Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s justice minister has warned that people who donated to support the Freedom Convoy ‘ought to be worried’ about having their bank accounts frozen, saying they are part of a ‘pro-Trump movement’.
Justice Minister David Lametti made the remark in an interview with CTV News Channel on Wednesday night, where host Evan Solomon pressed him on whether average citizens who donated to the protests should be worried about account seizures.
‘If you are a member of a pro-Trump movement who is donating hundreds of thousands of dollars, and millions of dollars to this kind of thing, then you ought to be worried,’ said Lametti.
Lametti defended the government seizure of bank accounts tied to the protests against vaccine mandates as a simple ‘extending’ of the procedures used to stop ‘terrorist financing’.
About 44 percent of the nearly $10 million in contributions to support the protesters originated from US donors, according to hacked donor files.
After invoking the Emergencies Act this week for the first time in 50 years, Trudeau now has extraordinary powers, which include seizing assets such as bank accounts without judicial review or ordinary due process.
Meanwhile, Trudeau was reprimanded in Parliament on Wednesday when he accused a Conservative Party MP Melissa Lantsman, who is Jewish, of ‘standing with people who wave swastikas’ after she criticized his handling of the Freedom Convoy protests.
This is the second time Trudeau has claimed swastikas are being waved by protesters, and he smeared them as being ‘swastika-wavers’ in the first week of protests. A flag incorporating the Nazi symbol was spotted in the initial days of the protests, but a DailyMail reporter has not seen any at the protest in Ottawa.
‘He has not apologized, and I expect an apology,’ Lantsman said in an interview with Fox News. ‘I think the division in this country is growing and it’s growing because of the prime minister’s rhetoric on this.’
On Thursday morning, protesters continued their three-week-old blockade of central Ottawa, after Trudeau’s administration claimed the movement against vaccine mandates is under the influence of extremists who want to overthrow his Liberal government.
Canada’s Justice Minister David Lametti has warned that people who donated to support the Freedom Convoy ‘ought to be worried’ about having their bank accounts frozen
An Ontario Provincial Police vehicle is parked by the ongoing trucker blockade protest in Ottawa on Thursday. Hundreds of truckers clogging the streets of Canada’s capital city in a protest against COVID-19 restrictions are bracing for a crackdown
People walk in a cold rain with Canadian flags near signage of support for the truckers, as truckers and supporters continue to protest vaccine mandates in Ottawa on Thursday
In Wednesday’s interview with CTV, Lametti faced tough grilling over what recourse average citizens would have if their bank accounts were wrongfully frozen.
‘We already do this with respect to terrorist financing, we already do this with respect to money laundering,’ he responded.
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Lametti said that the process relied on the ‘reasonableness’ of investigators, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in order to identify bank accounts for seizure.
The donor list to a GiveSendGo campaign that raised more than $8.6 million to support the protest is now public information after hackers stole the information and released it.
Numerous protest organizers have reported freezes on their bank accounts, but it is unclear whether Trudeau’s government has moved to seize the assets of ordinary citizens who simply donated to the protests.
Under the Emergencies Act, Mounties have already requested freezes on more than 30 cryptocurrency wallets thought to be connected to the protests, multiple Canadian exchanges told the Financial Post.
The RCMP called on exchanges to immediately disclose ‘any information about payday loans Lincolnwood Illinois no checking account a transaction or proposed transaction’ connected to the wallet addresses.
‘It is unfortunate that the Emergency Economic Measures Order is indiscriminately targeting the whole cryptocurrency ecosystem,’ the Toronto-based exchange CoinSmart said in a statement. ‘We will cooperate with the OPP and the RCMP and fulfill our obligations, if any, under the Emergency Economic Measures Order.’
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, waded into the controversy on Twitter by posting an incendiary meme comparing Trudeau to the genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler.
‘Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau. I had a budget,’ reads the meme featuring an image of Hitler, which Musk tweeted in response to an article about the freeze on certain crypto wallets.
GiveSendGo founder Jacob Wells on Wednesday slammed Trudeau’s administration as a ‘group of terrorists’ and called on the FBI to investigate the hackers who shut down its site on Sunday and released the information of its more than 92,000 donors.
‘This is illegal, and these people should be going to jail,’ Wells told Fox News. ‘The FBI – I mean, it’s surprising that we haven’t heard from any investigative services. We will be reaching out ourselves to just see that there’s some investigation into this. This is completely unacceptable.’
Twitter has freely allowed the sharing of articles based on the hacked donor list, despite a policy against hacked materials that the social media giant cited in blocking articles based on material from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop.
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, is seen in Parliament on Wednesday, when he accused members of the Conservative Party – including a Jewish MP – of ‘standing with people who wave swastikas’