- On Wednesday, lawyers for a proposed class-action lawsuit against the Ottawa convoy protest argued in court that GiveSendGo may have broken a court order freezing funds raised for the convoy on the website.
Lawyers for a suggested class lawsuit against the Ottawa convoy protest argued in court on Wednesday that GiveSendGo may have violated a freezing order on funds raised for the convoy on the website.
Monique Jilesen, a lawyer for the proposed class who obtained an injunction freezing convoy funds, explained that the order is intended to secure funds. At the same time, the legality case of how they should be used is resolved in court.
If the class action is successful, the parties have agreed to put some donated funds and cryptocurrency into escrow, where they will be redistributed to affected Ottawa residents as well as business owners.
GiveSendGo co-founder Jacob Wells informed an Ontario Superior Court judge that the platform’s terms of service allow it to return funds to donors at its discretion.
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Last month, police dispersed a convoy protest. According to Wells, the funds can no longer be distributed for the stated purposes, so the site is issuing refunds to donors to “protect our givers’ intentions.”
According to Jilesen, this could indicate that GiveSendGo violates the freezing order.
According to Justice Calum MacLeod, the order was intended to target funds that were clearly in the defendants’ possession and not undistributed funds on fundraising platforms.
As the proposed class-action civil suit towards the convoy continues, the presence of the extended freezing sequence on all donated funds to the so-called freedom convoy.
The lawsuit seeks compensation for damages incurred due to the three-week protest outside Parliament Hill, which snarled traffic, shut down businesses, and irritated residents with near-constant honking.
Money raised might go to truckers who traveled to it and arrived in Ottawa, according to the “Freedom Convoy 2022” as well as “Adopt-a-Trucker” campaigns on GiveSendGo.
On Wednesday, Melissa Adams, an Ontario Attorney General’s office attorney, echoed Jilesen’s arguments, counting that GiveSendGo is also subject to a restraint order issued in February.
On Feb. 10, the Ontario government won a court order freezing millions of dollars in donations made through the online fundraising platform and prohibiting anyone from distributing them.
The question of whether the site is in violation of Ontario’s restraint order is outside of MacLeod’s purview, he said.
Meantime, the Conservative critic for ethics as well as the accountable government said he had requested an investigation into the hacking of the crowdfunding platform from the privacy commissioner.
The data of plenty of Canadians being illegally obtained as well as circulated without their consent, according to Conservative MP James Bezan, is a “blatant breach of privacy.”
According to him, it resulted in doxxing campaigns, the identification of personal and business addresses, and targeted harassment.
While those accused of “illicit activities” should be held accountable, “it is also critical that all Canadians’ privacy rights are respected,” Bezan stated in a statement.
GiveSendGo was allegedly hacked in February, and data on donors were given to the transparency group Distributed Denial of Secrets, which also made the information available to newsrooms and researchers.
A request for comment to the privacy commissioner’s office was not immediately returned.
Source: Global News