision also to freeze the accounts is entirely up to the reviewer, and the reviewer is protected by the government from civil liability for their decision.
“Support” and “affiliated with” are loosely defined, and as a result, a guy delivering pizzas to an Ottawa “occupation” truck driver is also running the risk of seeing his bank account frozen simply for providing the food. I can see why the Canadian Civil Liberties Association would take issue with this declaration.
A banking employee who does not like the politics of a customer as revealed by a review of their social media postings, and merely “suspects” the account holder of supporting or furthering the action, can -without any liability- block the bank accounts of any customer or account holder, and they do not need to provide an explanation.
Democrat lawyer Jonathan Turley weighed in the controversy, mocking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who praised truckers just two years ago as heroes, and now is denouncing them as “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy.”
This is the same Trudeau who praised BLM protesters and stressed that “I have attended protests and rallies in the past when I agreed with the goals, when I supported the people expressing their concerns and their issues, Black Lives Matter is an excellent example of that.”
The freezing of funds supporting the truckers laid bare the anti-free speech trend sweeping across the world, including in the U.S. There is no principled basis for cutting off the ability of citizens to support other citizens in a campaign of civil disobedience. Although ignored by most in the media, the same claim used by the Trudeau government today could have been used to freeze support for the civil rights era’s freedom marchers or for BLM protesters in 2020.
Ottawa is not under siege; the roads can be cleared. However, our politics and media have become bunkered and blockaded. Free speech is being curtailed through government actions, including the freezing of these funds, or through corporate censorship now embraced by the left. And lost in all this is an outlet for our political tensions and channels for dialogue.