Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to take drastic steps to fight against the popular protest by truck drivers known as the Freedom Convoy. He activated the Emergencies Act on February 14, explicitly empowering Canadian banks to freeze the accounts of any person or entity that made donations to the protestors without any court action or even a hint of due process. That decision could lead to a Canadian financial disaster.
After the trucks were cleared from downtown Ottawa, Trudeau ordered the Emergencies Act powers to be pulled back. However, the aftermath reveals a run on Canadian banks as frightened citizens move their life savings from domestic banks to the US and overseas institutions.
As is often the case, politicians either fail to consider long-term consequences or cannot understand them. There was a reported 500 percent increase in withdrawals from Canadian banks immediately after Trudeau’s order. Even though Trudeau has withdrawn the order, domestic and international investors will be justifiably skeptical of the security of the Canadian financial system for at least as long as Trudeau’s government remains in power.
Canadian bank customers have reported great concern at limitations placed on their ability to withdraw funds from their accounts. People have been told to leave bank branches and come back another day, and many have experienced long lines and wait times for service. ATM withdrawals have also been restricted. Of course, a large number of people who had their accounts temporarily frozen by Trudeau’s order have said they intend to move their money out of Canada as soon as possible.
The corporate media and the Canadian government have been doing all they can to keep attention away from the departure of funds from its financial system. The public, however, reacts predictably and swiftly when the security of individual bank accounts becomes a genuine concern.