Ottawa, ON (WNews) – The leaders of the Freedom Convoy 2022 in Ottawa held a press conference on Thursday, where they provided updates regarding their plans to depart, their requests to the federal government, and the situation with the movement’s GoFundMe, which was suspended late Wednesday.
The Press Update was held by Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) lawyer Keith Wilson, who are assisting the convoy, former RCMP officer Danny Olford, and Tamara Lich.
Lich told the press that the organizers did not intend to stay for any time longer than what was necessary and that their exit depended on the lifting of mandates.
Lich said that people in Canada are “tired of mandates and restrictions in their lives,” citing countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and Switzerland as those who have removed COVID mandates and restrictions.
Convoy organizers have not been reached out to by the federal, municipal, or provincial government, and instead are “using the media to portray [the convoy] as racists, misogynists, and even terrorists.”
Funds were put on hold Wednesday as GoFundMe checked whether the use of the money complied with the company terms of service and all applicable laws and regulations.
Lich also provided insight on the situation with GoFundMe. Lich said that the convoy has been working with lawyers and accountants, to “deal with legal details.” The lawyer has sent all details and documents requested by GoFundMe on Thursday morning.
“I’m confident that GoFundMe has all information needed to lift suspension placed on the campaign. I’m hoping to hear from GoFundMe soon so that we can get money to the truckers, and keep our protest for freedom moving forward,” she said.
Wilson provided details on the GoFundMe after the site suspended the campaign, saying that the “heightened due diligence” was welcomed and that on Monday, “we took the steps to incorporate on behalf of the freedom convoy organization a not for profit Canada corporation.
“We’ve taken steps to establish appropriate banking and other arrangements. all the funds that have not yet made it to that bank account are being held in trust for the benefit of the movement. An accountant and lawyers are involved,” he said.
“All the legal and accounting check boxes have occurred there are audit procedures and so on in place, that will allow GoFundMe to flow the funds that so many have donated.”
“Once we reach the point where GoFundMe has released the funds, the cooperate lawyer experts on the team and accountants are currently refining the process for truckers and others who have been involved in the convoy and are here now to be reimbursed, and we will be communicating that to them so that they can make claims.
Convoy to Stay Until all COVID19 Mandates are Dropped
Protesters who remained in downtown Ottawa since last week maintain they won’t switch gears and leave the capital until politicians reveal a clear plan for the end to all COVID-19 mandates and restrictions, organizers say.
What began as a protest against “the federal government’s restrictions on trucker freedoms,” has transformed, she said.
“Our movement has grown in Canada and across the world because common people are tired of the mandates and restrictions in their own lives,” said Lich.
Lich assured residents the protesters “have no intentions of staying one day longer than necessary.”
“Our departure will be based on the prime minister doing what is right,” she said.
Former RCMP officer Daniel Bulford, who said he spoke out publicly against vaccine mandates before resigning from the force, said the movement has no link to those charged by police for property damage.
He said organizers have communicated with local police since early last week and mentioned they have tried to help clear snow in the area of the protest.
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