The NDP is accusing the Liberals of basing their sanctions regime on "political theatre" as data suggest few funds have been frozen and none have been seized.
The federal government has been announcing sanctions almost weekly that bar people associated with authoritarian regimes from having financial dealings in Canada and from entering the country.
Yet publicly released RCMP data show barely any change in the amount of money frozen in Canadian bank accounts between June and December of last year, despite hundreds of people being added to sanctions lists.
Ottawa passed legislation in July that allows the government to take possession of funds from sanctioned people and divert them to victims of wrongdoing, but it has not moved to do so.
The government issued an order for the restraint of property in December to start the process of forfeiting US$26 million held by a firm owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, but it has yet to file an application in court.
NDP MP Heather McPherson argues that Canada is using sanctions as a symbolic tool, without taking the steps to actually disincentivize support for autocracies.