TD Bank freezes 2 Canadian Protest Bank accounts
The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) has frozen two personal bank accounts in which C$1.4 million had been deposited in support of protesters against the Canadian government’s pandemic measures, according to a Reuters report.
The protests are called the Freedom Convoy and are made up of Canadian truckers who oppose vaccination mandates for cross-border travel.
The protests are entering their third week, having blocked the capital of Ottawa and also blocked border crossings between the United States and Canada, affecting trade between the two.
TD asked the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to recover the funds, which had been sent via GoFundMe and wire transfers. This means that these funds can either be sent to the intended recipients or returned to donors “who have requested refunds but whose right to a refund cannot be determined by TD,” the bank said in a statement.
A lawyer for the convoy, Keith Wilson, called the actions “inappropriate and disappointing”. He said the convoy planned to seek a court order for the donations to be released.
One of the bank accounts in question received a donation of C$1 million, and the rest was sent through a second account.
GoFundMe took down the protest convoy donation page on Feb. 4 after it secured $10 million. This led many protesters to switch to another service, GiveSendGo, instead. The Ontario Superior Court also ordered the site to freeze funds sent to support the protest, which the site refused to do. The report says the protest raised C$11 million on GiveSendGo on Sunday.
Republican lawmakers in the United States said GoFundMe may have violated federal law by removing the page taking donations for the protest convoy.
PYMNTS writes that in a letter to the FTC, Sen. Ted Cruz said regulators need to determine whether GoFundMe was misleading when they took down the convoy page.
Related: Capitol Hill Lawmakers Threaten to Probe GoFundMe After Trucker Fundraising Halts