Chris Barber, owner of a trucking company in Saskatchewan and one of the key organizers of the Freedom Convoy, has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian federal government. He accuses the government of abusing its power by invoking the Emergencies Act to freeze his bank accounts in response to protests against COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Barber contends that this action violated his constitutional rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.

The lawsuit, filed in the Court of King’s Bench in Saskatoon, alleges that the freezing of accounts led to severe financial and personal consequences for Barber and his family. They were deprived of the ability to conduct basic financial transactions, resulting in hardship, embarrassment, and damage to personal and professional relationships. Barber claims he could not access money for daily expenses, leading to payment delays, loan defaults, and credit card bill issues, which damaged his credit score. It is also mentioned that his bank accounts will be “permanently tarnished.”

The government has not yet responded to the lawsuit but has indicated that it will review the allegations to determine the next steps. This case follows a Federal Court judge’s ruling that the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act was unreasonable and violated constitutional rights.

The trucker convoy, led by Barber and Tamara Lich, caused significant disruptions in Ottawa and some border crossings in 2022. The government invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time since its enactment in 1988, authorizing measures such as the regulation of public assemblies and the freezing of participants’ assets.

In parallel, a separate but similar lawsuit was filed by Lauralee Mizu, who also alleges that her Charter rights were violated by the freezing of her bank accounts. Additionally, a proposed class-action lawsuit against the convoy organizers on behalf of Ottawa residents is still under judicial review. The federal commission, led by Commissioner Paul Rouleau, concluded that the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act was justified, but the debate over its implications and consequences continues.


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