Table of Contents
- Trudeau's Actions Unconstitutional
- Legal Challenges Unravel
- Emergency Act Imposed On Protestors
- Government's Stance and Future Steps
A Canadian judge has ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms when he banned truck drivers’ Bitcoin crowdfunding effort in 2022.
Trudeau's Actions Unconstitutional
The Federal Court of Canada, led by Justice Richard Mosley, delivered a significant blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, stating that the application of the Emergencies Act to curb financial support for protesting truckers was both unreasonable and unconstitutional. In a ruling on January 23, the court firmly declared that there was no national emergency justifying the use of the Emergencies Act.
Justice Mosley, in his decision, criticized the government's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act, stating,
“I have concluded that the decision to issue the Proclamation does not bear the hallmarks of reasonableness — justification, transparency and intelligibility — and was not justified in relation to the relevant factual and legal constraints that were required to be taken into consideration.”
Legal Challenges Unravel
While a public inquiry in February endorsed the government's actions during the invocation of the Act, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and the Canadian Constitution Foundation initiated legal proceedings against the government's use of the emergency law. They contended that freezing funds through emergency powers was both unnecessary and a violation of constitutional rights.
This legal challenge prompted a judicial review, resulting in the ruling from the federal court on Tuesday deeming Trudeau and his cabinet in violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Emergency Act Imposed On Protestors
The root of the matter goes back to the pandemic days of February 2022 when the Canadian government imposed the Emergencies Act under the leadership of the Prime Minister when truckers staged the “Freedom Convoy 2022” protests in Ottawa against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, causing disruptions to the US-Canada trade route. One of the measures taken was freezing funds, including cryptocurrencies and donations, to choke out the protests.
The truckers initially had attempted to crowdfund their protest via a GoFundMe campaign, which was quickly thwarted by the government. As an alternative, the Freedom Convoy turned to the BTC-powered Tallycoin and raised over $540,000. They also received BTC donations from multiple sources, including Kraken chief Jesse Powell, bringing in almost $1 million.
Government's Stance and Future Steps
The government argued that the Emergencies Act was necessary as the protesters had illegally occupied several areas and blocked the US-Canada border. However, Justice Mosley recently deemed this reasoning unreasonable and unconstitutional.
Despite the court's ruling, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has announced the government's intention to appeal the decision, stating,
“We respect very much Canada’s independent judiciary. However, we do not agree with this decision, and respectfully, we will be appealing it. I was convinced at the time it was the right thing to do, it was the necessary thing to do. I remain and we remain convinced of that.”
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