Dermod Travis
GET UPDATES FROM 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

Meet The Scandalous Companies Working For BC Hydro

(4) Comments | Posted April 20, 2016 | 2:34 PM

Another month, another Site C contract, and once again with one of those almost -- but not quite -- Canadian companies.

On April 6, Canadian Press quoted Premier Christy Clark as stating "Montreal-based Voith Hydro Inc. will design, supply and install six turbines, six generators...

Read Post

Have Donations To B.C. Liberals And NDP Crossed The Line?

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 9:14 AM

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 --...

Read Post

Local Governments Have A Problem With Transparency

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2016 | 10:46 AM

No one could be blamed for wanting to scream "go to your rooms" at some local council meetings across B.C.

Seven of eight Nanaimo city councillors want their mayor, Bill McKay, to quit. Last month, Grand Forks council went to court to force a...

Read Post

B.C. Liberals Have Mastered The Art Of Returning Donors' Favours

(9) Comments | Posted March 15, 2016 | 3:29 PM

News this month that the Interior Health Authority had reached a 20-year agreement to outsource laundry services to Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service is the latest in a long string of odd coincidences involving companies that donate to the B.C. Liberal party and companies that do well by the...

Read Post

Are Christy Clark's Travel Expenses Soaring Sky-High?

(45) Comments | Posted March 3, 2016 | 2:11 PM

News that Premier Christy Clark has spent $500,000 on private jets since assuming office has -- not surprisingly -- raised a few eyebrows.

It's a story that has as much to do with the symbolism as it does with the dollars. A political condition...

Read Post

Balancing The B.C. Budget

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2016 | 4:26 PM

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 chicken wing.

...

Read Post

Are B.C. Liberals And B.C. Hydro In Opposition?

(3) Comments | Posted February 16, 2016 | 3:52 PM

One of the last things anyone would ever imagine the B.C. government doing is adopting an old NDP program, but that's exactly what Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett did this month when he announced a five-year, $300 million hydro bill deferment plan for 13 mines owned by...

Read Post

Lobbying Is A Profession In Need Of A Makeover

(4) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 10:47 AM

Last month, lobbyists gathered in Vancouver for The Future of Lobbying, a one-day conference put on by B.C.'s Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists, Simon Fraser Institute's Governance Studies and Public Affairs Association of Canada (B.C. Chapter).

Hate to be the bearer of bad news,...

Read Post

B.C. Health Ministry Review Still Bogged Down, Four Years In

(3) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 10:18 AM

Proving it's easier to announce an action plan than implement one, parts of the B.C. health ministry's 2011 plan "to strengthen physician hiring and oversight and enhance public confidence" remain bogged down to this day in consultations.

Following the plan's release, the ministry engaged KPMG...

Read Post

B.C.'s Protracted Peer Review Promise Bears A Closer Look

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 2:08 PM

Buried among a spate of bad news announcements that the B.C. government released over the Christmas holidays was an update on a province-wide system for peer reviews of medical scans.

The system was to have been operational by 2014, but still isn't in place at...

Read Post

5 Resolutions B.C. MLAs Should Ponder For The New Year

(2) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 3:35 PM

It's that time of year when many of us consider making a few resolutions for self-improvement. In the spirit of the season, it only seems fitting to suggest five resolutions for the province's MLAs.

1. Buy a thesaurus

An online search in the B.C. government's newsroom turned up 148...

Read Post

B.C.'s Economy Doesn't Stack Up To The Rest Of Canada

(2) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 11:04 AM

'Tis the season of lists and stocking stuffers of economic forecasts.

But instead of soothsaying over what could happen in 2016, a look back at B.C.'s economic performance over the past few years might be more illuminating.

Deciphering economic forecasts is a murky task...

Read Post

B.C. Politics Has A 'Dark Money' Problem

(7) Comments | Posted December 9, 2015 | 12:01 PM

They're the forgotten cousins of political donors, a beast that's neither corporate nor union: trade associations.

If you have a shingle to hang, there's one out there for you, even for the shingle maker.

There are associations for brewers, vinters, distillers and beverage licensees;...

Read Post

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

(16) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 1:26 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...

Read Post

City Hall Bullies Need A Time Out

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 11:19 AM

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.

Read Post

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

(18) Comments | Posted November 4, 2015 | 4:18 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...

Read Post

The Reckless Rush to Sign the Port Mann Bridge Deal

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 2:50 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...

Read Post

Patronage Heaven, Keeping It In The Family

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 2:37 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...

Read Post

Forget The Bonus, The Real Money Is In Severance Pay

(2) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 1:33 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,...

Read Post

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

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 3:34 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...

Read Post