Canadian Government Declares emergencies act to restrict the flow of funds
At a special press conference on Monday,
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for the first time in the nation's
history declared a national Emergencies Act which is an attempt to restrict
protestors' access to the flow of funds including cryptocurrency.
The move comes after weeks of ongoing protest by a group of truck drivers that roiled the U.S.-Canada border at various crossings as well as the country's capital city, Ottawa, Ontario. This protest has led to blocking roadways, flouting mask rules, and honking their horns to voice their displeasure with vaccination mandates.
According to Trudeau, due to blockades the economy, public safety, and the critical supply chain was getting harmed and disrupted. As a result, the workers depending on these jobs to feed their families are also getting hurt. As justification, Trudeau cited the difficulty of maintaining border security and condensing the protests while promising that the act would allow stepped-up enforcement measures.
The emergency powers action will allow the nation's government to temporarily override civil rights thereby prohibiting public assembly, restricting travel, and forcing businesses such as towing companies to act, with compensation. Also, it will enable to have control of the flow of funds to truck drivers who are protesting the country's COVID-19 restrictions. On February 4, the group's GoFundMe account was closed down by the platform after pressure from the Canadian government, at which point it turned to alternative funding methods, including Bitcoin.
During a press conference, Canada Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland who also serves as finance minister said “We are broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financial rules so they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment providers they use,”. As Freeland said would also cover cryptocurrencies.
As per the Emergencies Act, which was established in 1988, the government can freeze bank accounts without going through the court system and can take several actions to force an end to the demonstrations.
Even though Emergencies Act measures take effect immediately, the government of Justin Trudeau still has one week to secure the approval of both of Canada's legislative bodies: The House of Commons and Senate. The government has some leverage to freeze bank accounts connected to crypto firms and users to Bitcoin proponents and it is harder to shut down because it does not run on a centralized network platform controlled by a traditional payment provider.
CBW - External Analyst