GiveSendGo will not let a Canadian order to freeze funds stop the crowdfunding platform from getting money to the trucker protesters.
GiveSendGo co-founder Jacob Wells said his team is meeting with lawyers and considering legal options to make certain that Canadian officials do not stop the millions of dollars raised from reaching those demonstrating.
“All we’re saying is the funds are going to flow to these people in a way that they’re going to be able to have them and hopefully be able to access them,” Mr. Wells said in an interview with The Washington Times.
“The Canadian government can do what they want, GoFundMe can do what they want, our platform exists to bring hope to people in difficult situations and many of these people have felt ostracized by their government, have been pushed into a corner,” Mr. Wells said.
Canada on Friday ramped up its pressure against the truckers and their allies who are protesting COVID-19 rules, in part, by going after Mr. Wells’ business. Ontario Premier Doug Ford also declared a state of emergency, implored the people protesting to go home and said his government was taking action to disrupt demonstrators.
“We’ve already started by going after the money funding the illegal occupation,” Mr. Ford said at a news briefing on Friday. “Yesterday, an Ontario court granted our requests to freeze the funds from GiveSendGo for the convoy.”
GiveSendGo’s “Freedom Convoy 2022” campaign raised more than $8.8 million as of Friday afternoon and a separate “Adopt a Trucker” campaign has garnered more than $715,000.
Banks and other financial institutions looking to comply with the Canadian court order are expected to be on the lookout for deposits and transactions intended for protesters defying government restrictions.
GoFundMe, a prominent crowdfunding platform, halted a “Freedom Convoy 2022” fundraiser on its platform earlier this month and refunded contributions to donors. It said it had evidence from law enforcement that a peaceful demonstration had become an occupation.
GoFundMe’s loss was GiveSendGo’s gain.
Mr. Wells said he started the platform with his sister, Heather, in 2015 and they now have 25 employees. He said his platform’s business is guided by its Christian faith and will continue to be as its operation attracts new people and new fundraising campaigns.
“We’re completely fallible people just trying to do good in the world, trying to stand for freedom,” Mr. Wells said. “We recognize the value, the cost that our freedoms came at, the very, very high price.”