The GoFundMe page started by organizers of the Freedom Convoy 2022 event surpassed its goal of $3 million as of early January 24th. The funds are slated to be used to pay for food, lodgings and most importantly, fuel for the large convoy of trucks headed to Ottawa from all over Canada and scheduled to arrive in the capital on January 29th. The goal of the convoys is to convince Justin Trudeau to end vaccine mandates.
The fund was the source of both exhilaration and controversy over the weekend as rumours swirled that GoFundMe had seized or frozen the assets of the fund as a result of pressure from supporters of the Trudeau government; former Chief of Staff Gerald Butts tweeted about it several times. Donors to the fund, however, do not appear to be dissuaded by criticisms of its organizers.
Freedom Convoy 2022 organizer Tamara Lich provided two live Facebook streams rebutting the rumours and providing updates on the organization of the convoy and its funding. The livestream below took place on the evening of January 23rd.
On the live feed, Lich tells viewers, “They’re saying that our GoFundMe is frozen and it’s shut down. It’s not shut down, you guys. I’m working with GoFundMe, trust me, we got this covered, we totally have this covered…I’m working with them. We’ve got people in the background working with them to make it happen.
“So just don’t worry, nobody panic, everything’s good. You can still use the GoFundMe if you like, you can still do the transfer if you like.”
Road Warrior News was contacted directly by industry members concerned about the GoFundMe account, and sent the following questions to GoFundMe’s media office:
“I have been contacted by members of the Truckers’ convoy organizers who tell me GoFundMe has frozen their account and they cannot access the donations to their campaign.
- Is this true? If true, by what legal mechanism is this allowed?
- Is GoFundMe concerned that this will impact their own credibility and the viability of future campaigns?
- Is a spokesperson available for interview Sunday Jan. 23rd?”
At time of this posting, GoFundMe has not replied to these questions. RWN will provide updates if and when they do.
The Canadian Trucking Association released the following statement on January 22nd:
“The vast majority of the Canadian trucking industry is vaccinated with the overall industry vaccination rate among truck drivers closely mirroring that of the general public. Accordingly, most of our nation’s hard-working truck drivers are continuing to move cross-border and domestic freight to ensure our economy continues to function.
“The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges. CTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreements with government policies should be expressed. Members of the trucking industry who want to publicly express displeasure over government policies can choose to hold an organized, lawful event on Parliament Hill or contact their local MP. What is not acceptable is disrupting the motoring public on highways and commerce at the border.
“The Government of Canada and the United States have now made being vaccinated a requirement to cross the border. This regulation is not changing so, as an industry, we must adapt and comply with this mandate,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated.”