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

Vancouver Campaign Spending Contagion Spreading Fast

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 6:14 PM

The returns are in and some of the 2014 local election campaign spending in B.C. isn't pretty.

But first a quick peek at some of the spending by the "distant cousins" that seems to have been lost in the feeding frenzy over those candidate returns.

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B.C. Budget 2015 Pushes Dream Of White Picket Fence Further Out Of Reach

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 6:21 PM

Government policies are normally designed to help citizens as they try to move up the economic ladder, not penalize them for trying. And on that one count alone, this week's B.C. budget from Finance Minister Mike de Jong is an abject failure.

In its budget highlights, the...

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B.C. Open Government Went From 'Key Priority' To 'What's That?'

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 4:23 PM

A little more than four years ago, a candidate for the leadership of the B.C. Liberal party -- Christy Clark -- set out her plan to regain public trust through a series of open government initiatives that she committed to following through on if chosen by party members.
...

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B.C. Clinical Trials Oversight Shows Need For Health Sheriffs

(3) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 3:33 PM

Imagine, if you will, being enrolled in a clinical trial and researchers failing to inform you that you had a higher risk of death depending upon which of the two groups in the trial you were assigned to -- that renal failure or stroke were just two of the possible...

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Rejecting TransLink Referendum Won't Make Problems Disappear

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 5:01 PM

Depending upon your point of view, TransLink is either a wasteful, marginally competent transit authority or it's a wasteful, marginally competent transit authority.

At least both sides in Metro Vancouver's upcoming transit referendum seem to agree on that one point, even though they may express it differently.

In the...

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5 New Year's Resolutions For B.C.'s Politicians

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 4:56 PM

It's that time of year when B.C. politicians should start thinking about some new year's resolutions for a bit of political self-improvement. So, in the spirit of giving, here are five ideas for politicians to consider as they set their resolutions for 2015.

1. Do the shuffle

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Dear Santa: Here Is What B.C. Wants For Christmas

(1) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 5:34 PM

Dear Santa:

You probably don't get Christmas letters from an entire province, but this year we hope you'll think of adding B.C. to your magical journey. We know we're asking a lot of you, but B.C. could really use a plan B this Christmas.

You see it all...

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When It Comes To B.C. Local Elections, Standing Out Isn't A Good Thing

(1) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 8:42 PM

For the last six weeks, deep in the B.C. legislature, eight MLAs have been toiling away at trying to set spending limits for municipal parties and their candidates in 2018, as well as third parties.

It's been an oddly quiet discussion, given that their recommendations might restore...

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B.C. Muncipal Elections: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

(2) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 6:35 PM

Saturday was a good day for local democracy in B.C. As one person noted online: "First time in my life I've had to wait to vote in a local election....What the hell is going on?"

What was going on was that voters were coming out of the...

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Let's Go For Bragging Rights In B.C. Elections

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 2:40 PM

On Saturday, British Columbians will head to the polls to choose more than 2,000 local officials for councils, school boards, regional districts, parks boards and the Islands Trust.

Considering that local councils in B.C. spend more than $8 billion a year of our money, it's a bit of a paradox...

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B.C. Government And Pharma, Too Cozy For Comfort

(2) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 9:09 PM

Make no mistake: drugs are big business, even the behind-the-counter kind.

Last year, the B.C. government spent $1.2 billion on PharmaCare. To put that sum in context: that's more money than the budgets of the ministries of Agriculture, Energy and Mines, Environment, International Trade, Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and...

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It's Time To Appoint Special Prosecutor On B.C. Health Care Firings

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 5:28 PM

Call it what you want bad damage control or poor deflection, but one thing is certain: the Ministry of Health's attempts to put those 2012 firings behind them aren't working out so well.

Despite the ministry's efforts, there are a few indisputable facts: seven firings,

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Christy Clark's India Trade Mission Weighed Down By Puzzling Delegates

(42) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 3:26 PM

Despite the fall sitting of the legislature, Premier Christy Clark and two cabinet ministers are off selling B.C. in India and the Far East this week. And those two trade missions couldn't be more different.

Accompanied by 25 senior executives from the industry, Forests, Lands and Natural...

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Ministerial Accountability In B.C. Slip Slidin' Away

(3) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 3:02 AM

Batten down the hatches, because this fall it's not just the threat of extreme weather British Columbians need to worry about; MLAs are returning to Victoria for a rare fall sitting of the legislature as well. And if the spring sitting was any indication, don't hold your breath hoping for...

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What B.C.'s Proposed Woodfibre LNG Plant Means

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 8:46 PM

Imagine: You've just come off a surprise election victory after promising voters a $100 billion "Prosperity Fund" courtesy of royalties and taxes from an industry that doesn't yet exist in B.C. and based on tax rates that still haven't been set.

The next election is in 2017....

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Conflict Commissioner's Opinion On Pat Pimm Misses Mark By Country Mile

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 7:49 PM

In a 40-page opinion released last week, B.C. Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser pretty well cleared former Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm of any wrongdoing with respect to his obligations under the Members' Conflict of Interest Act, despite the odd "tsk, tsk" here and there.

Pimm had...

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What's Behind The Malaise With B.C.'s Local Elections?

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 7:15 PM

Taken aback by complete strangers walking up to you this summer to shake hands? Well, that's because they're back: Candidates on the hustings for a city hall near you.

And despite their enthusiasm, it's not a passion shared by most voters if past elections are any indication....

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What We Should Take Away From The Mount Polley Spill

(3) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 7:24 PM

B.C.'s economy -- already facing what seems like the perfect economic storm of stagnant job growth, an acute skills shortage, and the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on First Nation land title claims -- can now add one more low pressure system into that mix: the Mount Polley mine...

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The Alberta Billionaire, A B.C. Mine And Clark's Liberals

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 4:21 PM

This weekend, the Vancouver Sun reported that Alberta billionaire Murray Edwards helped organize a $1 million fundraiser for the B.C. Liberal party at the Calgary Petroleum Club last year. Rapidly becoming a household name in B.C., Edwards of course is the controlling shareholder of Imperial Metals, which operates...

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Why B.C. Government's Purchase Card Records Are So Illuminating

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 9:04 PM

Call it the Orange Juice Syndrome. Bev Oda, former federal minister responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency, knows it well. Her $16 glass of orange juice at the Savoy Hotel in London in 2011 was the tipping point that precipitated her downfall as a cabinet minister and an MP.

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