Rick Antonson is an author, and former CEO of Tourism Vancouver. The comments are his alone, from a note to Gord Price (published with permission) 
RE: the move afoot to have Trump name taken off his Vancouver hotel:  More importantly, perhaps, the whole Trump bit.
A brand is a promise“ (by any proper definition) and Trump’s brand has quickly become one of luxury-fascism. Sad, that.
On the other extreme, Vancouver’s Brand Promise has always, consciously, been to welcome travel and immigration.
The rationale behind Vancouver’s brand promise has been forthright, and could be said to be this: Travel and immigration, more than any other activities, take down the barriers to understanding. They are about bringing people together to share ideas, to learn from one another, to celebrate our differences. Travel and immigration are vital forces for peace.
Trump’s current candidacy is clearly about expanding recognition and definition for his own brand, the specifics of which have become abundantly (eerily) clear.
Trump’s personal name brand and Vancouver’s brand are wholly incompatible. The moment anyone willingly steps across the threshold of a Trump branded hotel property anywhere in the world, they subtly validate his name and what he stands for; his brand.
With that thought in mind, no visitor or resident should have to suffer the ignominy of stepping across the threshold of a Trump-named property, certainly not in Vancouver.
One might say: “Fascism is out of step in 2015”.
One might ask: “If such a place existed, who would not feel weirdly and ethically compromised checking into the Hitler Hotel?”


  1. God the hypocrisy. Vancouver’s brand should be pluralism and tolerance, insofar that it even has a brand. Those musings about forcing out speech you dislike sounds more fascist.
    The worst thing is you can’t see it. This dreary progressive illiberal moral consensus prevails over everything, and has to stamp out any intellectual diversity. It’s like one big liberal arts campus in this city. Pearl-clutching compassionate fascists. Compascists.

    1. You’re right. It’s the “dreary progressive illiberal” people of Vancouver who are fascists. Not the candidate for president of the US, who is inciting hatred against a religious minority.
      I hope you feel better by calling people names, though.

  2. As if Trump’s ideas can’t be beaten honestly with reasoned argumentation… do we really need to resort to coercion to win?
    Probably our moral consensus is correct, but how can we know unless we defeat bad ideas using the power of our good ideas. Not just squashing them with the authority of the state or the moral mob.
    If you truly fear Trump’s ideas will defeat the current moral consensus, all the more reason to let them in…

    1. Trump is attempting to gain the highest office of the most powerful state in the world. He is promising to quash an entire religious group and another people of one particular race in the US should he win that office. Is that not immoral? Apparently the majority of American citizens think so, and they are hardly a mob. In fact, his followers, which are a minority of US citizens, are more mob-like than any clutch of local liberals.
      Two things will get Trump’s attention: His defeat by Hillary using reasoned arguments next November (in fact she may not need anything as Trump’s talk about interment camps for Muslims and deporting Hispanics is now shifting millions of voters in her direction); and hitting him where it hurts most, his wealth and name.
      A divestment campaign on the Trump name is a rejection of his ideas, which he is free to make anytime.

  3. Another no-name manager / politician from Vancouver trying to get some name recognition for himself off some controversy.
    An old political trick: never let a good crisis go to waste.
    No one is forced to stay at a Hilton, a Sheraton, a Hitler or a Trump hotel. Let these guests make their own decision how they wish to spend their money.

  4. Meanwhile, in the Muslim world: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/12/11/trumps-name-image-removed-at-dubai-development-amid-uproar.html
    “But some of his rhetoric about Islam on the campaign trail — including his call to monitor mosques and his proposal this week to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the U.S. — has led to increased wariness in the Arab world. Earlier this week, the Dubai-based Landmark Group pulled all Trump home decor products from its 180 Lifestyle stores over his comments.
    The Gulf Cooperation Council on Thursday, after a meeting of its members’ leaders, said, “The Supreme Council expressed its deep concern at the increase of hostile, racist and inhumane rhetoric against refugees in general and Muslims in particular.” “

  5. Who cares what some local wag thinks of that blow-hard. We’ve got bigger problems close to home . . .
    I lay it down to the Great Trek 1915.
    Thanqu Acton Ostry Architects for laying it all out: your proposal for a new Brock Commons Student dormitory at UBC.
    Yes, dormitory! Please indulge me: your presentation describes Brock Commons as hardly a unique place on campus. Indeed campus is still laid out as 1950’s sprawl. I’m sure, as I remember, UBC students would much prefer residences to dormitories, but my time there was long, long ago!
    I refer to the Great Trek as being the greatest miss-judgment an immature over enthusiastic, collection of faculty, administration and students made in 1915 by romping off to Point Gray to stake out their new territorial claim of, I suppose, “virgin land”!
    But then things were different in those heady days, weren’t they. Real estate, then as now, was the only game in town after HRMac and his later Austrian buddies Bloch-Bower lumber barons wiped the forests clean.
    But I digress!
    Your student cubicles remind me of a poultry battery I designed in Abbotsford a long time ago. Surely UBC students deserve better than that!
    You have been relegated to a site that is hardly the fairest of them all! To the North, a magnificent view, but blocked by the ubiquitous off-the-shelf towers and to the south the debilitating Sun that tinted glass gives no relief. Your tower is isolated and removed, across Walter Gage, from what should be its courtyard.
    As you point out with file-pics of the BC Electric tower, among others, that towers are seldom unique although ubiquitous to a fault in this age of density over footprint!
    I am not against appropriately sited towers: let it be understood! Towers on UBC campus, however, are not appropriate given UBC’s lackadaisical land planning.
    With regard to the art of designing urban space, what the hell happened to the party wall?
    May I suggest, now is the time for UBC to make a complete break from the developer/realtor profit motivated tower/cum/carriageway layout that has, and is, destroying so many urban environments, the consequences of which we bemoan but do nothing about: i.e. declare UBC campus a pedestrian/cycling only campus with limited access for emergency, commercial, public transit and pets.
    Since UBC is my old alma mater I would be most pleased if I saw, before it is to late, some semblance of creative planning and building design practiced as art.
    So thanqu, Messrs Acton Ostry, for exposing the chaos that is UBC campus. Not unlike the chaos to which it is appended!
    PS Timber? I don’t get it. Trees, especially old growth, are an endangered species!

    . . . that, clearly some want to avoid and not just at UBC!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *