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FINTRAC says Convoy posed no violent extremist threat, accounts still frozen

Keean Bexte

February 28, 2022

Despite the application of terrorist financing rules, FINTRAC Deputy Director of Intelligence Barry MacKillop says that the convoy never posed an extreme or violent threat to Canadians.

It’s been less than a week since Trudeau ended the use of the Emergencies Act, but no one can forget that Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland suggested donators to the Convoy were terrorist financers despite FINTRAC disagreeing completely.

On February 17, three days after invoking the Emergencies Act, Freeland said that she was in contact with FINTRAC, having expanded the organization’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules to target donors to GoFundMe or GiveSendGo, and ultimately to freeze the bank accounts of Convoy supporters.

“Do not doubt our determination to act, to defend our democracy, to defend our economy, and to restore peace, order, and good government,” Freeland said.

“So let me repeat what I said on Monday: If your truck is being used in these protests, your corporate accounts will be frozen. The insurance on your vehicle will be suspended,” she continued.

“The consequences are real, and they will bite. It is time for you to go home.”

However, while Freeland suggests that rules needed to be expanded to address “terrorist financing,” FINTRAC Deputy Director of Intelligence Barry MacKillop didn’t see a clear threat from the Convoy.

During a public safety committee meeting, MacKillop said, “What’s happening in Ottawa has not been, to my knowledge, identified as ideologically motivated, violent extremism. [sic] might come into Canada to support ideologically motivated, violent extremism, and the United States would be extremely concerned about money leaving the States or funding such extremist views or extremist actions. Our partners in FINs are quite alive to this; we share a lot of intelligence back and forth with respect to IMVEs, with respect to travelling and people who want to leave the country to participate in terrorist activities, for example….”

MacKillop was then asked whether he had any concerns regarding potential sources of funding for the Convoy.

“No, the sources of funding that we’ve seen today, we have not seen a spike in — as you know, I can’t speak to specific reporting or reporting on any individuals or organizations — but we have not seen a spike in suspicious transaction reporting, for example, related to [the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa].”

We all now know, of course, that there was never an emergency, to begin with, and that Trudeau had no reason to fight for the continued use of his emergency powers, having relinquished them after it looked like the Senate was going to take them away and expending so much political capital parliamentarians to keep them.

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