RCMP gave banks police . on Ottawa protesters with list of accounts to freeze

OTTAWA —
The RCMP informed MPs Monday that it solely gave the names of individuals instantly concerned in Ottawa protests to banks to freeze their accounts, and never supporters who donated to the so-called Freedom Convoy.

The lists of protesters given to banks included private particulars from the police database, similar to whether or not protesters had been suspected of different crimes, had witnessed crimes or had different “dealings” with the police, in addition to private .rmation similar to age and top.

RCMP Supt. Denis Beaudoin informed the Home of Commons finance committee that banks, constructing societies and different establishments had been despatched “various kinds of .rmation” from the police database on protesters, relying on what was of their recordsdata.

He agreed that round 50 to 100 staff of banks and different monetary establishments might have seen the .rmation, in reply to questions from Conservative MP Philip Lawrence, who requested concerning the sharing of personal particulars from police recordsdata and the way many individuals employed by banks and constructing societies would have seen it.

Angelina Mason of the Canadian Bankers Affiliation stated the RCMP, when it recognized individuals concerned within the protests, gave the banks “a high-level description of what they thought the actions had been” in Ottawa.

The RCMP informed the committee that round 257 accounts of individuals and companies concerned within the protests had been frozen by monetary establishments.

Assistant RCMP Commissioner Michel Arcand stated the accounts had been frozen to encourage protesters in Ottawa to go away and to discourage others from becoming a member of the protests.

He stated the particular measures within the Emergencies Act freezing accounts had been helpful and “did encourage individuals to go away.”

Arcand says the intelligence about who was concerned within the Ottawa protests was gat.d by the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police and Ottawa police earlier than the names got to banks.

A whole lot of demonstrators blockaded roads in Ottawa for greater than three weeks final month, and comparable demonstrations blocked 4 main border crossings in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

The Ottawa protests brought about distress for a lot of native individuals, with incessant honking from vehicles affecting downtown residents and reviews of abuse hurled at those that had been sporting masks.

The Emergencies Act was in pressure from Feb. 15 to 23. It was invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the primary time in Canada’s historical past to cope with the protests.

The act imposed a authorized obligation on banks to freeze the accounts of protesters named by the RCMP.

All those that had their accounts frozen underneath the emergency legal guidelines have now had them unfrozen, in accordance with Mason, although some associated to court docket orders should still be frozen.

She stated that banks had been prone to retain .rmation of their recordsdata that a person’s account had been frozen. Nonetheless, it was as much as particular person banks how you can cope with their clients.

She stated the banks “got a heads-up it was coming” however they weren’t conscious of the small print of the emergency legislation till it was revealed.

Arcand says the Mounties solely gave banks the names of individuals instantly concerned in Ottawa protests to freeze their accounts.

No donors had been included within the record, regardless of hints in the course of the protest they may be.

“If you’re a member of a pro-Trump motion who’s donating lots of of hundreds of {dollars}, and tens of millions of {dollars} to this sort of factor, you then must be fearful,” Justice Minister David Lametti informed CTV Energy Play in the course of the protests, when requested concerning the freezing of accounts.

Beaudoin stated t. is an ongoing police investigation into cash that got here from overseas to again the protests.

He was amongst these giving proof to the Home of Commons finance committee for its research of the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act to carry an finish to blockades in Ottawa.

He stated the RCMP made makes an attempt to . protesters to warn them that their accounts may be frozen and to confirm whether or not they remained on the protest or had left.

The RCMP informed MPs the pressure didn’t use the emergency powers to cease truckers’ insurance coverage. They had been questioned by the Commons committee about whether or not such a measure might have led to truckers driving from the protests illegally and inflicting a crash with out insurance coverage.

MPs additionally requested if joint financial institution accounts had been frozen, affecting individuals not concerned within the protests and their capacity to pay hire and youngster assist.

Mason informed the committee she was conscious of joint accounts being frozen. She stated the bankers affiliation had raised the difficulty of “humanitarian exceptions” with the federal government. However the Emergencies Act was quickly revoked and accounts unfrozen swiftly so it turned a “moot level.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed March 7, 2022.



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