Responding to the now weeks-long, trucker-led protests that have snarled streets in Ottawa and blocked key crossings at the U.S.-Canada border, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this afternoon invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time since the law was passed in 1988.
« This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting peoples’ jobs and restoring faith in our institutions, » said the prime minister. Though the Emergencies Act allows for the military to be called in, Trudeau, for now, said he has no plans to do so.
he government instead appeared set to take aim at protester finances. Speaking alongside Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said banks can immediately freeze or suspend bank accounts without a court order and without fear of civil liability.
In addition, the government is broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules to now cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use. These changes, said Freeland, cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as crypto.
The Tallycoin bitcoin fundraiser had reportedly raised more than 20 bitcoin (BTC) – or nearly $1 million – for the truckers. The organizers have shut down the fundraising page, and are asking for all to « stay tuned » about next steps.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.