The Vancouver Police Department released a series of recruitment ads on March 1st. The VPD's ad elevated one of the worst parts of policing - the high militarization of the VPD - in a blatant pro-police propaganda campaign.
The central issue with invoking the Emergency Act is twofold: First, it is a step too far in consolidating state power against dissenting citizens. Second, police already had the tools they needed to deal with the occupation in Ottawa but chose not to. If the police had exhausted all their options first (which are routinely used against Indigenous and climate change protestors) then Trudeau may have a case. This did not happen.
One of the responsibilities of the police that could be eliminated is the role of social work and responding to mental health crises. As we've seen far too often in Canada and across the world, the police are untrained and ill-equipped in social work. The success of these examples in Edmonton and Hamilton point toward the need for Canada to move away from authoritarian police models toward more liberatory, restorative solutions.
The range of issues that could be removed from police duties to non-authoritarian and non-militarized (in some cases) programs is as vast as our imagination. Think of drug decriminalization, sex work, minor bylaw enforcement, restorative rather than punitive justice, implementing means of direct democracy and more community involvement, and anything else that strikes at the root of crime.