GoFundMe famously caved last week under an immense public backlash and decided to release the first tranche of the millions of dollars raised on the platform to support the Canadian truckers and their "Freedom Convoy" which led a massive protest in Ottawa over the weekend to protest Canada's draconian COVID-related restrictions. The protest seems to have already had some impact on Canadian society, since the Governor of Quebec just yesterday abandoned plans to impose a "health tax" on unvaccinated residents, before whipping out the conciliatory rhetoric about bridge-building.
Unfortunately for the Truckers and their supporters, the Canadian government hasn't stopped trying to end the protest by any means necessary, including - if they must - seizing money that was lawfully raised in a public setting.
To wit, Mathieu Fleury, the Ottawa City Councillor of Rideau-Vanier Ward, announced support Wednesday for the government to launch a legal challenge to seize the remaining GoFundMe donations that had been collected online. He made the announcement in a tweet from his public account, which was set to private shortly after as it was inundated by a wave of supporters voicing their objections to this latest egregious example of government encroachment on liberty.
"This morning, I have asked the city manager and city solicitor to immediately launch court proceedings targeting the millions of dollars in funds frozen by @GoFundMe so Ottawa taxpayers are not left holding the bag for these protests," Fleury said via tweet.
He expanded on this notion in the email, which was shared on twitter and a potion of which can be viewed above: "I want to voice my support for the notion of City initiating actions against the GoFundme funds to cover City expenses from incidents from the protests. (Police costs, businesses and residents for clean-up, promotion for our City, and messaging to support downtown residents, and funds for local groups who were victimized over the weekend) Please advise on actions we can and will take."
Presumably, many of the Canadians who donated to the GoFundMe page also pay taxes. But the notion of the Canadian government seizing money raised by the public to support people fighting for the restoration of their civil liberties almost sounds a little too draconian - even for them.
Judging by the fact that Fleury has essentially gone into digital hiding after publicizing his plans suggests - if the past is any guide - that they are already preparing to walk this back.
Remember, this whole thing was started when the Canadian government imposed new vaccination and quarantine requirements on the truckers that made continuing to do the job virtually impossible for truckers who hadn't accepted the vaccine. GoFundMe initially shut down the fundraiser on its platform before caving and allowing it to proceed. Now, the government is trying to seize that money for its own ends. Or, as one twitter user put it...
The Ottawa City Council moves to STEAL from the Freedom Convoy. There, I fixed it for you.— LisaGurl💎🙌🐒 (@LlargernLarge) January 31, 2022