On Thursday, the Canadian government released The Fall Economic Statement – a mini-budget that features the government’s plans for the coming months and works as a fiscal update alongside its central annual budget.
Chrystia Freeland, the Deputy prime minister of the country, in the budget statement, revealed the country’s plan in the digital assets sector under the section titled “Addressing the digitalization of Money.”
The section revealed that the Canadian government is ready to launch a consultation on cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs); however, the stakeholders to be engaged with the consultations still need to be made more explicit. The plans to set up consultations come in respect of the increasing trend of crypto and money digitalization, calling for the regulator to keep up with the pace of development.
According to the statement, there are various challenges and threats that money digitalization brings to democratic institutions across the globe, including the use of crypto for illegal activities within the country and abroad.
Earlier in January this year, the Canadian capital Ottawa witnessed protests as the forced migration to crypto fundraising platforms after being turned from fiat fundraising platforms following the Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions. A state of emergency was declared in Ontario on February 11 due to the roads being blocked by the protestors and the government freezing accounts containing millions in donations of around 21 Bitcoin at that time.
Justin Trudeau, prime minister of the country, invoked the Emergencies Act around that time for the first time and accessed the power to freeze protesters’ bank accounts and be able to monitor any suspicious transactions, including crypto. Later, several crypto exchanges received a list containing several wallet addresses, transactions that must be immediately stopped.
The launched consultations come from the government’s opinion of launching a financial sector legislative review centered on digitalizing money and maintaining the financial sector’s stability, as highlighted in the annual budget. The consultation is also expected to highlight the need for a Canadian CBDC regarding the potential risks