“The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has granted a request from the provincial government to freeze access to millions of dollars donated through online fundraising platform GiveSendGo to the truckers’ convoy protesting COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa and at several border crossings,” the CBC reported on Thursday.
In addition, the premier for Canada’s most populous province, Doug Ford, is trying to freeze the funds:
BREAKING: Tyrant Doug Ford has sought a court order to freeze any and all funds going to the Freedom Convoy. This is how to be a dictator 101. pic.twitter.com/GKnH2jHi6Q
— Keean Bexte (@TheRealKeean) February 10, 2022
“Today, the Attorney General brought an application in the Superior Court of Justice for an order pursuant to section 490.8 of the Criminal Code prohibiting any person from disposing of, or otherwise dealing with, in any manner whatsoever, any and all monetary donations made through the Freedom Convoy 2022 and Adopt-a-Trucker campaign pages on the GiveSendGo online fundraising platform," Ford said, sounding more like Chinese President Xi Jinping than the leader of a 'democratic' society.
“This afternoon, the order was issued,” the premier said. “It binds any and all parties with possession or control over these donations.”
The Canadian government's threat and actions led to a fiery response from GiveSendGo.
“Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo,” the company wrote. “All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign.”
Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo. All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign.
— GiveSendGo (@GiveSendGo) February 11, 2022
By the time Ontario moved to cut off funding, donors had raised some $8.4 million for truckers protesting in Ottawa -- and that's after $10 million was raised on GoFundMe, which threatened to take the money and give it to left-wing 'charities' like Black Lives Matter until it was threatened with legal action.
On the Canadian government’s word that the protest in Ottawa against COVID vaccine mandate for truckers had turned violent, GoFundMe blocked the distribution of those funds and initially stated it would donate them to charities of the platform’s choice. But the company reversed that decision after a widespread uproar and said it would return donations to individuals who made them instead.
Following GoFundMe's actions, several Republican leaders vowed to get to the bottom of the platform's actions, with some accusing the company of attempting to defraud donors.
“It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing. I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Twitter.
It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry also vowed to look into the platform's actions.
“I share the concerns of @WestVirginiaAG. My office will be looking into whether or not #GoFundMe violated our state law. If you are a Louisiana donor to the #FreedomConvoy, please contact my #ConsumerProtection Section!” he said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into GoFundMe’s actions as well.
“Today I sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking that the FTC open an investigation into GoFundMe into whether they’ve committed deceptive trade practices,” Cruz told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo last week.
“Because when people gave money, they gave money under the promise it would go to the Freedom Convoy, not to whatever left-wing political ideology GoFundMe and other Silicon Valley companies support. They are deceiving consumers and it is wrong,” Cruz added.