The Canadian government has invoked the Emergency Act for the first time, turning the focus on crowdfunding platforms. This new crackdown is part of a series of recent changes to Canada’s securities law, which are aimed primarily at regulating the rapidly growing cryptocurrency market and protecting consumers.
Taking action because of ongoing blockades of COVID-19 measures, Justin Trudeau has invoked Canada’s Emergency Act.
The federal government announced it would broaden its anti-money laundering and terror financing rules to cover crowdfunding and payment providers associated with it – including the crypto-currency.
In a response to the continued blockades against COVID-19 restrictions, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the country’s Emergency Act for the first time.
FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) will now register crowdfunding platforms and payment services providers linked to them, including crypto. The long-term impact of the emergency act on crypto payment providers is unclear at this point.
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s finance minister, announced Monday that the federal government was expanding anti-money laundering and terror-financing laws to cover crowdfunding platforms and providers of payment services.
“These changes cover all forms of transactions including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies,” said Freeland. “The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowdfunding platforms and some of the payment service providers they use are not fully captured under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.”
In the same way that banks must report large and suspicious transactions, crowdfunding platforms and payment providers will have to do so as of Monday, Freeland said.
As a result of the act, which was passed into law by the Canadian parliament in 1988, the federal government gained temporary additional powers to respond to public welfare, public order, and international and war emergencies.
This measure was enacted to counter “illegal” protests over Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions after trucker blockades caused major disruptions across the country, including Ottawa.
Large trucks are blocking Canadian highways and trading corridors with the US, leading to blockades across Canadian cities. In addition to creating supply-chain bottlenecks, the blockades are also harming Canada’s economy.
Teamsters said it was not the appropriate way to express disagreement with government policies. The Canadian Trucking Alliance also condemned the protests.
In a press conference on Monday, Trudeau said that law enforcement has serious challenges in enforcing the law effectively. “The consequences for choosing to continue endangering the lives and livelihoods of others, for choosing to continue breaking the law, will be more and more severe.”
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