Ottawa Police block Rebel News' request for records relating to convoy crowdfunding

The force is withholding communications data on grounds that the release of information may be injurious to the Ontario and federal governments, is part of an active investigation and could be released within 90 days. The first reason is incongruous with the last.

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Rebel News, through access to information filings, requested communications records and documents between the Ottawa Police and the crowdfunding platforms, GoFundMe and GiveSendGo about the Convoy to Ottawa protests. A second access filing requested any internal documents about GoFundMe and GiveSendGo, which would encompass communications between the force and the Ontario government, the city of Ottawa and the mayor's office, and the Federal government and multiple ministries, including public safety.

The two crowdfunding platforms were used by the convoy, which stayed in Ottawa for nearly four weeks protesting remaining COVID lockdowns and restrictions, including cross-border vaccine mandates for truckers. The Trudeau Liberals invoked the Emergencies Act, a never-before-used anti-terrorism law, to seize assets and cut off funding to those participating in the peaceful street protests.

The Ontario government obtained a court order to seize millions of dollars raised for the protest. The Ottawa mayor, Jim Watson, reported the crowdfunding campaign to the platform for violating the terms of service prohibiting unlawful activity.

Peaceful protesting, however, is not illegal in Canada.

American Republican politicians, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Ted Cruz, are now considering investigating GoFundMe for what DeSantis described as “deceptive practices” after the platform “commandeered” the money meant for the truckers. Eventually, all funds were returned to donors.

Rebel News is appealing the decision by Ottawa police to withhold information relating to the crowdfunding platforms. Police should not be political tools to protect politicians. No platform has been accused of fraud by Canadian officials. And if the data is possibly forthcoming, as the police allege, they should release it now. They can't have it all ways.

To help fund our access to information appeal, please donate


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