The Federal Court of Canada has ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of emergency legislation to suppress the “freedom convoy” protests in 2022, was “unreasonable.”
On Jan. 23, a Canadian federal court ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to use Canada’s Emergencies Act to freeze crypto used to support truck convoy protesters in 2022 was an unjustifiable infringement of civil rights.
The Federal Court of Canada particularly deemed the freezing of bank accounts and crypto for individuals associated with the protest unjustified. However, it rejected claims that the government had violated various other rights.
Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley noted the government cannot simply invoke the Emergencies Act “because it is convenient, or because it may work better than other tools at their disposal or available to the provinces,” adding that this measure should only be considered as a “tool of last resort.”
“And in this instance, the evidence is clear that the majority of the provinces were able to deal with the situation using other federal law, such as the Criminal Code, and their own legislation.”
Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley
As crypto.news reported, in 2022 protests erupted in Canada in response to strict COVID-19 protocols. The government, using the National Emergency Act, aimed to address what it deemed “rogue” protesters, granting it the authority to bypass crucial financial protocols.
This included the ability to access and freeze bank accounts without requiring a court order. In response, some Canadians turned to cryptocurrencies. However, the Ontario Provincial Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police later directed all regulated financial institutions to halt any transactions from 34 crypto wallets linked to funding protests led by truckers in the country, which held dozens of Bitcoin (BTC) and other altcoins.
The outcome of the ruling’s impact on those affected by the Emergencies Act, and their ability to sue the government for damages, remains uncertain, as the government said it will appeal the decision.