The measure might lead to an unknown number of protesters in financial limbo. In an attempt to starve the organizers of the funds they need to continue their occupation of the nation's capital, Deputy PM Freeland urged to take more accounts offline in the following days.
In her position as finance minister, Freeland said the RCMP and other law authorities have been gathering intelligence on convoy protesters and sharing it with the financial institutions to restrict their access to cash and cryptocurrency. The Bank can also target the closure of accounts that support the campaigns that fuelled this protest. She said she will not elaborate on "specifics of whose accounts are being frozen."
Using financial laws, the Canadian government has forced crowdfunding websites and payment providers to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), the government's financial intelligence unit.
Canada’s national police service is sending to banks the names of people involved in protests that have paralyzed the nation’s capital .. as Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said some accounts have already been frozen. https://t.co/RTTJ9WyYG6
Freeland warned that those who have their big rigs on Ottawa's streets could be seen their insurance canceled and their corporate accounts suspended, a move that might cause difficulty for these drivers ever to work again. "The consequences are real and they will bite," she noted.
The Deputy PM said the government feels "great sorrow" about these sanctions but underlined they were necessary to "defend our democracy" and to "restore peace and order."
After declaring the Emergencies Act, the government has ordered the banks and financial institutions to stop doing business with people who are "directly or indirectly" associated with the anti-vaccine mandate protests that have seriously disrupted Ottawa's downtown core. Banks have been forbidden to provide "any financial or related services" to people associated with the protests, a move that will result in frozen accounts, stranded money, and canceled credit cards.
Canadian authorities have used these measures to prevent more anti-mandate protests from popping up at other sites. "We now have the tools to follow the money. We can see what is happening and what is being planned in real-time and we are absolutely determined that this must end now and for good," stated Freeland.