Last Updated on September 17, 2022
An Ottawa Police Officer has been charged with misconduct after allegedly donating $50 to Canada’s Freedom Convoy movement earlier this year. The unanimously peaceful protest took place outside Canada’s federal government building earlier this year and demanded an end to the nation’s vaccine mandates, which were among the strictest in the world. Justin Trudeau’s government responded by using anti-terrorism tactics — including the seizure of bank funds — before ordering police officers to violently crack down on demonstrators. Protest leaders were arrested and charged with a litany of offenses.
Const. Kristina Neilson made her first disciplinary appearance on Thursday morning to face a single count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act. The officer has been accused of donating $50 dollars to the protest movement’s fundraiser on the crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo. A previous fundraiser was deleted by GoFundMe.
Professional standards investigators — detectives who investigate officer misconduct internally — have alleged Neilson discredited the service’s reputation. The Ottawa Police Service further alleged that she “knew, or reasonably ought to have known, that the money was being raised for the illegal occupation known as the ‘Freedom Convoy’ which took place in the City of Ottawa during the months of January and February 2022.”
According to the notice of hearing, Neilson allegedly made a donation on Feb. 5, which was three days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the occupation was “becoming illegal.” Trudeau would go on to invoke Canada’s Emergencies Act — the nation’s equivalent of martial law — in order to crack down on the protest just days later. It was the first and only time the act has been used in Canada’s history.
According to a report from CBC, Neilson allegedly made a $50 donation in her son’s name. A list of convoy donors was released to the public and widely shared on social media after a hack of GiveSendGo. The list was freely shared on social media despite hacked materials policies in place by all big tech outlets, which were infamously invoked to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.
Neilson did not enter a plea and is next scheduled to appear before a disciplinary hearing officer on Sept. 29.