Jason Beitchman

Jason Beitchman spoke 2 times across 1 day of testimony.

  1. Jason Beitchman, Counsel (National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association)

    Good morning, Mr. Commissioner.


  2. Jason Beitchman, Counsel (National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association)

    My name is Jason Beitchman, and I am here today as Counsel for the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association. The NCFA is Canada's largest industry association representing crowdfunding platforms and Fintech start-ups. 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 of the Commission with respect to two issues set out in the terms of reference. First, the impact of domestic and foreign funding, including donation crowd-funding platforms; and second, the impact, role and sources of misinformation and disinformation, including the use of social media. Our hope is that through this process, the Commission will strive to understand whether and how misinformation and disinformation about crowd funding and cryptocurrency influenced the decision to make orders under the Emergencies Act that targeted and restricted the use of these technologies. 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 crystalized in extensive regulation of the industry under the Proceeds of Crime, Money Laundering, and Terrorist Financing Act. 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 rational to waive the obligation of due process and to confer and consult. The use of extraordinary powers under the Emergencies Act raises questions. Questions of whether the ends justify the means. In the case of crowdfunding and fintech, the end result -- excuse me, there was an interruption there. 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 deploy these extraordinary powers when the end result may be the subtle and not-so-subtle erosion of the rule of law. The NCFA looks forward to the Commission’s efforts to examine these issues and to the opportunity to participate in that process. Thank you.