Category: Dermod Travis

The Culture of Entitlement at the B.C. Legislature Keeps Going and Going

It would seem Animal House has closed at the B.C. legislature in favour of a new production – A Taste of Shakespeare – with scenes from Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus and a special audience introduction to Puck from a Midsummer Night’s Dream. The performances are replete with tales of betrayal, revenge and possible redemption. With the clerk of the legislature Craig James and Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz placed on paid administrative leave last month, there’s no telling how this one is going to end, but it will come back to bite someone on the backside.

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Time To Put Communicate Back Into Government Communications

A bit of good news came out of Victoria this week, which could have easily been missed under the avalanche of bad news that was coming out of the capital. British Columbia is now “operating debt-free for the first time in more than 40 years,” according to the province’s second quarterly report. But that’s not really the good news, at least for me. Perhaps – now that the report and all the preparatory work is out of the way – the ministry might find some time to answer a question I had in early October.

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Time to Dial The Rhetoric Down in B.C.’s Referendum Campaign

Having survived two referendums in Quebec – the 1992 Charlottetown Accord and the 1995 referendum on independence – I feel I might have a few experiences to share and some kindly advice to offer. On the first front, referendum campaigns are rarely fun affairs, which flows to the second part, time to dial it down. We all have to live together after the vote and if comments on social media are any indication, a few friendships have likely been damaged beyond repair already. Some of you may recall the words of former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau on referendum night in 1995: “We are beaten, it is true, but by what, basically? By money and ethnic votes.”

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The Fall of a Tech-Darling of Howe Street, Istuary Innovations

Founded by Sun Yian, Istuary rolled into B.C. or out of a downtown Vancouver Starbucks – depending upon your perspective – in 2013. Sun – who goes by the name Ethan – his wife Yulan Hu, and nine associates at Istuary are facing yet another lawsuit, this time – as the CBC reported – by 27 investors claiming that they “committed immigration and business fraud.” As Business in Vancouver noted the lawsuit alleges that “Sun used pictures with politicians including (former premier) Christy Clark and (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau as props in presentations where he quickly moved to solicit funds from the public, first targeting the Vancouver-based fellow ethnic Chinese community, the Plaintiffs, and other Chinese in China seeking to migrate to Canada for greener pastures.”

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There’s something about local politics in B.C

Judging by the mud flying, it would seem – splat – local elections are well underway across B.C. If the campaign turns out anything like the opening acts, there’s going to be some hefty dry cleaning bills this October. So what does the field of candidates look like after the dust settled and nominations closed?

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Best friend, best price or best value

If you’re just tuning back in to B.C. politics, you may have missed a great political adaptation of West Side Story this summer, where two rival gangs – the Liberistas and the Unionistas – compete for the affection of B.C. taxpayers on public infrastructure projects.

The musical was loosely based on this summer’s announcement by the B.C. government that key public-sector infrastructure projects will be tied to pay scales, apprenticeship training, job opportunities for under-represented groups and a union card for any worker “within 30 days of starting employment.”

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