'Dumped by Trump' a badge of honour in Vancouver - Macleans.ca

‘Dumped by Trump’ a badge of honour in Vancouver

Protests met cartoonish opulence as the Trump brothers opened their Vancouver hotel and tower

(L-R) Datin Alicia Tiah, Joo Kim Tiah, CEO of the Holborn Group; Donald Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Haydon, Eric Trump, and his wife Lara Yunaska cut the ribbon during a ceremony inaugurating the Trump International Hotel and tower in Vancouver, Canada, on February 28, 2017. (Stephanie Lamy/AFP/Getty Images)

(L-R) Datin Alicia Tiah, Joo Kim Tiah, CEO of the Holborn Group; Donald Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Haydon, Eric Trump, and his wife Lara Yunaska cut the ribbon during a ceremony inaugurating the Trump International Hotel and tower in Vancouver. (Stephanie Lamy/AFP/Getty Images)

A few years ago, Vancouver city councillor Kerry Jang was asked to welcome Donald Trump, then just another developer looking to get in on the city’s real estate action, and his eldest children, Ivanka and Don Jr., to the city. The Trump hotel’s developer, Holborn Group CEO Joo Kim Tiah invited him, he says. The Trumps were in B.C. to announce plans for the 63-storey Trump International Hotel and Tower, which opened on Tuesday amid protests. But Jang, who is Chinese-Canadian, says he got the hook at the last minute. Coun. Geoff Meggs, the Ontario-born son of an Anglican priest, greeted the Trump family in 2013.

Jang says he’s thankful he got dumped. “The Trump name is synonymous with sexism, bigotry and bullying,” he says, calling the new tower a “blight on the city” (Tiah did not respond to requests for an interview; a spokeswoman for the Holborn Group had not provided comment to Maclean’s when this story was posted). And the soaring, twisting structure has got “terrible feng shui,” Jang adds, bursting into laughter: “I wouldn’t go near the place.” Neither, evidently, would Vancouver’s entire city council nor Mayor Gregor Robertson, who in 2015 asked for the tower to be renamed: all boycotted the morning’s ribbon-cutting in Coal Harbour, where Don Jr. and Trump’s second son, Eric, were honoured guests.

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“Money,” Trump once said, “is a bit like a scorecard,” and even the men’s store in his new hotel’s lobby reeks of the cartoonish opulence the world has come to associate with him. A boy’s ostrich-leather jacket is priced at $14,000 before tax. Crocodile skin shoes come in at $6,600. Kids’ runners start at $930. Even the store’s mannequins seem to say: “Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich”—something else Trump once told an interviewer. Instead of human heads, the mannequins have bronzed, eagle heads. Their beady eyes seem to hunt shoppers, like prey.

Don’t let the shellacked concrete floors of the gym next door fool you. The club is just as exclusive and expensive, as the refrigerated, eucalyptus-scented towels suggest (in another Trumpian touch, the website offered a promotion Tuesday—150 bucks off the $300 initiation fee).

Meantime, hundreds of colourful, placard-waving protestors had gathered outside to sing “love trumps hate.” A row of security guards wearing badges identifying each as a Trump “associate” looked on from behind a temporary, metal fence. Chrome letters spelling T-R-U-M-P hung above their heads, each of them festooned with razor wire (a comment on the proprietor’s border policies?).

The protest was mostly peaceful, but four men, one wearing a red, “Make Canada Great Again” hat, had come to argue with the demonstrators. “Have you never been to Saudi Arabia?” one asked rhetorically, adding: “None of you has ever defended a woman in your life.”

Jang is urging tourists visiting Vancouver to steer clear of the circus entirely. “As a city, we pride ourselves in diversity and inclusiveness,” he says, noting that fully 48 per cent of Vancouverites are foreign-born. “The Trump tower is not us. For an authentic Vancouver experience, go anywhere else.”


‘Dumped by Trump’ a badge of honour in Vancouver

  1. Hope the message sticks with visitors to the city. A blight on the community, all caused by the Trump name.

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  2. The fact that Vision Vancouver originally greeted Trump to Vancouver with great enthusiasm (he’s a developer after all) says a lot about their hypocrisy and duplicity.

    • Kerry Hird If you can not see a difference to trump the developer and trump the US president spouting hate and lies then you have a lot to learn.

    • Oh I think Vancouver was fine with Donald Trump until the grab them by the pu$$y tape emerged and then a lot of people weren’t so fine with him. It is quite amazing how many still find that sentiment Donald Trump spewed to be okay. It is like the judge who told the woman who got raped she should have kept her legs shut. He is getting disbarred. People with morals and values, know that sexual predators no matter if they are rich are dangerous and the fact that they would admit it proudly is sickening. People defended Jian Ghomeshi as well. I don’t think a man would want another man bending him over a desk or grabbing his genitals.

  3. Yes, why can’t the Trumps be as classy, restrained, and dignified as Justin Bieber?

    Got’cha! :)

    • The day Justin Bieber runs from Prime Minister, we will all be supporting your point of view Mack in Texas. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber is an entertainer, just as Donald Trump was before he became POTUS.

  4. The trump family represent the most despicable part of humanity. Donalds ploy to become a dictator seems to have been ignored by the government, is the almighty buck become king?

  5. SHAME on Canadians in BC for treating Trump family members so shabbily – just the opposite of Trump’s favorable mention of Trudeau in connection with their support for women entrepreneurs in his first State of the Union address last night.

    Canadians, have you no manners?

    Politically, I prefer Stephen Harper to Justin Trudeau – but I would never treat ANY Canadian prime minister with other than the full respect due his position.

    Trump’s speech was masterful in any event, and when I visit Vancouver again, I will stay at his hotel, hoping that BC and its leaders will have learned some manners.

    • I fully agree. ROBERTVAN obviously didn’t watch Trump on Tuesday. Even 74% CNN’s audience-the leftist of the left-thought he did very well.

      • Jerome, are you quoting fake news? Worse, are you quoting the Clinton News Network? How can you believe any poll that comes out of that fake news network? Could it be that anything they say that is positive about the POTUS you believe and anything that is less than complimentary is fake news? You know Jerome, credibility begins with consistency. The main stream media is either always fake news or legitimate. It doesn’t wax and wane depending on whether or not on a given day it supports your strongly held partisan beliefs.

    • One thing Canadians have is an international reputation for good manners. However, this President believes he has the right to grab attractive women by their nether regions without their permission and thus his position as POTUS do not overcome his deep character flaws. Given that neither Stephen Harper nor Justin Trudeau, nor any Prime Minister in Canadian history has ever been as sexist, bigoted or openly hateful, I am not sure why an American would feel they should treat a Canadian Prime Minister poorly. However, should we elect one in the future who shows such little respect toward at least 50 percent of the population as Donald Trump has, you have our permission to show equally poor manners toward him or her. I am certain Canadians would be protesting a Prime Minister were he or she of such low character and we know that Americans have been protesting the POTUS. In fact, the entire world protested him one day. It is the wonderful about a democracy and free speech. It also the great thing about a free press which your POTUS is trying to suppress. He deserves to be protested on several issues. If you disagree and want to protest Justin Trudeau, feel free. It is democracy at work.

  6. Support most of Trump’s policies, but hate him as a person and human being.
    Trump has too many character flaws. GOP – the right party, wrong President.