OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Freedom Convoy supporters whose bank accounts were frozen will be flagged for life.
The personal accounts of protesters that were locked after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act have been permanently marked, the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) revealed at the House of Commons finance committee meeting on Monday.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, bankers also explained that they froze accounts corresponding to 257 names that were not on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) blacklist provided to the banks, meaning they went beyond the scope of what the government asked of them.
“We primarily relied upon the names provided by the RCMP, but there were obligations under the order separate that required banks to make their own determinations,” Angelina Mason, general counsel for the Bankers Association, testified to the finance committee on Monday.
“Were there accounts of individuals frozen that did not appear on a list of names submitted by banks to the RCMP?” New Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) Daniel Blaikie asked.
“Yes,” Mason replied.
“Once an account is frozen and eventually unfrozen, are there any permanent markers or indications on a client’s file that would indicate they have had their accounts previously frozen?” Conservative MP Adam Chambers queried.
“There would be something in the file indicating a freeze had taken place,” Mason affirmed.
In response to other questions, Mason confirmed that if a person whose name was flagged by the RCMP had a joint account with someone whose name did not appear on the RCMP’s blacklist, the banks froze the account anyway, cutting both parties off from accessing their funds.
Mason added that even in the event that some of these accounts were illegitimately or unnecessarily frozen, there was “immunity provided” in the Emergencies Act that shields the banks from any legal consequences.
The Freedom Convoy protest, which consisted of thousands of protesters and hundreds of trucks, clogged the downtown core of Canada’s capital of Ottawa for just over three weeks, from the end of January until mid-February.
The stated goal of the protest was to get Canadian governments to rescind the mandates they had imposed during the so-called COVID pandemic, with supporters of the protest saying the measures taken to fight the virus were largely unnecessary, harmful, and unconstitutional.
When the convoy of trucks and their supporters were first making their way to Ottawa, Trudeau maligned the diverse group of Canadians as a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views” while also suggesting many of the demonstrators were Nazi sympathizers and racists.
Despite the size and length of the protest, police reports indicate that the movement was overwhelming peaceful and non-violent, but was nonetheless met with Trudeau invoking the never-before-used Emergencies Act, granting him the power to use federal police to forcibly end the protest while compelling financial institutions to freeze the bank accounts of anyone involved in financing the protest without a court order.
Trudeau’s harsh actions against the protesters were met with widespread criticism from international figures on both the political right and the political left.
Conservative FoxNews host Tucker Carlson accused Trudeau of turning Canada into a “dictatorship” after he granted himself the emergency powers, and prominent left-wing comedian Bill Maher likened Trudeau’s anti-protester rhetoric to the discriminatory and hateful language used by Adolf Hitler.
Since the Freedom Convoy protest, many provinces decided to move in the direction the protesters desired by phasing out or outright axing their vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, and mandatory indoor masking policies. However, Trudeau’s federal government has still held on to the vaccine mandate for all interprovincial air travelers, mandatory quarantining for unvaccinated Canadians entering Canada, and the requirement that all employees of the federal government be fully vaccinated.