Finance Ministry refuses to answer questions about what the government labelled suspicious convoy crowdfunding donations

Previous allegations made about foreign funding to the convoy to Ottawa by government officials were debunked by crowdfunding platforms.

Finance Ministry refuses to answer questions about what the government labelled suspicious convoy crowdfunding donations
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The information comes from an inquiry of the Finance ministry posed by Conservative MP Kyle Seeback of the Ontario riding of Dufferin-Caledon. The Ontario government tried to seize a multi-million dollar GiveSendGo fundraiser related to the convoy to Ottawa after a previous crowdfunding effort on the GoFundMe platform was cancelled by the company for violating the terms of service after complaints from police and Ottawa mayor, Jim Watson.

Seeback asked:

With regard to the government's invocation of the Emergencies Act and the Emergency Economic Measures Order:

(a) which crowdfunding platforms or payment service providers registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada in relation to the order;
(b) how many (i) suspicious, (ii) large value, transactions were reported by each platform or provider in relation to (a); and
(c) what is the total value of the (i) suspicious, (ii) large value transactions reported by each platform.

Chrystia Freeland, the Finance Minister who invoked the Emergencies Act which gave the federal government and police extraordinary powers of search, seizure of property and bank accounts as well as arrest and detainment of individuals involved in the convoy to Ottawa refused to answer the inquiry instead citing privacy and terror financing laws that protect the government from releasing such data:

Mr. Speaker, due to the revocation of the Emergency Economic Measures Order and the limitations on the disclosure of information that are set out in subsection 55(1) of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC, and the Department of Finance cannot respond to the question.

In processing Parliamentary returns, the Department of Finance and FINTRAC also apply the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act, and this information constitutes personal information held by third parties that the government is not legally able to share."

The convoy to Ottawa protested peacefully in the streets of the nation's capital against COVID restrictions for nearly four weeks before the Federal Government used the never-before-used Emergencies Act to begin mass arrests and confiscations of bank accounts and property.

Representatives for GiveSendGo and GoFundMe testified before a Commons Public Safety Committee that the majority of crowdfunding donations to both platforms were domestic. CBC and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino have accused the convoy of being foreign-funded. CBC retracted two stories that made the accusation.

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  • By David Menzies

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