Dermod Travis
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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

Lobbying Is A Profession In Need Of A Makeover

(4) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 11:47 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,...

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

(3) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 11:18 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...

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

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 3:08 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...

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

(2) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 4:35 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...

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

(2) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 12:04 PM

'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...

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

(7) Comments | Posted December 9, 2015 | 1:01 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;...

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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

(18) 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.

Most...

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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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