Toronto-Dominion Bank, (TD), has stated that they will no longer be donating $1.4 million to Freedom Convoy and are instead going to give the money to Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Speaking to Canada’s CTV News on Friday, a representative for the top 10 North American financial institution revealed that “TD asked the court for the acceptance of the funds. They were raised via crowdfunding and deposited in personal accounts at TD.” Approximately $1 million is the money raised for the Canadian truckers and not refunded by GoFundMe, and the other $0.4 million is made up of direct donations. The bank said it was applying to entrust the funds with the authorities in the hope that “These may be used to distribute them in accordance the donor’s intentions and/or returned to those donors who requested refunds, but whose eligibility cannot be established by TD.”
Freedom Convoy lawyer Keith Wilson is vowing to put up a legal fight to “Have the restriction on donations lifted as quickly as possible.”
It isn’t the first time that Freedom Convoy had donations frozen. GoFundMe announced earlier this month it wouldn’t hand over $9M of $10M raised to support the cause. As justification for the move, the crowdfunding platform cited Canadian police reports of “Violations and other criminal activity” by the protesters. GoFundMe originally planned to transfer the money to charities, but decided instead to refund donations.
Shortly thereafter, the truckers switched over to GiveSendGo’s Christian fundraising platform. The Ontario Superior Court on Thursday announced that it was going to freeze funds coming out of GiveSendGo accounts. The court sided with Ontario’s attorney general, who claimed the money would be used to further a criminal act.
GiveSendGo responded by saying the Canadian court’s order does not apply to it, with money still being raised for the protesters.
Truckers have begun to look into cryptocurrency after multiple donations were seized. The truckers posted a Facebook video showing that by Friday they had raised $913,000 worth of Bitcoin. Ottawa police apparently know about the new fundraising strategy and have mentioned it in court documents. Canadian authorities, however, have not yet provided any details on how they will counter this move.
The Freedom Convoy has been blocking border crossings between the US and Canada since January 29th. Their main complaint regards Covid vaccine mandates for truckers who cross the border – though their demands have expanded to include calls to ditch all Covid restrictions and for Justin Trudeau’s government to resign.
On Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in the province, urging the protesters to “These occupations must be ended and you should return home.”
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