The organizer of a GoFundMe campaign for the trucker convoy has withdrawn an initial $1 million from the funds raised, the company confirmed Thursday.
This comes after GoFundMe was holding the funds until a clear plan about how they would be spent was presented.
The convoy movement, known as the “Save Canada” movement or the “freedom convoy,” started last Sunday in British Columbia, when hundreds of truckers took to the road to protest a mandate requiring all cross-border essential workers, including truckers, to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination at points of entry.
In an update, the company said the organizer has provided a plan for funds being used to cover the fuel costs of participants who are peacefully protesting.
They will work with the organizer to release the remaining funds after participants are reimbursed, GoFundMe confirmed.
The fund, started by Tamara Lich in Medicine Hat, Alta., has raised almost $6.5 million.
GoFundMe said the organizer, presumably Lich, will share more information over the coming weeks around which charities will be selected to receive the remaining funds.
People can still donate to the cause in the meantime.
“Our goal is to protect the generosity of donors and ensure that all donations go to those intended,” the company said.
“As part of our verification process, we require full transparency from the organizer about the flow of funds to ensure there’s a clear plan and donors are informed on how the funds will be spent.”
The federal government ended the truckers’ exemption to the vaccine mandate on Jan. 15. This means Canadian truck drivers need to be fully vaccinated if they want to avoid a two-week quarantine and pre-arrival molecular test for COVID-19 before crossing into Canada.
About a hundred “Save Canada” supporters gathered in Enfield, N.S., early Thursday to send off truckers heading to Ottawa.