Winnipeg Jets forward Paul Stastny says he donated $1000 to Canadian convoy protest that locked up Ottawa streets for weeks.
In an article published by the Winnipeg Free Press, Stastny said he donated the funds after raising concern about the future of Canada in a time he calls a turning point for the country.
“Being the son of immigrants that left a communist country to come to Canada and have a future where they had their own decisions and do-what-they-want type of freedom is something that’s always been instilled in me,” Stastny told the Free Press. “And then I know what Canada was like, and I can see where Canada is going, and I think that’s what scares me.
“For me, it’s not about myself or my wife. It’s more about our kids’ futures, and you want their future to always be better than yours.”
The donation, as reported from the Free Press, came under a registered company Walnuts LLC and counted him as an American donor due to living in Colorado. Multiple crowdfunding sites raised nearly $20-million USD initially through the website GoFundMe, which later shuttered the fundraising. Another website, GiveSendGo, had a fundraiser kick off which is where Stastny said he donated the funds.
Hackers later shut down the site releasing personal information of 92,000 donors.
The convoy kicked off in late January with hundreds of vehicles travelling across Canada converging on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and were later joined by thousands of pedestrian protesters.
While initially a protest against federal mandates for truckers, it turned into a fight against any COVID-19 measures as protesters joined in Ottawa. There, it turned into an occupation with roadways blocked throughout the downtown core. Across the country, smaller protests and blockades kicked off.
In Alberta, the U.S.-Canada border at Coutts was blocked for two weeks. The RCMP arrested 13 people, some of whom were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, while dozens of long guns and other weapons were seized.
In Ontario, meanwhile, the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan was blockaded for days.
“It was more about, I’m happy people are standing up for what they believe in, and if you have a cause for that, good for them,” Stastny told the Free Press. “It’s to just kind of show support, whether it’s feeding them, feeding their children, or keeping them warm. I respect when people are fed up; I think a lot of people are fed up.”
Stastny, who is fully vaccinated, also made clear he didn’t support “far-right extremist views, nor does he support blocking border entries, which has occurred in Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario,” the Free Press reported, adding “but he does align with some of their core sentiments, including a healthy distrust of mainstream media, which he believes has spun the COVID-19 pandemic to fit a government narrative.”