Weaponized transport trucks, a breach of trust, a danger to critical infrastructure say experts
Canada and many other countries have now lost the trust relationship with a key element of critical infrastructure. Alternatives are needed.
Water, transportation and oil pipeline systems make appealing targets for malign foreign actors seeking to disrupt Canada’s critical infrastructure and destabilize Canada, given their diffuse nature and the difficulty of effectively protecting them from attack.
Defending against this critical infrastructure threat is difficult and exacerbated when the threat is coming from within the country from licensed carriers of goods as part of the critical highway transport sector.
According to the Rand Corporation, “Attacks on a country’s transportation infrastructure can have serious and destabilizing impacts that are further complicated by the public availability of information relevant to these targets.”
An example of what Rand is pointing to, malign actors in Canada with widely available knowledge of necessary daily trade across Canada’s crucial bridges between Ontario and the USA, attacked Canada’s national interest and shut down manufacturing facilities in both Canada and the United States by weaponizing large, transport trucks to block high-flow bridges that log as much as 300 million USD in trade between the two countries.
Traditionally, the Canadian government has viewed infrastructure protection in the context of physical security and the protection of physical assets. The historical basis of this threat analysis and protective activity was what was known as the Vital Points Programme (VPP), established in 1938 to identify and protect facilities and services critical to the national interest, according to historians at York University and within the Canadian government archives.
“The Government of Canada’s ability to gauge threats to critical infrastructure has traditionally been contingent upon an ability to evaluate the intent of a foreign malign actor, coupled with their capability to carry out a deliberate action,” according to Canada’s Office of Critical Infrastructure and Protection and Emergency Preparedness.
“Today the threat has come from within; from trusted, licensed, insured malign actors seeking to change public policy by force and demanding an instant change in government: the resignation of one and the appointment of a new Prime Minister, under threat or other coercion,” points out Simon Baldock, an Israeli security Analyst based in Tel Aviv.
Much has changed, and the dark world of encrypted cyber communications where planning and deliberation by malign actors poses a non-physical realm of credible threat activity that is nearly impossible to monitor or police.
“It’s incumbent on security teams to push their threat intelligence programs in parallel with—and ideally ahead of—widening risk apertures. In order to better understand threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), it’s vital to monitor all relevant channels where malicious activity seeds,” says Josh Lefkowitz of Flashpoint, a threat intelligence and risk prevention provider.
The recent and current attacks intended to cripple Canada’s food supply and general supplies of-and-for industrial finished product is one example of a threat that emerged before security teams realized the intent.
Another example of a threat to the national interest is the continuing siege and occupation of Ottawa using a part of Canada’s critical infrastructure, wheeled transportation of critical goods, denying the quiet enjoyment of resident homes of hundreds of thousands of Canadians in that city.
Weaponizing the transport trucks and operators that were trusted to carry products ranging from Niagara agriculture products to Canada’s weapons and weapon component exports to the United States. Trust is an important aspect of Canada’s critical infrastructure.
“Two weeks after thousands of protesters in trucks rolled into Ottawa on Jan. 28 protesting vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers, hundreds of self-proclaimed “freedom convoy” activists remain embedded in the city’s downtown core. Persons with a variety of grievances related to far right causes and anti-vaccine sentiments remain in place with 400 to 500 trucks blockading downtown Ottawa,” writes Associate Professor Jack L. Rozdilsky, of York University, Canada in “The Urban Siege in Ottawa: Canada Freedom Convoy 2022″.
Closing down border crossings between the United States and Canada causing millions of Canadian dollars in damages or trade interruptions is a serious breach of trust, an attack on Canadian critical infrastructure, and should be an indictable offence that carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison like all other indicatable offences in Canada.
In the alternative, the threat and or the crime against the national interest of activities by transport truck owners or leased heavy equipment operators should be considered under existing or amended terrorist legislation.
“Some protesters have been observed bearing Nazi symbols. There have been reports of harassment of residents and violence against passersby, Trump 2024 signage and possible hate crimes.
“These concerns fit into the criminal activities of right-wing groups identified in a report submitted to Public Safety Canada, and have led to questions about whose freedoms the protesters are fighting for,” writes Temitope Oriola, PhD
Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts – Sociology Dept. in “Canada Freedom Convoy and the sociology of law enforcement“
The Canadian government now has a difficult job ahead. Perhaps the federal government could consider these remedial actions.
The following suggestions arise as a consensus from persons interviewed for this article.
- “Increase retroactively the licensing requirements for heavy equipment operators immediately to include security checks and psychological evaluations not unlike those used for screening police recruits.
- “Pass legislation that includes procedures for law enforcement arrest of offenders and immediate equipment seizure and impound as tools for dealing with unlawful use, abuse, counterfeiting, and general breach of the foregoing (1).
- “Amend the Canada Criminal Code to include severe penalties for weaponizing highway vehicles and heavy equipment against the Canadian population and the national interest,” agree the parties interviewed.
Canadians control Canada’s borders, not foreign-funded anarchists who seek to destroy a part of Canada’s critical infrastructure related to US/Canada trade and more—an editorial video.