Integritybc

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 07.02.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 06.18.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

Three years out and the public outrage over the 2012 health ministry firings shows no signs of abating and may be intensifying over recent disclosures that the government misled the public on the RCMP investigation that never was.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 06.21.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

Politicians aren't boy scouts. The honour code isn't going to work. One agency needs to step up and enforce the law.

Whether You Voted (Or Not) In B.C. May No Longer Be A Secret

Dermod Travis | Posted 06.02.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

Last September's proposal by the four parties isn't about engaging voters, it's about tracking voters in an era of data mining.

B.C. Finance Ministry Fact Sheet Pulls Classic Bait And Switch

Dermod Travis | Posted 05.14.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

B.C. may very well have some of the lowest personal income tax rates in Canada, but that doesn't mean the lowest tax bill. So doing that "lowest personal income tax" thing is a cute trick, but at the end of the day it's a trick. And not a particularly empathetic one.

Vancouve Campaign Spending Contagion Spreading Fast

Dermod Travis | Posted 04.29.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

The returns are in and some of the 2014 local election campaign spending in B.C. isn't pretty. How the parties spent their moolah also says something about their campaign approach.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 04.21.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

But what's really killing off the economic hopes of most British Columbians is the incessant nickel-and-diming by a government that lacks the political will to set personal income tax rates at a level where the tax burden is shared fairly among everyone in B.C.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 04.07.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

It would seem -- somewhere along the way -- the government decided doing something to British Columbians was easier than working for them.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 04.01.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

Until Health Canada chooses to honour its commitment to the auditor general, the FDA and OHRP may be the only health sheriffs in town.

Rejecting TransLink Referendum Won't Make Problems Disappear

Dermod Travis | Posted 03.24.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

The Yes side may have great intellectual arguments, but the No side has one big emotional one. It's spelled T-r-a-n-s-L-i-n-k. And at the end of the day it may be the only one that counts.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 02.21.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

In the spirit of giving, here are five ideas for B.C.'s politicians to consider as they set their resolutions for 2015.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 02.07.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 01.31.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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 a modicum of faith in local democracy. Might.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 01.17.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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 woodwork by the thousands in towns and cities across B.C. and it seems that those who skipped 2011 had one thing on their mind this time.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 01.05.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 12.28.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 12.14.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

B.C. Premier Clark is being accompanied to India by the advanced education minister and 72 travelling companions from different economic sectors including education, LNG and the film industry. But there's also representation from the fashion industry, decorative stones, a port authority, a modelling agency, heavy equipment, a used car dealer, a travel firm and even a Tim Horton's franchisee. A handful of the companies don't have a website or a listed phone number anywhere in Canada.

Ministerial Accountability In B.C. Slip Slidin' Away

Dermod Travis | Posted 11.30.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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 much in the way of ministerial accountability.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 11.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

The next election is in 2017. You suspect that voters might want to see a little something for all the hype before then, so what to do? Well, take one of the proposed projects and slam the pedal to the metal. And by all accounts, that project is the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant in Squamish.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 11.11.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 11.02.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

In Vancouver, less than one in five eligible voters re-elected Gregor Robertson in 2011. In Victoria, less than one in six re-elected Dean Fortin. In Nanaimo, Kamloops, and Prince George, less than one in seven elected their mayors.

What We Should Take Away From The Mount Polley Spill

Dermod Travis | Posted 10.19.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

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 disaster.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 10.12.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

Nearly half of Imperial Metal's donations were made after Christy Clark was sworn in as premier, while $45,720 of Mount Polley's donations came via six separate cheques issued in one week alone in March 2013. Guess bank charges weren't an issue for the company.

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

Dermod Travis | Posted 09.22.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

That's politics. The public gets irate over the small amounts because they can relate to them. But the funny thing is that politicians who get the small things right generally don't screw up the bigger ones.

Troubling Isn't The Word For It, Minister De Jong

Dermod Travis | Posted 09.14.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

If cabinet ministers had theme songs, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong's would likely be "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," because when there's a misstep in government it's a safe bet he'll be troubled by it.