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Dermod Travis

Executive Director, IntegrityBC

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

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

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 -- $70.2 million of that from businesses and corporations.
04/11/2016 09:14 EDT
Local Governments Have A Problem With

Local Governments Have A Problem With Transparency

When most communities in B.C. have more in-camera meetings than the City of Toronto, there's a problem. In Ontario, councils are entitled to go in-camera to consider six specific matters. There are four reasons that councils must go in camera and over a dozen reasons why they "may" close a meeting. The nuance between "may" and "must" seems to have been lost on a few.
04/01/2016 10:46 EDT
B.C. Liberals Have Mastered The Art Of Returning Donors'

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

Just thumb through the party's 2009 donor list for a sense of how widespread the practice of awarding contracts to friends has become. Back then, someone must have woke up on New Year's Day with one hell of a hangover -- not from the night before -- but from the bank balance in the B.C. Liberal party's account.
03/15/2016 03:29 EDT
Balancing The B.C.

Balancing The B.C. Budget

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
02/23/2016 05:26 EST
Are B.C. Liberals And B.C. Hydro In

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

Make no mistake, there's a price to pay when B.C. Hydro becomes a political arm of government. The intertwining of self-interests gets complicated, while the interests of ratepayers can take a backseat to political interests.
02/16/2016 04:56 EST
Lobbying Is A Profession In Need Of A

Lobbying Is A Profession In Need Of A Makeover

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there does seem to be a future for the industry. In fact, if we're not careful, B.C. could be overrun by lobbyists. Last year, there were 2,502 in-house and consultant lobbyists registered in the province, up from 1,451 four years ago. Whoever said the B.C. Jobs Plan wasn't working?
02/04/2016 11:47 EST
B.C. Health Ministry Review Still Bogged Down, Four Years

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

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.
01/22/2016 11:18 EST
B.C.'s Protracted Peer Review Promise Bears A Closer

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

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 three of five health authorities and won't be until mid-2016 at the earliest.
01/19/2016 03:08 EST
B.C.'s Economy Doesn't Stack Up To The Rest Of

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

Take a gander at the government's economic report cards and one thing becomes readily apparent: an almost virtual absence of inter-provincial comparisons. There's a good reason for that. Compared to Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, B.C. doesn't always stack up so well.
12/22/2015 12:04 EST
B.C. Politics Has A 'Dark Money'

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

Trade associations -- Many are known to donate generously to political parties, particularly when they want to curry favour. In the U.S. it's called "dark money," a way to spend big bucks on politics and remain relatively anonymous. It doesn't have the same bad rap in B.C. yet, but it's problematic.
12/09/2015 01:01 EST
B.C. Trade Missions Fail To Deliver The Bang For The

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

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. Trade missions aren't cheap, they set the B.C. government back $767,000 in 2014 and that doesn't include the bill for local governments, universities and other agencies.
11/25/2015 02:26 EST
City Hall Bullies Need A Time

City Hall Bullies Need A Time Out

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.
11/20/2015 12:20 EST
The B.C. Government's 7 Stages Of Damage

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

health ministry firings, multicultural outreach strategy and what some are calling deletegate -- they demand finesse and there's a definite pattern to how the government goes about it. Its damage control manual seems to come with instructions: mix and match to fit, use sparingly and only as required.
11/04/2015 05:18 EST
The Reckless Rush to Sign the Port Mann Bridge

The Reckless Rush to Sign the Port Mann Bridge Deal

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 estimate of $1.5 billion to $3.2 billion.
10/29/2015 02:50 EDT
Forget The Bonus, The Real Money Is In Severance

Forget The Bonus, The Real Money Is In Severance Pay

Former chief administrator Penny Ballem, 65, will receive $556,000 as a parting gift for the hastily arranged exit. News that undoubtedly warmed the cockles of the hearts of residents across Vancouver when they learned of it.
09/30/2015 01:34 EDT