Canada's federal government announced on Monday it was directing banks and other financial institutions to cease doing business with those assisting the Freedom Convoy, a protest movement against vaccine mandates led by truckers that has evolved into a broader protest against COVID restrictions.
The actions, ordered by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, are designed to sap the resources of the protesters using laws against "terrorist financing."
"We are today serving notice. If your truck is being used in these illegal blockades, your corporate accounts will be frozen," Freeland said Monday, adding that those who assisted protesters would also face repercussions.
The announcement, however, may be having an unintended consequence. News reports say Canada's banks mysteriously went offline following Freeland's announcement.
"This week, five banks in Canada, the leading ones in the country, went offline out of the blue," TechStory reported Thursday. "They faced a major outage of almost five hours blocking access to their primary functions. Online and mobile banking facilities were said to be out, along with access to e-transfer for the customers."
Banks reported technical difficulties in processing transactions.