There was yet another residential development lurching inevitably towards what seemed like a majority vote approval when Councillor Roger Bassam chimed in with a much-maligned name in contemporary political discourse — Donald Trump.
The council had been discussing the merits and demerits of Councillor Lisa Muri’s motion to reject the approval of a 39-unit townhome project in two four-storey buildings on Heritage Park Lane in the Seymour Area. Councillor Jim Hanson wasn’t supportive of the development because of what he said was the pace of development in the Seymour area and the challenges of transportation and traffic congestion.
“There has been far too much development in the Seymour area that is underway or that is anticipated. Until we have a plan or at least a hint of a plan as to how to move people around and get them to this side of the water for their employment, it’s simply not responsible to approve more development of this size in this location,” he said.
That was simply not true, asserted Bassam.
“I am going to take umbrage at Councillor Hanson’s comments about the transportation plan. Every time he says we don’t have a transportation plan, and I am going to say, yes we do. I am open to hearing critiques of the transportation plan and open to suggestions on how to improve the plan. I am not open to suggestions that we don’t have a transportation plan,” he said, and added this pithy epilogue: “That to me smacks of Trumpism and the blatant denial of facts.”
Councillor Hanson said comparing him to Trump was insulting, inappropriate, defamatory, and hurtful to the members of his family.
“What we are here to do is to talk about our community, and we are not that important. We don’t need to spend our time providing critiques of the personalities of others here. We would be much better off to stick to the issues. I think those are important to North Vancouverites. We shouldn’t be focus of attention,” he said.
Councillor Bassam gently smirked at his comments as Hanson clarified his position on transportation plan.
“We don’t have a transportation plan if by that you mean how we are going to get people form this side of the Burrard Inlet over to the other. I have never heard of a suggestion on how to do that and I hope we can get one,” he said.
The project was approved with Councillors Muri and Hanson opposed.