February 4, 2022
Legal counsel retained by the Freedom Convoy 2022 in Canada is demanding that GoFundMe lift the ban on the organization after the crowdfunding site shut down their fundraising page.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a Calgary-based nonprofit law firm that has also represented other clients resisting government COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates, announced Thursday that it is representing the Freedom Convoy 2022 in Ottawa and has a team of lawyers on the ground providing legal assistance and advice.
“The Justice Centre legal team is working on behalf of Convoy organizers to ensure all funds raised by GoFundMe are released to the truckers for their intended purpose,” the law firm said in a statement.
“The funds from GoFundMe will be used to cover the costs of the convoy, specifically food, fuel, lodging, and other necessary related expenses,” the law firm continued. “The Justice Centre is not receiving any funding from the trucker’s GoFundMe, and operates entirely on private donations from Canadians across the country.”
GoFundMe paused the fundraising page for the Freedom Convoy 2022 after it surpassed $10 million Wednesday.
“This fundraiser is currently paused and under review to ensure it complies with our terms of service and applicable laws and regulations,” read a notice at the top of the convoy’s GoFundMe page. “Our team is working 24/7 and doing all we can to protect both organizers and donors. Thank you for your patience.”
The Justice Centre emphasized it was not involved with the organization, implementation, or planning of the Freedom Convoy, which has snarled traffic in Ottawa and garnered the ire of authorities such as Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly, who suggested that the Canadian military might have to be called in to disperse it. More truckers are reportedly on their way to swell the ranks of those remaining in the capital.
Tamara Lich, who helped organize the convoy, said, “We are here out of love for our families, our communities and our nation. These past two years, the COVID mandates have divided us.”
Lich went on to say that the protest began because of the federal government’s restrictions on truckers’ freedoms.
” Our movement has grown in Canada and across the world because common people are tired of the mandates and restrictions in their own lives that now seem to be doing more harm than good,” she said.
GoFundMe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.