Canadian trucker convoy GoFundMe suspended after reaching $10.1 million
TORONTO (CTV Network) — GoFundMe has suspended a fundraiser for the “Freedom Convoy” of truckers and supporters who have tied up downtown Ottawa while protesting vaccine mandates.
The fundraiser, which is now under review, has currently raised more than $10 million. It’s the second time GoFundMe has suspended access to the money.
“This fundraiser is currently paused and under review to ensure it complies with our terms of service and applicable laws and regulations,” said a pinned post from GoFundMe at the top of the fundraiser on Wednesday night. “Our team is working 24/7 and doing all we can to protect both organizers and donors. Thank you for your patience.”
Funds were frozen by GoFundMe the first time in mid-January when the funds were at $4.5 million. At the time, GoFundMe stated that they needed more detail on how funds would be allocated. Last Thursday, an initial $1 million was released to the organizers by GoFundMe after they received a plan for the money’s distribution to truckers to cover the cost of gas for the Parliament Hill protest.
By Tuesday, as it reached $9.5 million, the fundraiser had been declared the second-largest in Canada, smaller only than the fundraiser created for the Humboldt Broncos in 2018.
The Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser states in its description that money will go towards paying for the cost of the truckers’ journey to Ottawa, including fuel, food and shelter, with leftover funds being given to “a credible Veterans organization which will be chosen by the donors.”
Although the initial stated goals of the convoy were to protest vaccine mandates that required travellers including truckers to be fully vaccinated in order to cross the U.S. border without quarantining, the protest has expanded to protesting other COVID-19 regulations such as wearing masks.
Ottawa residents and city councillors have called for more to be done to end the convoy’s occupation of the city’s downtown after days of honking.
Some have called for the feds to step in and send the RCMP to get the trucks moving again.
Earlier on Wednesday, city councilor and chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board Diane Deans suggested that Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau get in touch with GoFundMe and convince them to block protesters’ access to the millions that had been raised.
“They’re funding these mercenaries and that funding stream needs to get cut off,” Deans said.
With files from CTVNews.ca’s Rachel Aiello
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