Friday, November 02, 2007

 

Erik Bornmann back in the news. Political roof caving in for Premier Campbell.

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Erik Bornmann re-activates attempt to become Ontario lawyer with "good character" hearing November 5* [See update below] in Toronto

BASI/VIRK WITNESS TO FACE HEARING

By BILL TIELEMAN
24 HOURS - 31 October 2007

Erik Bornmann, the Crown's key witness in the breach of trust case against former B.C. government ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk, will be the subject of a "good character" hearing Nov. 5* [See update below] to determine if he will be admitted to the Ontario bar as a lawyer.

The Law Society of Upper Canada confirmed yesterday the hearing is going ahead after previously being adjourned.

The hearing into Bornmann's "good character" resulted from a complaint to the society. Police allege that Basi and Virk were bribed by Bornmann, then a lobbyist, to obtain confidential government documents related to the $1-billion B.C. Rail privatization.

Bornmann's lawyer requested an adjournment so that it would take place after the trial, but lengthy delays mean the trial will not start till 2008.

The hearing will be open to the public.

Bornmann's lawyer, Bryan Finlay, did not respond to requests for comment.

INFORMATION NOT PUBLISHED IN 24 HOURS:

Society acting communications director Helen Stone told 24 hours the hearing will be open to the public and media. Bornmann had previously requested a closed hearing or publication ban on the deliberations.

"I can confirm with you that I have it on the list - on November 5* [See update below] he is listed," Stone said.

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*Update: Friday, November 02, 2007
Ontario Law Society hearing November 5 on Erik Bornmann only to set date for "good character" hearing, Society now says

A correction on an earlier story here and in 24 hours on key Basi-Virk trial Crown witness Erik Bornmann's efforts to become an Ontario lawyer.

Helen Stone, acting communications director for the Law Society of Upper Canada informed me today that the "good character" hearing previously reported by LSUC to be taking place on Monday November 5 in Toronto is actually a "set date application" to establish a future date for a hearing, not the hearing itself.

When that date is set it will be reported on Bill's blog: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/

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BC Premier Gordon Campbell has lots of problems as political roof caves in - lobbying, convention centre, party boosterism, Basi-Virk

GORDO'S PEOPLE IN DEEP TROUBLE

By BILL TIELEMAN

Premier Gordon Campbell is reportedly deeply opposed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's legislation to force voters to remove burkhas or veils before casting a ballot so they can be identified.

That's because after the past week, Campbell may not want to show his face in the next provincial election.

Until recently the B.C. Liberal leader has been on cruise control, enjoying a buoyant economy and a 10-point lead over the B.C. NDP. Then the political roof caved in:

- Campbell's top advisor, Ken Dobell, is under investigation by a special prosecutor over allegations he violated the Lobbyist Registration Act by lobbying the provincial government without registering.

- Campbell's former labour minister, Graham Bruce, is also alleged to have violated those rules by lobbying for the Cowichan Tribes. And Bruce was allegedly conducting paid lobbying before a two-year "cooling off" period expired when ex-ministers are to avoid influencing government, which may violate the Conflict of Interest Act.

- Despite earlier Campbell claims, the new Vancouver Convention Centre expansion would be built on budget, that price has nearly doubled to $883 million - $388 million extra - and last week, Auditor-General Errol Price said costs may go even higher. This is one time when the Price is right. And Dobell chaired the Convention Centre project board until April.

- Linda Reid, Minister of State for Child Care, got caught in an incredibly foolish decision to distribute thousands of child booster seats for low-income parents - but only through B.C. Liberal MLA constituency offices - "boosting" only her party.

- A pre-trial hearing in the breach of trust case against former government ministerial aides Dave Basi and Bob Virk was told Friday by a defence lawyer that 25,000 new pages of evidence may "impact certain cabinet ministers" in Campbell's government. More disclosure applications will be heard in December, with the trial to start in March 2008.

Unfortunately for Campbell, most of these problems lead back to the premier's office.

Dobell was his senior deputy minister for years and continues to be a highly paid private advisor to Campbell, though he has now taken a leave.

The allegations against Bruce include claims he met twice with Campbell about funding for the Cowichan Tribes to hold the North American Indigenous Games in 2008. The Cowichan and Bruce deny any wrongdoing.

And at the Convention Centre launch on Nov. 8, 2004, Campbell made this confident boast: "There are contingencies built into the project, and it's going to be run professionally. This will be built on time and on budget ... Count on it."

The only thing Campbell can now count on is deep trouble.

Posted by Bill Tieleman at http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/

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BC Liberal Cabinet Ministers may be impacted, Basi-Virk trial hears as Judge issues warning

CURRENT CABINET MINISTERS MAY BE IMPACTED
BASI-VIRK


By BILL TIELEMAN,
29 October 2007 - 24 HOURS

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett angrily warned both prosecution and defence Friday that proceedings in the case of three former provincial government aides charged with breach of trust will go ahead "if I have to sit here in an empty courtroom myself."

Bennett's statement came after defence lawyers said they had just received 25,000 new pages of evidence in the trial of David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi, potentially delaying the case.

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Keeping up with Bill Tieleman ... thanks, Bill.

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Comments:
Ouch! The Law Society of Upper Canada exercises strict enforcement of Rules of Conduct. Applicants to the Bar effectively face a reverse onus to prove fitness.
 
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