Published at 23:28 on 11 February 2022
If I were Trudeau, I would right now probably not be doing all that much differently, when it comes to publicly visible actions: simply making increasingly stern warnings that the occupations must end ASAP. Given that the worst occupations are in Ontario, I would probably try to get Doug Ford to issue a similar message. (Interestingly, Ford did exactly that today. I would not be surprised to later learn there was coordination behind the scenes.)
The one thing different I would do is I would not openly rule out the use of military force. Mind you, I would still try very hard to avoid it, but publicly I would be much more in “all options are open” mode. Something like “We would like very much to avoid using the military to end the occupations, but the occupations must end and we are willing to use whatever means are necessary to this end.”
The goal here is to instill a sense of uncertainty and fear amongst the occupiers, in order to encourage them to disperse. And definitely let them disperse, don’t make arrests as they walk away. Punishing people for doing what you want is not the way to get more of them to do it. Arrests can always be made and charges pressed later, after the occupation has dispersed.
Aside from that, though, openly I wouldn’t be doing much. Behind the scenes it would be a different story entirely. Plans would be being made and put into place to break the occupations up. The planning would be kept secret, with as little signs as possible of how concrete plans actually were, or what the time frame was. It is key to have the element of surprise.
So far as the time of day, sometime between midnight and dawn would be ideal. That is when most participants would be asleep and thus at their most vulnerable. Then come in aggressively but at the same time using non-lethal means only.
So far as the trucks go, they are not so easy to remove as those who drove them, but once the latter individuals have been removed, the trucks can be dealt with. Any motor vehicle can be hotwired, particularly if those doing the hotwiring are themselves the authorities and therefore do not have any reason to fear getting apprehended while doing so. Hotwiring is in fact not even necessary; give a manufacturer a VIN and you can often get a set of keys made. At that point, there are plenty of trucks in the military, and therefore plenty of military members trained in driving trucks. Drive them away.
So far as the time of week, early Monday morning would seem ideal. It would keep the story out of the weekend news for the longest. And I mean this Monday: the occupations have already gone on unacceptably long, and the occupiers are getting both physically and psychologically more entrenched with every passing day. Waiting another week would invite tragedy.
This would have to be a coordinated effort. Both the Ottawa and the Ambassador Bridge occupations would have to be broken up simultaneously. If they are not, the one not broken up first will have to be broken up later without so much benefit of surprise.
In other words, don’t be surprised if Monday morning dawns a big news day.