Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim stance triggers Vancouver tower backlash

Calls are growing to remove Donald Trump’s name from a Vancouver tower following the Republican presidential candidate’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
After Trump made the remarks on Monday, former Vancouver city planner Brent Toderian tweeted that the developers building the Trump Tower in Vancouver should remove his name from the building.
“I seriously suggest that Vancouverites call on @TrumpVancouver to remove his name,” Toderian said on Twitter.
That call was then echoed by Vancouver city councillor Kerry Jang on Tuesday, who says the city can’t do anything to stop the building from bearing Trump’s name, but he has written to the developer asking them to part ways with Trump.
“If it was my building, personally I would say, I don’t care if I lose $10 million on this. It’s my fundamental value that’s here —this is not what Vancouver stands for.”
At 63 storeys, the Trump International Hotel and Tower at West Georgia Street will be one of the tallest in the city when it is completed sometime next year, making it the second Trump Tower in Canada after Toronto.
It is being built by the Holborn Group, in association with Donald Trump, but the full extent of the business relationship has not been publicly revealed. The Holborn Group could not be reached for comment on the issue.
Trump, his daughter Ivanka and two sons Donald and Eric were in Vancouver in 2013 to relaunch the luxury high-rise project, which had been put on hold during the 2008 financial crisis.
At the time Trump said his company will design the interior of the hotel and operate it.
The luxury development will include 218 residences on the upper floors and a 147-room hotel on the lower floors, complete with Vancouver’s first pool bar nightclub, and a 1927 Palm Beach-themed spa by Ivanka Trump.
Horrified by comments Toderian, a former Vancouver city planner, told CBC News that he was horrified by Trump’s comments and the recent direction of the discourse in U.S. politics.
“As a city planner that was involved with the building, it has always grated on me that this elegant Vancouver building, designed by Arthur Erikson … that Trump’s name has been … Scotch-taped to the building.”
Toderian said he does not fault the developer Holborn, and he expects the developer’s hands may be tied on the issue.
“I don’t really expect that the developer at this stage is going to change course. I think that they are committed with their marketing and their sales and such.”
Nevertheless, he felt it was important to speak up on the issue. “Just like Mr. Trump likes to go to the public and say what he thinks, I think Vancouverites should have a right to say what they think about having a building with his name attached.”
“It’s a chance to point out that our our brand, our values as a city and as a country, is almost the diametric opposite to what Mr. Trump is saying.”

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