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A president Donald Trump would be a 'tsunami' for Canada: Prof

Councillors in Vancouver and Toronto are calling for his name to be dumped from Trump towers in their city.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Sterling, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Sterling, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015.

One professor, searching for a metaphor for Donald Trump, settles on an earthquake: A Trump presidency would create a massive rift in the U.S. and the resulting tsunami would wash across the world. 

Trump’s recent statement that he would ban Muslims from entering the United States is only the latest in bigoted politics that would spell disaster for both the U.S.—and Canada, experts say.

If Trump becomes president, it would cause contention within the United States that the country hasn’t seen since its civil war, said Stephen Clarkson, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Clarkson said a Trump presidency could also lead to a major decline in America’s moral influence in the world, worse than the era of George Bush Jr.

“He’s off the map, even for conservatives,” he said, “and that could cause the United States, which is a big economy and has a huge military, to lose its influence in the world.”

President Trump would be a disaster for Canada too, considering our close economic ties and shared border with the U.S.—that’s why Trump would be the earthquake, and Canada would suffer the tidal wave, he said.

Should Trump’s bombast lead to a military action or another act of terrorism against the United States, Canada has obligations under NATO to respond and there would be considerable pressure to back up our allied nation, even if it is led by Trump, he said. 

Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during the 2016 Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, DC, December 3, 2015.

AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during the 2016 Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, DC, December 3, 2015.

But a Trump presidency isn’t a cause for concern for York University professor of political science Stephen Newman.

“I really don’t think the U.S. has become so perverse that it would elect a person who says the kind of things that he says,” he said.

Polls currently show Trump losing a general election. For example, an MSNBC poll taken just prior to Trump’s comments about banning Muslims, showed him losing by 11 points in a hypothetical match-up against Hillary Clinton. 

But if, “in some alternate universe” Trump is elected, neither he nor the U.S. Congress has the power to implement Trump’s most bigoted promises because such discrimination violates the U.S. Constitution, Newman said.

“If he illegally attempted to exclude Muslims, the courts would soon set him straight,” he said.

But even so, the enduring support Trump receives from Americans in polls is a cause for concern, said Newman, who is American himself.

“He is a scary guy,” he said. “It’s always frightening to learn that one’s countrymen are susceptible to potentially racist, nativist and xenophobic sentiments. Those are the sort of things that have been very ugly in the past, in the United States and elsewhere. They’re the sort of thing that feeds ethnic cleansings and holocausts.”  

Toronto's Trump tower.

torstar news service

Toronto's Trump tower.

Trump name should be dumped from the Trump tower: Toronto councillor

Donald Trump is a “fascist” and his name has no place “in the heart of the downtown of Canada’s most diverse and accepting city,” a Toronto city councillor charged Tuesday.

“I believe the owners of Toronto's Trump Tower should change its name,” Coun. Josh Matlow tweeted. “I'm writing to the owners of the Trump Tower today to make this request.”

Matlow’s tweet took off online and trended in Toronto Tuesday afternoon. The words “shame” could also be spotted on the sidewalk outside the tower, painted in chalk by local street artist Victor Fraser.

“Trump’s disgusting, he's shameful, he's an idiot. I mean he frustrates my mother - he frustrates half the planet,” Fraser said.

Trump’s comments in his campaign for the Republican nomination that Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. and his earlier association of Mexicans with criminals and rapists were bigoted and hateful, said Matlow.

He doesn’t blame the owners of the Trump Tower, Matlow said, because when it was completed in 2012 the Trump brand was about financial success, not his presidential campaign.

“But we all know now what Donald Trump is about—he’s made that very clear—and it’s time for all reasonable and decent people to disassociate himself with Mr. Trump and his brand,” he said.

A spokesman for the owners of the Toronto tower, David Eisenstadt, told Metro there is a legal agreement in place preventing a name change.

The Toronto Trump International Hotel & Tower is owned by developer Talon International, the owners of residences within the tower, and other investors, but is managed by a Trump company, Trump Hotel Collection, he said.

“Donald Trump’s opinions as a private citizen in no way reflect the position of the company’s views or those of its other investors and owners,” he said in a statement on behalf of the owners.

In Vancouver, where a Trump International Hotel and Tower is under construction, a similar plea for a name change is being made by former city planner Brent Toderian.

-with a file from Liz Beddall

 

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