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

B.C. Affordable Housing Plan Barely Passes For Band-Aid Solution

(1) Comments | Posted December 1, 2016 | 4:01 PM

Hate to be one of those folk that B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman believes has nothing better to do than get up and whine every day, but the B.C. government's affordable housing plan announced last week falls short.

Sorry, someone had to say it.
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B.C.'s Supreme Court Loss Its Latest In A Long Line Of Blowouts

(3) Comments | Posted November 21, 2016 | 2:01 PM

If winning cases before the Supreme Court of Canada could be likened to the National Hockey League, the B.C. government would be the Toronto Maple Leafs of litigants.

Perhaps the government is getting bad legal advice? Perhaps it's not listening to good legal advice?

...

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The Pricey Cost Of B.C. Liberals' Secrets

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2016 | 2:39 PM

Just how far is the B.C. government willing to go to guard its secrets? A great distance, if the 2012 health ministry firings are any indication.

Four million documents linked to the firings have mysteriously materialized out of thin air for the latest investigation into the scandal,...

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Pre-Approving Suppliers Won't Solve B.C.'s Transparency Problem

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2016 | 12:54 PM

News that's guaranteed to cheer the hearts of a small number of B.C. companies is word that they've been added to a list of pre-qualified suppliers to the B.C. government.

The lists are intended to offer all the appearances of open and transparent procurement. They can be...

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No Escaping B.C. Governments' Pre-Election Political Programming

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2016 | 2:20 PM

Mute them, channel surf, hide them all you want, but there's no escaping them.

The B.C. government is in the midst of saturating television shows and social media news feeds in the province with a multimillion-dollar back-patting advertising campaign in advance of the 2017...

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B.C. Accelerates Past Point Of No Return On Megaproject Overruns

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2016 | 3:39 PM

The point of no return. Works as a title for horror movies just as well as it does as a slogan for election-tailored megaprojects.

How do you get a project past the point of no return? Hit the accelerator.

Case in point: the mad dash to wrap up the Port...

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Why's The Private Sector Playing Taxpayers' Foreman In B.C.?

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2016 | 11:57 AM

massey tunnel bridge replacement
Massey Tunnel bridge replacement project. (Photo BC GOV/FLICKR)

In 2009 -- with the B.C. election fast approaching -- the B.C. government went on a full-court press to get the Port Mann/Highway 1 improvement project deal signed and past the point of no...

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Rising Costs And Stagnant Wages Leave B.C. Wallets In Sorry State

(2) Comments | Posted September 15, 2016 | 1:10 PM

It's National Payroll Week. Regrettably, celebrations do not include an extra paycheque.

British Columbians may even be wondering what there is to celebrate at all.

According to the Canadian Payroll Association's survey of employed Canadians released in advance of...

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Public Car Insurers Justify Jacking Up Rates With Fudged Facts

(4) Comments | Posted September 6, 2016 | 1:16 PM

It's here somewhere...

Licence and car registration fees to drop 35 per cent in 2016. No, that's in Quebec.

Average passenger vehicle owner would pay an additional $17 a year in premiums. Nope, that's in Manitoba.

...

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Here's An Idea - B.C. Should Disclose Direct Award Contracts Online

(3) Comments | Posted August 26, 2016 | 4:04 PM

Another megaproject, another chance to dole out direct award contracts.

In April, the Alaska Highway News filed an access to information request for a list of the direct award contracts signed during the first stages of the Site C dam construction.

The list provided...

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Knee-Jerk Policies Will Not Cool B.C.'s Red-Hot Housing Market

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2016 | 11:38 AM

It takes a certain skill set to try and fix a problem and possibly botch it up even more, but the B.C. government is certainly testing the idea as it flails about hoping to cool Vancouver's red-hot housing market.

For months the government had been in denial...

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B.C. Officials Racked Up $49.8 Million In Credit Card Charges

(5) Comments | Posted August 2, 2016 | 7:03 PM

In a $46.3-billion budget, $49.8 million is chump change, but the B.C. government's 84,346 credit card charges in 2015-16 do offer some insights into how the B.C. government spends on the run.

While the number of charges is down from 102,418 in 2014-15, the dollar value is...

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B.C. Liberals' Long-Shot LNG Deal Was Fantasy After All

(6) Comments | Posted July 25, 2016 | 4:28 PM

It seems like only yesterday that British Columbians were being told that the province was on the cusp of LNG riches. In fact, it almost was.

Last October, Finance Minister Mike de Jong predicted: "We are poised to see the final steps...

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Want A B.C. Government Appointment? Befriend The Liberals

(2) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 2:28 PM

Another vacancy in a public boardroom and another B.C. Liberal party supporter ready and willing to fill it.

News that Frank Carson -- a partner at Victoria law firm Cox, Taylor -- was appointed chair of B.C. Transit's board of directors last week...

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Put Brakes On Proposed Massey Tunnel Replacement Bridge

(6) Comments | Posted July 4, 2016 | 4:54 PM

With news last week that all but one of Metro Vancouver's mayors have given a firm thumbs down to the B.C. government's proposal for a 10-lane, three-kilometre bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel, it's a good opportunity to take a step back and...

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The Figures Behind B.C. Hydro's Site C Dam

(4) Comments | Posted June 24, 2016 | 6:26 PM

The B.C. government has placed two bets over the Site C project: one that B.C. Hydro can keep construction costs to $8.8 billion, and, two, that it can find customers for the power.

Left to cover the ante? Taxpayers.

The government...

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Is B.C. Forgetting About Its Renters?

(5) Comments | Posted June 17, 2016 | 7:55 PM

With so much of the attention focused on Victoria's tent city and Vancouver's skyrocketing home prices in the housing debate, one group is left hollering, "Hey, what about us?"

Last Sunday, The Province newspaper published "Squeezed out: Renters losing homes as Lower Mainland owners cash...

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It Seems Political Donations Buy Big Results For B.C. Industries

(8) Comments | Posted June 9, 2016 | 5:09 PM

Former chief of staff to then-Premier Gordon Campbell, Martyn Brown, made some refreshingly candid comments about B.C.'s political financing culture on Voice of B.C. the other day.

"For the Liberals, the housing industry, construction industry, real estate, the liquor industry, energy industry, certainly the mining...

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Latest Manifestation Of Political Mindset Should Worry British Columbians

(6) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 12:00 PM

The headlines were emphatic: "Quick wins amounted to little for NDP"; "Quick wins report lands with a dull thud."

But behind the headlines something unsettling: a window into a culture of seeming impunity, where players are told anything goes, do whatever it takes...

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B.C. Government Masters The Art Of Political Spin

(6) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 11:44 AM

Canadians have come to expect that politicians will take a few liberties with facts as they spin issues to suit their purpose.

A master practitioner of the art form is the B.C. government, with spin that can be light in the accuracy department.

...

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