This seems like a story more people should be talking about:
There’s not much to the story as of now:
Ottawa’s top municipal law-enforcement officer stepped down amid a trucker-led protest against vaccine mandates in Canada’s capital that is now in its third week.
Police Chief Peter Sloly, whose largely hands-off approach to the crisis has drawn criticism, resigned Tuesday, according to reports by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Postmedia News, citing unnamed sources. A meeting of Ottawa’s police services board is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. local time. One city councilor has confirmed the news on Twitter.
Sloly’s decision comes a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers to the quell protests and choke off the flow of money to demonstrators. They began in Ottawa on Jan. 28, with offshoot demonstrations spreading to key U.S. border crossings.
The Ottawa chief, on the job since 2019, emphasized negotiations with protesters and avoiding confrontations between the demonstrators and his officers. Sloly said in the early days of the crisis that there may not be a policing solution to the problem.
We are talking about the head police officer in Canada’s capital city resigning in the midst of the biggest protests the country has seen in years.
That seems like a big deal, no?
We can only speculate as to why Sloly stepped down, but given the timing I’d have to assume it has a lot to do with him refusing the orders to bring the hammer down on the protesters.
Perhaps he refused to order his men to take action against the crowds of people and was asked to step down. I’m just guessing here.
But it seems like we’re seeing a revolt from within the Canadian government against the harsh and draconian policies. It seems that way. Which means Trudeau will never be able to crack down on the protesters.
If law enforcement refuses to enforce Trudeau’s laws, then he’s finished, isn’t he? There’s no coming back from that.
I’m sure Trudeau’s resignation is not imminent. I’m sure he will try other avenues to have his orders carried out—federal police, military, etc.
But the likelihood of those branches refusing his orders just increased after the Ottawa police chief set the standard.
At least that’s the optimistic take here.
The pessimistic take is that he will simply be replaced by someone far worse who will happily do Trudeau’s bidding.
That’s a fair point. But it’s also possible that the officers of the Ottawa police department simply refuse to do as they’re told.
If this is the case, then a new police chief may not make a difference. And what if this starts a chain reaction that ends with essentially all the police in Canada refusing to take action against the protesters?
That feels to me like an unrealistic scenario, but not altogether impossible.
Look, the greater story here is that it seems like people are realizing that if they just refuse to comply then they win. The whole system revolves around everyone down the chain following orders. Once there is enough of a break in that chain of command, the whole system falls apart—or at least it can.
People are emboldened by the sight of others who refuse to comply. You saw how much momentum the Trucker convoy got as it drove across the country. More people joined, more citizens poured out to line the highways and cheer them on, and it has just gotten bigger and bigger since arriving in Ottawa over 2 weeks ago.
And that’s the biggest problem for Trudeau: the longer this protest goes, the more popular it becomes. They’ve already added the farmers to their ranks in addition to the truckers—plus countless other people from all walks of life who turned up in Ottawa to join the festivities. They’ve even got protests in other cities outside Ottawa—Toronto, Winnipeg, etc.
This is a national movement. It represents the majority of Canadians.
All they want is an end to Covid restrictions and Justin Trudeau is treating them like they’re Al Qaeda.
I don’t see any way this ends well for him. Even if he does manage to quell this protest, he will only have done so by turning a large majority of the country irrevocably against him. I don’t see how he recovers from this politically.