Cabinet proposes reporting to police as a requirement to unfreeze bank accounts: Minutes

The federal government has considered asking alleged Freedom Convoy supporters whose bank accounts were frozen to report them to police before regaining access to their accounts, marking them “secret.” The minutes of the cabinet meeting held said.

Minutes of a closed-door Liberal Party Cabinet meeting on February 21 said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland began the process of unfreezing personal bank accounts that had been frozen under the state of emergency. It indicates that he spoke to “the chief executive of a major bank.” activity.

“The bank was pleased that it was working on a plan to report individuals whose bank accounts were frozen to the police before the government unfrozen the bank accounts,” read the first reported minutes. black rock reporter.

A brief summary of Freeland’s conversation with the bank’s CEO is followed by one or more pages of edited minutes.

The minutes were submitted Tuesday as evidence to the Public Order Emergency Committee, which is currently investigating the circumstances in which the federal government exercised emergency powers in February.

The government has never enforced the requirement that individuals report to the police as a condition to regain access to their accounts.

frozen account

Freeland first told reporters on February 17 that the federal government had begun to freeze the accounts of suspected Convoy supporters.

“Names of both individuals and entities, as well as cryptocurrency wallets, have been shared with financial institutions by the RCMP, and accounts have been frozen, and many more will be frozen,” she said.

“Crowdfunding platforms and payment service providers have started the registration process with FINTRAC,” Freeland added, referring to the Canadian Center for Financial Transactions and Reporting Analytics.

The press conference took place on the same day Freeland noted in the House of Representatives discussion FINTRAC lacked the “necessary authority” to regulate Convoy’s crowdfunding.

“with these [Emergencies Act] By strengthening FINTRAC’s powers, we are able to stop the illegal funding of these illegal blockades,” Freeland told the House of Representatives on Feb. 17.

In less than a week, more than 200 accounts totaling $7.8 million were frozen, according to Assistant Treasury Secretary Isabel Jacques.

Jack told the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Finance on Feb. 22 that it was “not impossible” for individuals recorded to have donated as little as $20 to the Freedom Convoy to have their accounts frozen. said.

Freeland had denied the day before that the RCMP was aware of the small donors to the convoy.

“The RCMP gave the financial institutions the names of the leaders and organizers of the protests, as well as the names of the people whose trucks were occupations and part of the blockade. It’s the only information I’ve provided,” she said on February 21.

But Angelina Mason, vice president of the Canadian Bankers Association, told the House Finance Committee in March that banks had frozen just over the RCMP’s list of accounts and used a unique “risk-based approach.” .

“They’re monitoring for unusual activity in a common way, but that’s a pretty high threshold.” Mason said.

“If there is a threshold that turns out to be anomalous, it will clearly be viewed through the lens of the activity that was taking place within Ottawa.”

Andrew Chen and Noë Chartier contributed to this report.

peter wilson


Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.