A Canadian politician announced on Monday that he has requested the city to launch a legal effort to seize millions of dollars from the Canadian Freedom Convoy’s GoFundMe account.
The massive ‘Freedom Convoy’ converged in Ottawa over the weekend to protest the federal government’s mandate requiring that all Canadian truck drivers crossing the U.S. border be fully vaccinated, and to protest mandates that require vaccination for people to work.
Mathieu Fleury, the Ottawa City Councilor of Rideau-Vanier Ward, tweeted that he asked the city manager and city solicitor to target the “frozen” funds “so Ottawa taxpayers aren’t left holding the bag for these protests.”
Fleury added that he would be providing more details, but “I would like to see any funds we successfully recoup go to costs incurred, to clean-up our neighbourhoods and support our businesses as well as organisations helping people targeted and intimidated.”
Fleury later set his Twitter account to private.
The Freedom Convoy has collected $9,203,520 in funds “to help with the costs of fuel first, and hopefully food and lodgings to help ease the pressures of this arduous task.”
GoFundMe initially held on to the funds, requesting transparency regarding “the flow of funds” and how they money would be spent.
The Freedom Convoy fundraisers announced on Friday that GoFundMe had begun to pay out the funds, starting with the first payment of $1 million in Canadian dollars.
We have some great news to share with all of you! We have received confirmation that GoFundMe has released our first batch of funds and is initiating our first transfer. We can’t thank you enough for your patience.
Sadly, the legacy media felt it was necessary to publish news articles implying that GoFundMe had frozen our funds for a variety of outrageous reasons. In reality, the temporary hold was due to international banking regulations which dictate many of GoFundMe policies. It is common practice with GoFundMe to conduct this kind of due diligence to ensure the funds are legitimate.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported last Thursday:
The crowdfunding platform GoFundMe says it has released an initial $1 million of the $6.2 million collected for a convoy of truckers and their supporters now heading to Parliament Hill to protest vaccine mandates.
The fundraising page was launched earlier this month by Tamara Lich to take donations to cover the convoy’s fuel, food and lodging expenses. Earlier this week, GoFundMe said it was holding back the funds until it received more details about the group and its financial management.
A spokesperson for GoFundMe, speaking on background, said Thursday that the organizer has provided a distribution plan and the withdrawn funds are being used to cover participants’ fuel costs.
GoFundMe said it’s working with the organizers to release of the rest of the money once participants have been reimbursed for their expenses.
Organizers told the CBC that they will be donate any money left over to a veterans organization.