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Freezing of Bank Accounts

March 1, 2022

My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

On February 18, 2022, to justify the use of the Emergencies Act, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said, and I quote:

 . . . we know that foreign interference is a reality, which is why we decided to go ahead.

That said, on the subject of funding, she also said, and I quote, “. . . where is this information campaign coming from? Where is its funding coming from?”

These were the grounds used to justify the seizure of bank accounts belonging to individuals who participated in the various demonstrations. In your opinion, did these grounds justify the violation of section 8? Were there sufficiently urgent, real and serious grounds to seize bank accounts without a warrant?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for the question.

As I explained many times last week, the government was convinced that all of the measures that were put in place and the invocation of the emergency measures were necessary to respond to the crisis.

Fortunately, the state of emergency is over, and the measures that were put in place are no longer in effect.

When the state of emergency was lifted, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said, and I quote, “The accounts were frozen to convince people taking part in the occupation and illegal blockades to leave.”

How can you justify seizing bank accounts without a warrant and without legal authorization when the only objective is to convince people to move vehicles parked on Wellington Street?

Senator Gold [ - ]

Thank you for the question. Once again, the answer is clear. All of these measures were necessary to put an end to the occupation of Ottawa, which caused a lot of harm to Ottawa residents and in other parts of Canada.

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