Police presence at Vancouver Trump Tower opening cost $105K
Taxpayers shelled out approximately $105,000 last week for police to staff the official opening of a Trump-branded hotel in Vancouver.
The Trump International Hotel & Tower opened on West Georgia Street on Feb. 28 with a heavy police presence in the area.
Hundreds of people gathered to protest the building, which has become a lightning rod of controversy in the city because of the political views of its namesake, U.S. President Donald Trump.
Three of the president's children, Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany, were in attendance for the opening. They flew into the city on the family's private jet for the ribbon cutting.
Vancouver police officers were brought in to help keep the peace during the event, Const. Jason Doucette said Monday, for an estimated cost of $105,000. The hefty price tag covered demonstrations at different locations in the city, but all on a single day.
He said the VPD budgets each year for a number of demonstrations throughout the city, and prepares based on the information and intelligence provided to it beforehand.
When asked if that was a lot of money for an event that lasted a single day, he conceded: "$100,000 is a lot of money. Are there other (protests) that are more expensive or cheaper? There might be. But at the end of the year, that's when we'll have a real vision about how much this has affected our budget."
Doucette said the Trumps would have covered the costs of any private security on hand, but did not contribute to the policing costs. The RCMP will give Vancouver police about $4,000 for the event, he said.
"Public safety is number one for us… We want people to be able to demonstrate, have their voices heard in a safe manner," Doucette said.
"We also want to look at reducing the amount of inconvenience to the general public."
The RCMP's Air One helicopter was also used to monitor the event. Mounties have not provided information on their bill for the opening.