Monday, March 28, 2011
Erik Bornman, figure in Basi-Virk case, applies for law licence
To obtain transcripts (at a cost), contact ASAP reporting at: 416-861-8720.
I had asked for a list of the witnesses expected to appear during the Bornman hearing. The procedure is to contact the Law Society's Tribunal Office at 416-947-5249 to view information that is in the public file.
While all of this is a bit difficult for British Columbians to do, it is certainly possible and I'm cheerfully impressed by the LCUC's performance in response to a citizen's enquiry.
Erik Bornman wants to practise in Ontario
By Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - March 27, 2011
A key figure in the Basi-Virk political corruption case has applied for his licence to practise law in Ontario.
Erik Bornman’s two-day licence hearing before the Law Society of Upper Canada starts today in Toronto.
Bornman, now in his early 30s, was a lobbyist in 2002 and 2003 when he made about $28,000 in regular payments to Dave Basi, then a senior ministerial aide to the finance minister.
In return, Basi leaked confidential information to Bornman about the bidding for BC Rail, the publicly owned railway that was privatized for $1 billion — CN Rail was announced as the winning bidder in 2003. At the time, Bornman was a lobbyist with Pilothouse Public Affairs, which represented a U.S. railway company, OmniTrax.
Bornman, who received his law degree from the University of B.C. years ago, first applied to become a lawyer in 2006 with the Law Society of Upper Canada. But his licence hearing was put off until the Basi-Virk trial ended.
Under the Law Society Act, a person who seeks a licence to practise law or provide legal services in Ontario must be of good character. A person who meets all of the other requirements for licensing but whose character is at issue will be the subject of a hearing to determine whether he or she is of good character.
Read Neal Hall's complete column HERE.
BC Mary footnote: While appreciating most of what Neal Hall has written today (March 28), I have to wonder why "Accredited" journalists can't get it straight, that police raided the BC Legislature while investigating Organized Crime ... not tracking BC Rail concerns. Police did find their O.C. evidence in wire-tap conversations which became, in the real world, a specacular success in contributing to the arrest and conviction of the man thought to be Mr Big on the West Coast drug trafficking -- Jasmohan Singh Bains, cousin to Dave Basi -- and to a sentence of 9 years plus a large fine. Police deserve major credit for this. But this news was entirely suppressed by Big Media (I broke the story 6 months after the trial which was held in Victoria!); The public -- if they knew anything about it at all -- is left to wonder how much news of such high importance is being withheld or tailored to suit a particular political agenda. It was, after all, the National Post which first dubbed the Basi-Virk trial "The BC Rail Political Corruption Trial".
But to return to the point: it was only during those wire-tap conversations, that police began to hear certain details of the BC Rail issues, too. Again: Police deserve full credit for seizing this important evidence and undertaking what they must have known would be a long and difficult investigation.
The public is left to ponder why the facts of Organized Crime (including the subsequent arrest and imprisonment of Mr Big) aren't addressed at all, why the secondary facts (overhearing dubious BC Rail activities) are given prominence, and just in passing, may I add my personal concern: why an exemplary police chief was hounded out of victoria. My view? I think Chief Constable Paul Battershill, who had led a good part of that Organized Crime investigation, was too good at his job.
The BC Rail Political Corruption Trial isn't over yet. It can't be "over" until we know how such an enormous public asset could slide -- in ways which worried even the police -- into private pockets in a deal which has never been fully revealed to the public. Because ... isn't it true ... that BC may end up owing CN for a tax deferral if Revenue Canada doesn't approve of the transfer?
Something for the Law Society of Upper Canada to consider, is an earlier column by Neal Hall with more details:
Dave Basi took cash as early as 2001, search warrants say
By Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - December 15, 2010
Search warrants from the BC Rail corruption case released this week say disgraced former government aide Dave Basi was paid cash for referring clients to a lobbying firm as early as 2001, two years before a police raid on the legislature.
Bornman, who was never charged, referred to his regular payments to Dave Basi as "bribes."
Bornman went on to tell police he gave Basi "a small number of smaller cash payments" but he was uncertain of the amounts.
At the time, Bornman told police, he was busy working on the "Paul Martin [federal] leadership campaign, which took up a lot of my time."
After making the first cash payments, Bornman said he began making regular payments by cheque to Basi through his cousin, Aneal Basi.
"I was paying him a set amount," Bornman told police. "I'm ashamed to say in return for his assistance in referring clients and his assistance on matters of government and ... for his continued loyalty to my political endeavours ...."
He said the first payment to Aneal Basi, who worked in government communications at the time, was $1,000 and after that $1,500 each.
Bornman recalled Aneal Basi was worried about losing his job, so Bornman provided him with a CD of files to make it look like he was doing work for Pilothouse.
He added the CD "was merely, you know, I'm ashamed to say that it was ... a front that would've been used to substantiate the payments."
"I was not believing, didn't want to believe in my own mind that these were, these were bribes," Bornman nervously told police. "In politics, people often get paid to do political work. Consultant companies often hire people, pay them and send them off to do political work and, you know, in moments of self-induced wilful blindness, [I] wanted to believe that Aneal was just providing some kind of political service to the greater organization but there was ... no denying the fact that they were payments to David, not to Aneal."
Another search warrant stated that Dave Basi had "unexplained income" totalling $870,000 between 2000 and 2004, but the defence maintained that figure was inaccurate and should have been $112,000.
Dave Basi's and Virk's guilty pleas last October came as a surprise after the case had dragged through the courts for years. They pleaded guilty to two counts each of breach of trust and accepting benefits in exchange for leaking confidential information about the BC Rail bidding process in 2003. Pilothouse represented one of the BC Rail bidders, OmniTrax of Denver, Colo.
Read Neal Hall's December 2010 column HERE.
By Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - March 29, 2011
Read the story HERE.
Also the 'summer' home at Shawnigan(sp?)Lake was reported by the RCMP as being used as a marijuana grow-op.
Whatever became of these investigations? Were they false leads? I'll wager Paul Battershill could shed some light on the topic.
Mary, perhaps your readers could also contact the Law Society and ask for the hearing to be broadcast on their website for everyone to review.
I am contacting the Law Society of Upper Canada in connection with the Eric Bornmen hearing, on his suitability to practice law in Ontario.
It is fully documented in the evidence of the Basi-Virk trial in BC Supreme Court, of Eric Bornman's involvement with arranging and paying bribes to BC government officials. The RCMP carried out wire taps and recorded Mr. Bornman's involvement. To arrange or be involved in the bribing of government officials is considered illegal. It is therefore, only fitting that this side of Eric Bornman's character be produced at the hearings. For a lawyer to willingly commit to bribing government officials shows a contempt for the process that the lawyer is supposed to uphold. As such, it is the considered opinion of many, that Mr. Bornman is unfit to carry out the duties of a Lawyer - due mainly to his willingness to break the law.
I was surprised and VERY pleased to see that others have contacted UCLS in the same way. I feel sure it will make a difference.
One must examine Erik Anderson`s motives first...Like perhaps if he was running for office with a different party...like say the BC First party..
Why toot Horgan`s horn for going at the treasonous BC Energy plan when you will be espousing the same platform.
Good Day PEOPLE!
BC Rail "giveaway" indeed! Very clever and informative ad.
I read yesterday the John Horgan is going to demand a reckoning of BC Hydro along with IPP's and looking at it all. It will be good to see him and Coleman doing battle.
This is an interesting point you bring and one I wasn't aware of, thanks for raising it.
Now how about YOU send a note to the LSUC ... I've just done so, and have been pleased by the response: swift, helpful, businesslike but not arrogant. Kinda refreshing.
They might enjoy the Spiderman story.