By Dan Frieth February 18, 2022
Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland wants to make permanent the invasive financial surveillance system introduced as part of the “Emergencies Act” to crush the civil liberties protests.
Freeland had announced the initial powers earlier this week to freeze the bank accounts of those who support the protests.
“As of today, all crowdfunding platforms, and the payment service providers they use, must register with FINTRAC and must report large and suspicious transactions to FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada),” Freeland said at the time. “This will help mitigate the risk that these platforms receive illicit funds; increase the quality and quantity of intelligence received by FINTRAC; and make more information available to support investigations by law enforcement into these illegal blockades.
“This is about following the money. This is about stopping the financing of these illegal blockades. We are today serving notice, if your truck is being used in these illegal blockades your corporate accounts will be frozen.”
Under the Emergencies Act, banks are required to freeze accounts without the need for a court order.
Freeland explained: “The government is issuing an order with immediate effect under the Emergencies Act, authorizing Canadian financial institutions to temporarily cease providing financial services where the institution suspects that an account is being used to further the illegal blockades and occupations. This order covers both personal and corporate accounts.”
But now, Freeland has announced that she plans to make some of the emergency measures permanent.
The government also intends to introduce new legislation to make new authorities for FINTRAC.
“We used all the tools that we had prior to the invocation of the Emergencies Act and we determined we needed some additional tools,” Freeland announced in a panel interview on Zoom.
“Some of those tools we will be putting forward measures to put those tools permanently in place. The authorities of FINTRAC, I believe, do need to be expanded to cover crowdsourcing platforms and payment platforms.”