Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that his government is invoking the 1988 Emergencies Act, which gives him the power to freeze bank accounts and monitor “large and suspicious transactions” including funds used for crypto transactions amid the widespread truckers’ protest, aka the ‘Freedom Convoy’. As part of the act, crowdfunding platforms and payment services providers that include crypto exchanges and other crypto financing platforms now must register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Chrystia Freeland during a press conference announced that the government is broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering, monitoring, and terrorist financing laws to cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use.
“The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowdfunding platforms and some of the payment service providers they use are not fully captured under the proceeds of crime and terrorist financing act.
“Our banks and financial institutions are already obligated to report the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada or FINTRAC. As of today, all crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use must register with FINTRAC, and they must report large and suspicious transactions to FINTRAC.”
The act passed into law via the Canadian parliament in 1988, also grants the federal government temporary additional powers in order to respond to public welfare, public order, international and war emergencies. Invoked as a direct response to the ongoing trucker blockades, which have caused major disruption to cities including the country’s capital Ottawa, the act is designed to counter “illegal” protests over Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Currently, blockades across Canadian cities have been reported caused by large trucks lined up in the nation’s highways as well as trading corridors with the US. The blockades are also causing supply-chain bottlenecks across the country that are affecting Canada’s economy.