Dermod Travis
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.

Entries by Dermod Travis

B.C. Trade Missions Fail To Deliver The Bang For The Buck

(16) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 2:26 PM

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.

Premier Christy Clark came home from her third trip to China, in...

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City Hall Bullies Need A Time Out

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 12:19 PM

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.

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The B.C. Government's 7 Stages Of Damage Control

(17) Comments | Posted November 4, 2015 | 5:18 PM

If grief has five stages, the B.C. government seems to have seven stages in its damage control manual for handling situations ranging from cringeworthy all the way to "Houston, we have a problem."

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett likely sits atop the leaderboard in the...

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The Reckless Rush to Sign the Port Mann Bridge Deal

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 3:50 PM

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...

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Patronage Heaven, Keeping It In The Family

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 3:37 AM

New York Senator William L. Marcy could have just as easily been referring to B.C. in 2015 - and not the 1828 victory of the Jackson Democrats - when he boasted "to the victor belong the spoils."

Even he would have marvelled at the spoils available in...

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Forget The Bonus, The Real Money Is In Severance Pay

(2) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 2:33 AM

Neil Sedaka is right: breaking up is hard to do. It's also expensive.

On Sept. 15, residents of Vancouver learned that former chief administrator officer (CAO) Penny Ballem's services had been "concluded" that day by Mayor Gregor Robertson.

penny ballem

Ballem, 65,...

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The Flip Side of B.C.'s Infrastructure Coin

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 4:34 PM

There are those who execute contracts and those who award them. In B.C., when it comes to provincially funded infrastructure projects, valued at more than $50 million, there's a gatekeeper: Partnerships BC.

Tough to keep track of all the comings and goings at the...

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Cost Overruns Don't Prevent B.C. Gov't From Hiring Same Companies

(3) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 2:33 AM

Something is amiss when infrastructure projects routinely overshoot their original estimates by millions -- and sometimes -- billions of dollars in B.C.

It isn't rounding errors. It's sloppy estimating, bad procurement, ill-conceived plans and often a lack of a boss where the buck stops on some projects.

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UBC Feud Casts Light On Who Sits On University, Agency Boards

(1) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 5:42 PM

The feud at the University of British Columbia over the sudden departure of president Arvind Gupta -- one year into his five-year term -- is also casting an unexpected light on the board of governors, a university body that rarely gets so much attention.


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Auditor General For Local Government: Designed To Fail Or Left To Implode?

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 8:23 PM

Last week the Union of B.C. Municipalities released its report on the operations of B.C.'s Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG).

It paints a less than flattering picture of the office. No big surprise given that the UBCM was hardly a fan of the...

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Meet B.C.'s New LNG Dance Partner, Malaysia

(3) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 4:07 PM

What's being called the Scandal That Ate Malaysia has been in the news a lot recently in B.C. In Malaysia, it's been in the news too, but for about a year now.

Broad strokes to the scandal: Malaysian investigators are looking into allegations that US$700...

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B.C. Government's Credit Card Charges Are Enlightening

(1) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 3:07 AM

One of the more feared aspects to the release of the public accounts each year -- at least as far as government ministers are concerned -- is that tiny volume itemizing each ministry's credit card charges.

Guess the anxiety finally got the better of them,...

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Bad Blood, Seething Passions Corrode Some B.C. Town Councils

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 7:36 PM

If the screams for help are any indication, it would seem a few B.C. town councils aren't settling in so well following last November's elections. Couple of common themes: the life expectancy of what may be the most risky job in civic life and old-fashioned collegiality.

Since the last tally,...

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Three of the B.C. Government's Favourite Words: Out Of Scope

(1) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 7:58 PM

Health Minister Terry Lake may not have clued into it yet, but that idea to ask the Office of the B.C. Ombudsperson to investigate the 2012 health ministry firings isn't flying so well.

Might have flown eons ago -- had it been the very...

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B.C.'s Housing Escalators: One Goes Up, One Goes Down

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 4:48 PM

While everyone's been furiously pointing fingers at each other over Vancouver's skyrocketing house prices, little attention has been paid to the other side of most real estate transactions: the pay stub.

You could be forgiven for thinking that a few politicians rely a bit too much...

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Who Else Was Involved in the B.C. Health Ministry Firings?

(2) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 6:39 PM

On Sept. 6, 2012, B.C.'s health ministry fired four employees and suspended three others who were then fired on Oct. 24. One of those fired, University of Victoria PhD student Roderick MacIsaac, 46, committed suicide on Jan. 8, 2013.

Four of the employees (Malcolm Maclure, Ron Mattson,...

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B.C. Legislature Is Setting For Some Riveting Screenplays

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 2:08 AM

It may look like one at night, but the B.C. legislature isn't a movie set, even though some government staffers seem to be living out their own screenplays along the corridors of power.

This after former government staffer Tim Duncan blew the whistle last month...

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The Future of LNG? Sold to the Lowest Bidder in the Back Row

(2) Comments | Posted May 30, 2015 | 3:16 AM

You know that uneasy feeling you get in your gut when you realize you might be getting played? Well, May 20 could turn out to be one of those days for B.C.

World's apart -- literally and figuratively -- it was a busy day on the LNG...

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B.C. Election Campaign Spending Limits Are So High, They're Meaningless

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2015 | 2:48 AM

When the B.C. government tabled its legislation to amend the Election Act in March, it was probably hoping no one would notice. They were in for a bit of a shock.

While much of the focus has been on the provision which would give political parties the...

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Fallout From Local B.C. Elections Is Like A Comedy Skit

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 3:27 PM

Local elections across B.C. were supposed to be buried and done with last November, but some of the fallout from a few races is still coming home to roost and there are a few lessons to learn from it.

The top ones? Local elections are a perilous...

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