“Canadian banks have started to unlock financial accounts, valued in the millions of dollars, belonging to individuals who police say participated in or helped organize a weekslong protest in Ottawa demanding an end to Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions,” says the Wall Street Journal.
The banks’ decision came after authorities informed them that they could do so after gaining control of the protests.
The Canadian government’s move coincides with the announcement of the repeal of the emergency law, invoked last week to stop the protests.
“Today, after careful consideration, we’re ready to confirm that the situation is no longer an emergency. Therefore, the federal government will be ending the use of the Emergencies Act,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa.
Protests in Canada
Last week, Justin Trudeau’s government reported that they would freeze the bank accounts of “Freedom Convoy” drivers, as a way to put pressure on protesters to prevent demonstrations in the country.
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, said that under the emergencies law, banks could immediately freeze or suspend bank accounts without a court order.
“If your truck is being used in these illegal blockades, your corporate accounts will be frozen, the insurance on your vehicle will be suspended,” she concluded.