Justin Trudeau infringed freedoms in truck drivers’ bitcoin funding ban, judge rules

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has infringed the country’s charter of rights and freedoms, a judge ruled, when he invoked the Emergencies Act to halt truck drivers’ Covid-19 protests and bitcoin crowdfunding back in 2022.

A public inquiry in February deemed the government acted appropriately when the Act was invoked. However, pressure from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Constitution Foundation led to a judicial review. On Tuesday, a federal court found that Trudeau and his cabinet was not justified in its response.

In February 2022, thousands protested mandates that required truck drivers crossing the Canada-US border to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Truckers set up blockades on key roads and brought Ottawa to a stand-still, provoking the mayor to declare a state of emergency. Prime minister Trudeau then invoked the 1988 Emergencies Act to ban gatherings and halt crowdfunding efforts.

The Canadian truckers had garnered mass support across the country. Crowdfunding attempts on popular platform GoFundMe were dashed, which led the so-called “Freedom Convoy 2022” to switch to Bitcoin-powered alternative Tallycoin. It soon raised at least $540,000, including a 1 BTC donation (worth $43,900 at the time) from Kraken chief Jesse Powell.

Read more: Canada gang charged for smuggling weed in maple syrup barrels for crypto

“Legacy financial infrastructure can sometimes be politicized and clamped down upon, whereas Bitcoin is a truly censorship resistant method of communicating value,” the crowdfunding initiative, dubbed Honk Honk Hodl, said.

“Don’t allow your voices to be silenced, and don’t allow your financial sovereignty to be trampled upon. Love, unity and freedom — let’s raise some hard money for hard workers!”

Following Justice Richard Mosley’s landmark decision on Tuesday, Trudeau’s political opponents have been quick to use it as the latest example of the prime minister’s wrongdoings. Canada will hold elections next year, with Conservatives polling way ahead of Trudeau’s Liberal party. Mosley admitted, however, that he had more information than the government did when they made the decision to invoke the act.

Deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland has said the government would appeal the decision.

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