On February 14, 2022, the Government of Canada declared a public order emergency.
The Emergency Economic Measures Order will implement the following requirements immediately and will be in effect for 30 days:
- The order extends the scope of Canada’s anti money laundering and anti terrorism financing rules to cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment processors they use. This change covers all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. As a result of this order, crowdfunding platforms and payment service providers that are in possession or control of funds owned, held, or controlled by or on behalf of anyone involved in illegal activities must report suspicious or large-value transactions to Canada’s Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC).
- The order requires Canadian banks, property, casualty insurers and other financial service providers to temporarily suspend financial services if the organisation suspects an account, either personal or corporate, is being used to support money laundering or the financing of terrorism. This includes funds kept in banks, chequing, savings or trading accounts, as well as cryptocurrency wallets, loan goods, investment assets and insurance policies for vehicles engaged in illegal activities.
- The government has directed Canadian financial institutions to investigate their links with anyone engaging in money laundering and to report those individuals’ assets and related transactions to the RCMP or CSIS.
- The order establishes new authorities for federal, provincial and territory government agencies to share pertinent information with banks and other financial service providers if the information assists in putting an end to the funding of money laundering and criminal operations. As of now, Canadian financial service providers will be able to immediately freeze or suspend an account of an individual or business affiliated with money laundering without a court order.
These new requirements and authorities will help mitigate the risk to Canadian financial institutions and crowdfunding platforms of transacting illicit funds, will improve the quality and quantity of intelligence received by FINTRAC, and provide additional information to assist law enforcement investigations into illegal activities.