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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.
B.C. Liberals Have No Time To Debate 'Serious

B.C. Liberals Have No Time To Debate 'Serious Issues'

"Today's BC Liberals" may have taken a little inspiration during last year's election campaign from former Canadian prime minister Kim Campbell when she bluntly stated in 1993 that "an election is no time to discuss serious issues." It's why British Columbians could be forgiven for thinking that they missed something during the campaign after seeing some of the legislation introduced during the current legislative session.
04/14/2014 05:54 EDT
B.C.'s Budgetary Sleight Of

B.C.'s Budgetary Sleight Of Hand

The funny thing about provincial budgets is that sometimes they tell you a lot more about a government's attitude than what the politicians might have intended when they first wrote the document.
03/01/2014 12:43 EST
This Could Be Worse Than Gracie's

This Could Be Worse Than Gracie's Finger

In 1982, then Social Credit cabinet minister Grace McCarthy was suspected of using her influence to have her Little Mountain riding boundaries redrawn to include a sliver of a wealthy Vancouver neighbourhood. That sliver was forever known as Gracie's finger. Thirty-two years later, the B.C. government is proposing amendments that could make the controversy over Gracie's finger pale by comparison.
01/06/2014 02:24 EST
5 New Year's Resolutions For B.C.'s

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

It's that time when many of us make resolutions for the new year. So, in the spirit of the season, here are five ideas for B.C.'s politicians to consider as they set their resolutions for 2014.
12/30/2013 04:47 EST
The TransLink Referendum Won't be

The TransLink Referendum Won't be Pretty

TransLink -- everyone's favourite whipping boy in the Lower Mainland -- is about to be put to the electoral test and it promises not to be pretty. The fate of TransLink's future funding will be decided in the midst of the introduction of the Compass card, and Lower Mainland residents know full well how that initiative has been going as of late. It doesn't bode well for the vote.
11/27/2013 07:40 EST
Troubling Rumblings Around B.C.'s Agricultural Land

Troubling Rumblings Around B.C.'s Agricultural Land Commission

Bill Bennett, minister responsible for the B.C. government's core review, is trying his darndest lately to reassure British Columbians that the government "has no plans to dismantle" the Agricultural Land Commission and that much of the speculation was simply the result of government "brainstorming." That's nice. Doesn't mean much in government-speak, but it sounds comforting. It's what comes next that should be of concern. In an interview with the Globe and Mail on Tuesday, Bennett confirmed that the Commission would, however, be subject to the government's core review.
11/22/2013 03:33 EST
Too many politicians in the municipal

Too many politicians in the municipal kitchen

Who knew? Count 'em all up and B.C. has 1,660 elected officials sitting on 250 local councils and school boards across the province. That works out to one for every 2,000 registered voters. It's also a lot of paycheques. Some of the lucky ones get to collect two paycheques, if they happen to be chosen to sit on a regional district. The two biggies of course being Metro Vancouver and the Capital Regional District.
11/12/2013 02:43 EST
B.C.'s Local Election Reforms Do Nothing for

B.C.'s Local Election Reforms Do Nothing for Democracy

No matter how well-intentioned the B.C. government's first round of electoral reforms may be, they are -- for the most part -- cosmetic in nature when contrasted against the public's very real loss of confidence in local democracy. Without meaningful electoral finance reform including election spending and contribution limits, candidacy for local government will -- by and large -- remain the purview of the affluent and well-connected.
10/21/2013 01:19 EDT
Not Capping Election Fundraising Leaves Us All Worse

Not Capping Election Fundraising Leaves Us All Worse Off

If local campaign spending is obscene, it only follows that candidates need to fall back on contributors with obscenely large wallets to pay the bills. And fall back they did. In the 2011 elections, the single largest donation was $960,000 courtesy of local land developer Rob Macdonald to Vancouver's NPA. To put that sum into context, it's more than double what Naheed Nenshi spent on his way to winning the mayor's chair of Calgary in 2010. Calgary has nearly a quarter of a million more voters than Vancouver.
09/10/2013 01:33 EDT
Why a Rush To Incinerate Garbage May Burn Metro

Why a Rush To Incinerate Garbage May Burn Metro Vancouver

Garbage -- or to use the more politically correct term, waste -- is big business. Really big. It can also be a messy business, particularly when politicians get involved. So no big surprise that the left hand doesn't seem to care what the right hand is doing at Metro Vancouver when it comes to regional waste management.
08/28/2013 11:22 EDT
Vancouver is Pricey and it's About to Get a Whole Lot

Vancouver is Pricey and it's About to Get a Whole Lot Pricier

A billion here, a billion there, it adds up. That's the problem with shopping lists. The municipalities that make up Metro Vancouver are facing the same predicament as they try to choose between the bare necessities, luxuries and how you're going to pay for it all. While some of these projects may be sold to the public as "self-supported" that's just political-speak for "you're still picking up the tab." Whether it's through tolls or tipping fees, they're just euphemisms for picking your pocket.
08/11/2013 04:02 EDT
Civility in Local Council Fiefdoms? Yeah

Civility in Local Council Fiefdoms? Yeah Right.

Small-town B.C. may be facing a plague of what disgraced former U.S. vice president Spiro Agnew called the "nattering nabobs of negativity" -- or at least that's what a number of B.C. mayors and their supporters would have you believe. One B.C. mayor went so far as to criticize citizens for contacting the media and provinvial watchdog groups (including IntegrityBC), claiming that no one in his administration would ever stoop to such a dastardly deed.
08/07/2013 11:10 EDT
Fat City Hall Paycheques Leave Taxpayers in the

Fat City Hall Paycheques Leave Taxpayers in the Lurch

At least 30 officials in the communities that make up Metro Vancouver earn a minimum six-figure salary that puts them among the top one per cent of all income earners in Canada. It takes a lot of kahunas for some of these same civic officials to claim that their cupboards are bare when the cookie jar is overflowing for themselves.
07/02/2013 09:37 EDT
A Landslide Shouldn't Blind Christy Clark to the Voters She

A Landslide Shouldn't Blind Christy Clark to the Voters She Lost

According to an Ipsos Reid exit poll poll of 1,400 British Columbians, the top issue influencing voters was open and honest government. On this issue voters chose the BC NDP by a 10 per cent margin (47 to 37 per cent).The fourth issue was trust in a particular leader or party. The Liberals lost those voters by five per cent. It's easy for political operatives to sweep such inconvenient truths under the rug when they've just pulled-off a miracle, but Liberals do need to take note: they've lost the trust of a significant block of voters.
06/06/2013 01:29 EDT
The NDP's Problem Is Bigger Than Adrian

The NDP's Problem Is Bigger Than Adrian Dix

Over 35 years, the NDP has seen its share of the popular vote decline and its actual vote stall, despite an electorate that has nearly doubled in size over the same period. Parties that don't grow their base lose and risk withering away. The message for the NDP in all these numbers is ominous and it's not just about Adrian Dix. It may have more to do with the brand.
05/23/2013 11:28 EDT
Why B.C. Doesn't Bother To

Why B.C. Doesn't Bother To Vote

Over the past three decades, the percentage of British Columbians who actually vote has steadily fallen, from more than 70 per cent to a little over half last time out, when nearly one out of every two voters seemingly slept the day away and never bothered to cast a ballot. In fact, B.C. has the dubious distinction of having some of the lowest voter turnouts in the country, which says a lot when you consider that some of those other provinces don't have much to boast about either.
05/06/2013 12:40 EDT