According to a response to an inquiry of the Finance Ministry posed by Conservative MP Damien Kurek, who represents the Alberta riding of Battle River-Crowfoot, the feds had no litmus test for whose property and bank accounts were seized under the Emergencies Act.
The Liberal government invoked the never-before-used Emergencies Act to euthanize the Freedom Convoy protest that peacefully demonstrated in the nation's capital for nearly four weeks. The protest grew out of truckers' objections to cross-border vaccine mandates, eventually becoming an avatar of mandate resistance broadly.
The Emergencies Act gave police extraordinary powers of search, seizure and arrest which led to trucks and millions of dollars in private bank accounts being seized, without any benchmark for confiscation whatsoever.
What specific criteria were used to determine whose bank accounts were frozen; (b) were any measures in place to ensure that family members and relatives of individuals involved in the protest did not have their accounts frozen just because of who their spouse or family members are, and, if so, what are the details of these measures; and (c) what specific measures are in place to ensure that individuals who financially supported the protests before the government declared the protests to be illegal do not have their bank accounts frozen for supporting a legal protest?
The Finance Ministry's reply, which was signed off by Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, noted there were no specifications to be met before asset seizure:
Neither the order nor the regulations required financial service providers to inform the Department of Finance or any other federal department or agency of the specific criteria they used to determine whose bank accounts were frozen."
The RCMP issued a statement indicating that while it remained the responsibility of the financial institutions to make the decision to freeze accounts, the RCMP was diligently working with law enforcement and federal partners to disclose relevant information of individuals and companies suspected of involvement in illegal acts. 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.
There was no indication in the Finance Ministry's response explaining how that “list” was accumulated.