Canadian Polices Begins Unfreezing Accounts as Emergencies Act Revoked

The Emergencies Act, which had been invoked in the previous week, for dealing with the Freedom Convoy trucker protest has now been revoked by Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister. Financial institutions that had been instructed to freeze accounts by the Canadian Police were also ordered to unfreeze accounts. The Prime Minister stated that the situation was no longer considered an emergency due to which the use of the Emergencies Act by the federal government has now ended. He added that the existing laws and bylaws were appropriate enough to deal with the matter. The announcement was made on Wednesday and Trudeau acknowledge that the threat still exists.

Trudeau said that they had made it clear that the use of the Emergencies Act would be for a limited time period. The revocation was signed off by the governor-general of Canada on Wednesday afternoon, which formally put an end to the state of emergency. Ontario is no longer under a state of emergency, but the officer of Premier Doug Ford stated that they would continue using the emergency tools available to law enforcement as the police continue to deal with the activity that is happening on the ground. 

Last week, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had ordered financial institutions, which included banks, crypto exchanges as well as wallets, to freeze wallets and accounts that were connected to the Freedom Convoy protest. They had flagged around 34 crypto addresses. Subsequently, the Trudeau government had announced that they would freeze even more accounts. The assistant deputy minister of finance in Canada, Isabelle Jacques had informed a parliamentary committee that they had frozen about 210 bank accounts that contained $7.8 million, but they were now being unfrozen. She said that the RCMP had shared information with financial institutions and they had informed them about unfreezing the accounts.

She elaborated that most of the accounts were being unfrozen, depending on the information that RCMP may have. She also addressed concerns over freezing the accounts of donors. The RCMP stated that it had only provided the names of the organizers of the Freedom Convoy and the truck owners who were refusing to leave to the banks. The Canadian Police said that they had not shared a list of donors. According to Jacques, the financial measures had been implemented on 15th February, as part of the Emergencies Act, and shouldn’t affect anyone who made a donation before that date.

Furthermore, she added that the purpose of the measures was to convince the organizers and participants of the protest to go home. She said that it was unlikely that donors’ had had their accounts frozen, but not impossible. The assistant deputy minister of finance said that she found it unlikely that anyone making a $20 donation before February 15th, or even after, would have their account frozen. When the Emergencies Act had gone into effect and crypto exchanges had been asked to comply, leaders like the CEO of Coinbase and Kraken recommended that people switch to self-custodial wallets.

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