GiveSendGo tells court that it is repaying convoy donations in a freeze order

A class action lawyer proposed in response to a convoy protest in Ottawa may have violated a freeze order on the funds raised for the convoy on the website by GiveSendGo in court on Wednesday. Insisted.

On behalf of the proposed class, lawyer Monique Gillesen, who obtained an injunction to freeze the convoy’s funds, said the order was legal because it was intended to secure funds. He said the issue could be dealt with in court.

The parties to the proceedings agreed to transfer some of the donated funds and cryptocurrencies to escrow. This could be redistributed to the affected Ottawa residents and business owners if the class action is successful.

Jacob Wells, co-founder of the American crowdfunding site GiveSendGo, told a judge in the Ontario Superior Court that the platform’s terms of service give the donor the discretion to return the funds.

Police cleared the convoy’s protest last month. Wells says there is currently no way to distribute the money for their intended purpose, and the site is refunding money to donors to “protect our donors’ intent.” rice field.

Jilesen said this could mean that GiveSend Go violated the freeze order.

However, Judge Calum MacLeod said the order was clearly intended for the funds owned by the defendant and not intended to apply to undistributed funds on the funding platform. ..

This appearance is part of an extended freeze order for all funds donated to the so-called free convoy, as proposals for class proceedings against the convoy continue.

The proceedings sought damages related to a three-week protest outside the parliamentary hills, obstructing traffic, closing businesses, and plagued residents with nearly constant horns.

GiveSendGo’s “Freedom Convoy 2022” and “Adopt-a-Trucker” campaigns said the money collected would go to truck drivers who traveled to Ottawa and arrived to pay for fuel, food and shelter.

Melissa Adams, a lawyer at the Attorney General’s Office in Ontario, reiterated Gillesen’s allegations on Wednesday, adding that GiveSendGo was also subject to a detention order issued in February.

On February 10, the Ontario government successfully filed a petition with the court to freeze access to millions of dollars donated through an online funding platform and ban anyone from distributing donations.

MacLeod said the question of whether the site violated the Ontario detention order was not within his authority.

Meanwhile, conservative critics of the ethical and accountable government said they asked the privacy commissioner to investigate hacking of crowdfunding platforms.

Tory lawmaker James Bezan said the data that tens of thousands of Canadians were illegally obtained and circulated without their consent is a “blatant invasion of privacy.”

He added that it led to doxing campaigns, personal and corporate addressing, and targeted harassment.

“It is also important that the right to privacy of all Canadians is respected,” Bezan said in a statement, while those charged with “illegal activity” should be held liable. ..

In February, GiveSendGo was hacked and data about donors was provided to the Transparency Group’s Distributed Denial of Secrets, making it available to newsrooms and researchers.

The Privacy Commissioner’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Privacy Commissioner spokesman Vito Pilieci said in an email Wednesday that the office knew Bezan’s letter and added that he had received many other complaints from individuals related to the GiveSend Go breach.

He said the office is in contact with GiveSend Go to receive information about the incident.

The Privacy Commissioner’s office has also launched two investigations related to the posting of personal information allegedly disclosed as a result of the breach, Pilieci said, but could not provide further details.

Erica Ibrahim

Canadian press