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Public Inquiry Week is Finally Here | NCFAs Opening Statement

Politico | Nick Taylor-Vaisey | Oct 11, 2022

Public order emergency commission - Public Inquiry Week is Finally Here | NCFAs Opening Statement

Today, the first hearings of the public inquiry investigating the use of the Emergencies Act

PUBLIC INQUIRY WEEK — That's not how the Prime Minister's office wants to frame the first constituency week of the fall, but the highly anticipated and briefly delayed Public Order Emergency Commission holds its first hearings Thursday.

— Please note: The inquiry headed by Justice PAUL ROULEAU is independent of the joint parliamentary committee investigating the government's invocation of the Emergencies Act in February. Both are mandated by the same law. And they're both distinct from the citizen-led Ottawa People's Commission on the Convoy Occupation and an ongoing legal challenge.

— The players: Rouleau granted 39 requests for standing in the commission, which could allow those bestowed the honor certain privileges — including both suggesting and cross-examining witnesses.

Here's who cleared the bar:

The governments: Rouleau granted standing to the feds, as well as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He also gave the green light to the cities of Ottawa and Windsor.

→ The cops: The list also includes Ottawa and Windsor police services, as well as Ontario's provincial police, the National Association of the Chiefs of Police and the National Police Federation. Former Ottawa police chief PETER SLOLY gained standing as an individual.

→ The convoyers: A nonprofit known as Freedom 2022 Human Rights and Freedoms was granted standing. Organizers attached to the org include TAMARA LICH, CHRIS BARBER, DANIEL BULFORD, TOM MARAZZO, SEAN TIESSEN, CHRIS GARRAH, MIRANDA GASINOR, JOSEPH JANZEN, DALE ENNS and RYAN MIHILEWICZ.

→ The industry: Rouleau granted standing to the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association.

See:  NCFA Response to FINTRAC’s ‘Knee Jerk’ Regulations Requiring Donation Crowdfunding Platforms to Register and Comply with AML/ATF Legislation

→ The advocates: A raft of civil society groups will participate. They include the Canadian Constitution Foundation & Professor RYAN ALFORD, the Democracy Fund, Citizens for Freedom, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers, and a group of Ottawa community associations.

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NCFA Canada | Oct 13, 2022

NCFA's Opening Statement


  1. Good afternoon.


  1. My name  is  Jason  Beitchman  and  I  am  here  today  as  counsel  for  the  National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association.


  1. The NCFA is Canada’s largest industry association representing crowdfunding platforms and fintech startups. The NCFA sought the right to participate in these hearings so that it could provide a voice for these emerging industries and technologies. We are here to comment on the fact-finding and policy-review functions with respect to two issues set out in the Commission's terms of reference:


  1. First, the impact of domestic and foreign funding, including donation crowdfunding platforms; and


  1. Second, the impact, role and sources of misinformation and disinformation, including the use of social media.


  1. Our hope is that, through this process, the Commission will strive to understand whether and how misinformation  and  disinformation  about  crowdfunding  and  cryptocurrency influenced the decision to make orders under the Emergencies Act that targeting and restricting the use of these technologies.

  1. In his expert report submitted to this Commission, Professor Ryan  Clements  of the University of Calgary highlighted that the temporary orders made under the Act with respect to crowdfunding have been permanently crystallized in extensive regulation of the industry under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.


  1. These regulations were exempted from the ordinary Cabinet requirement to pre-publish regulatory proposals for public comment and consultation. The explanation provided for this exemption was that the events leading to the use of the Emergencies Act provided sufficient rationale to waive the obligation to confer and consult.


  1. The use of extra-ordinary powers under the Emergencies Act raises questions of whether “the ends justify the means”.


  1. In the case of crowdfunding and fintech, the end result is that laws were passed without public scrutiny or due process. This presents a cautionary tale for Canadians and we will all benefit from scrutiny by this Commission into whether it is appropriate to rely on these extra-ordinary powers when the end result may be the erosion of the Rule of Law.


  1. The NCFA looks forward to the Commission's efforts to examine these issues, and to the opportunity to participate in that process.


  1. Thank you.



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October 13, 2022
Barristers and Solicitors
120 Adelaide Street West
Suite 1901
Toronto, ON  M5H 1P9

Jason Beitchman
LSO No. 56477O
Tel:     (416) 597-5416
Fax:    (416) 746-8319

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Public Inquiry Week is Finally Here | NCFAs Opening StatementThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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