A Canadian court has declared the freezing of crypto assets linked to the trucker protests unconstitutional, a move that had drawn criticism from civil liberties advocates and the crypto community.
The “Freedom Convoy” protest emerged in response to a mandate requiring Canadian truckers who traveled to the United States to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The protest gained substantial support, with truckers blocking the streets of Ottawa and receiving donations to fund their efforts, including food, accommodation, and legal fees.
To facilitate donations, the protesters turned to cryptocurrency, as their bank accounts were frozen or restricted from receiving cash donations. In response, the Canadian government expanded its interpretation of the Canadian Emergencies Act to allow the freezing of cryptocurrency transactions and other forms of donations.
This move was met with condemnation from various quarters, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and figures from the crypto industry, such as former Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.
Recently, the Federal Court of Canada issued a ruling that aligned with these concerns, declaring the use of the Emergencies Act to freeze crypto transfers unconstitutional. Justice Richard Mosley stated that the protest did not constitute a national emergency, rendering the use of the Emergencies Act unreasonable.
The CCLA, which filed an application for judicial review early on, expressed gratitude for the court’s careful consideration of the situation. The organization emphasized the importance of using emergency powers sparingly and only in cases of genuine national security threats with a broad scope.
While this decision may not directly benefit the truckers whose donations were affected, it serves as a precedent against the misuse of emergency powers in similar situations in the future.