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Dermod Travis

Executive Director, IntegrityBC

Dermod Travis is the executive director of IntegrityBC, a non-profit group dedicated to restore a bond between citizens and their elected officials. He has been the executive director of the Canada Tibet Committee from 2007 to 2011, and is the founder of PIRA Communications.

Travis is a former member of Quebec’s Estates General on the Situation and the Future of the French Language and its Comité d’examen sur la langue d’enseignement. He's given guest lectures at the Université de Montréal, Columbia University, Concordia University, Carleton University and McGill University.
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Have Donations To B.C. Liberals And NDP Crossed The Line?

The 2015 political donations were out this week and they contained some numbers that should cause a bit of unease. It's not just the 2015 amounts that are of interest, it's the running totals as well. Since 2005, the B.C. Liberal party has raised more than $107.8 million -- $70.2 million of that from businesses and corporations.
04/11/2016 09:14 EDT
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Local Governments Have A Problem With Transparency

When most communities in B.C. have more in-camera meetings than the City of Toronto, there's a problem. In Ontario, councils are entitled to go in-camera to consider six specific matters. There are four reasons that councils must go in camera and over a dozen reasons why they "may" close a meeting. The nuance between "may" and "must" seems to have been lost on a few.
04/01/2016 10:46 EDT

Balancing The B.C. Budget

Petty. One word that springs to mind after last week's B.C. budget. At best, it's a lip service budget. Tweak here, tweak there, but devoid of any real purpose. To be sure, some were tossed a chi...
02/23/2016 05:26 EST
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Lobbying Is A Profession In Need Of A Makeover

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there does seem to be a future for the industry. In fact, if we're not careful, B.C. could be overrun by lobbyists. Last year, there were 2,502 in-house and consultant lobbyists registered in the province, up from 1,451 four years ago. Whoever said the B.C. Jobs Plan wasn't working?
02/04/2016 11:47 EST
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B.C. Politics Has A 'Dark Money' Problem

Trade associations -- Many are known to donate generously to political parties, particularly when they want to curry favour. In the U.S. it's called "dark money," a way to spend big bucks on politics and remain relatively anonymous. It doesn't have the same bad rap in B.C. yet, but it's problematic.
12/09/2015 01:01 EST
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B.C. Trade Missions Fail To Deliver The Bang For The Buck

For those not counting, there have been eight B.C. trade missions to China alone in the last 18 months. Forests minister Steve Thomson is set to leave on a ninth mission this Friday. Trade missions aren't cheap, they set the B.C. government back $767,000 in 2014 and that doesn't include the bill for local governments, universities and other agencies.
11/25/2015 02:26 EST
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City Hall Bullies Need A Time Out

There's something about local government that brings out the worst in some people. Staff get spat on. Mayors and councillors are often the victims of what can only be described as cyberbullying. In some towns, process servers would be well-advised to offer volume discounts to local governments.
11/20/2015 12:20 EST
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The B.C. Government's 7 Stages Of Damage Control

health ministry firings, multicultural outreach strategy and what some are calling deletegate -- they demand finesse and there's a definite pattern to how the government goes about it. Its damage control manual seems to come with instructions: mix and match to fit, use sparingly and only as required.
11/04/2015 05:18 EST
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The Reckless Rush to Sign the Port Mann Bridge Deal

You would think Ben Franklin was working in public procurement when he coined the phrase "take time for all things: great haste makes great waste." It's one possible explanation for why the Port Mann Bridge/Highway 1 improvement project more than doubled in price from its original estimate of $1.5 billion to $3.2 billion.
10/29/2015 02:50 EDT