Monday, August 22, 2011

EXCLUSIVE - BC Legislature Raid briber Erik Bornmann passes "good character" test to become Ontario lawyer

Erik Bornmann - at Liberal Party event - undated photo
Bill Tieleman meets David Basi outside court - February 2010


Erik Bornmann granted right to become Ontario lawyer despite bribes to BC government officials Basi and Virk in BC Rail case


Despite admitting to bribing ex-B.C. government officials David Basi and Bob Virk in exchange for confidential information on the 2003 sale of B.C. Rail, Erik Bornmann can become an Ontario lawyer.

The controversial decision by the Law Society of Upper Canada grants Bornmann the “good character” needed to be licensed as a lawyer but one of three panel members disagreed, saying the former B.C. lobbyist should be disqualified because of his past “criminal” actions.

Basi and Virk made a surprise guilty plea bargain in October 2010 shortly after their long-delayed trial began, admitting to accepting bribes and benefits worth over $25,000 to providegovernment documents to Bornmann and lobbyist firm partner Brian Kieran, who worked for losing bidder OmniTRAX.

CN Rail bought B.C. Rail for $1 billion in November 2003 but the issue exploded on December 28, 2003 when police made an unprecedented raid on the B.C. Legislature, seeking evidence from Basi and Virk’s offices.  Bornmann and Kieran became key Crown witnesses against the two former ministerial aides and were not charged.

Basi and Virk were sentenced to two years house arrest but their estimated $6 million in legal fees were paid by the province despite their guilt.

Panel member Andrew Oliver wrote in his dissenting opinion that: “Bornmann’s criminal misconduct was serious, and, apparently, long standing.”

“There was no honour among thieves: Bornmann compounded his criminal activity by betraying the very people he had bribed,” Oliver says, referring to Basi and Virk.

The majority decision written by Thomas Conway and Mary Louise Dickson agrees Bornmann’s “misconduct was serious” but that his “remorse was genuine and profound,” leading them to believe he has been rehabilitated and “is presently of good character”.

Basi and his lawyer Michael Bolton both declined comment Monday.

A Law Society official said today there would be no comment beyond the decisions.

Interestingly, Conway and Dickson are both lawyers, while Oliver is not - but all three are benchers of the Law Society.

A version of this story is online at Vancouver 24 hours newspaper.


Sean in British Columbia said...

Is anyone really surprised?

I'm sure he will go on to have a very prominent career as a lawyer, and will probably go into both provincial and federal politics.

The BC Rail issue is not a serious issue, and it should be dropped.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

And that my friends, is how we get the governments we've got. Corruption doesn't just spring fully born, it takes an entire system to feed into it.
Thinking of a flood to wash it all away ~

RonS said...

Sean, are you serious and if you are what have you been smoking? Really have another slice of Pizza. He bribed, try it your self, get caught and see what your punishment is. You're laughable!

Ken in Victoria said...

Sorry Mr. Tieleman, life must go on, but I will response tomorrow when I can focus better. It is hard to think after the news of Mr. Layton right now.

Anonymous said...

Sean your view on this is bizarre. The only bright side is that this ******* will be in Ontario and not here in BC anymore, though I do hope he is brought back for the Inquiry.

BCRail is very serious and it is not going away.

DPL said...

He may start out in Ontario but will go where the most money is available. No wonder ambulance chasers are rated at the bottom of any list showing respect and trust. Should be trying for Judge before too long. Th decision is strange to say the least.Who in their right mind would hire sure a bent person?

Anonymous said...

Who says crap doesn't float to the top of the toilet bowel?

Is it any wonder that most people regard lawyers, and the legal profession in general,as being one step below child molesters on the food chain.
BC rail needs to have every slimy, corrupt, lying, liberal, and their pals involved,dragged into court and given the maximum penalty as a warning to other political sleaze balls that this type of bs won't be tolerated.

Anonymous said...

Bornmann is just another walking, talking lawyer joke. If his character is good enough to be a lawyer in Ontario, what does that say about the rest of them?

Anonymous said...

I am not in the least surprised, Bornmann passed the good character test.

Canada has become a cesspool of corruption. This country's good name has been fouled and dirtied. A newspaper in Australia said, how badly democracy has eroded in Canada.

Our young Canadian boys, who liberated Holland, were very much loved by the people. The second generation Dutch people, are still in touch with my family. They are extremely upset, at the terrible events going on in their beloved Canada.

Campbell is very corrupt and evil. He worked with Harper, to thieve evrything of value in BC. Harper very badly wanted to get his hands on our resources, and of course the HST. Harper rewarded the evil Campbell, with the position of High Commissioner to England.

In Canada, the more evil and corrupt you are, the bigger the reward. Canada is no longer liked by, the other decent country's. Our friends are now, Columbia, Equador and the other corrupt country's.

Campbell's theft and corrupt sale of the BCR, will NOT go away. Nor will the HST, Campbell, Hansen and Harper colluded on, before the BC election.

Decent people do not like scum, like the Campbell/Clark, and the BC Liberals. And, you can throw Harper in with the mix. He has embarrassed Canada on many occasions. Those named above...Are not worth the powder to blow them to hell. Shame on you Sean. I think I recognize your style, from other sites.

e.a.f. said...

I do not know how a briber could pass a good character test. Of course those who gave Bornmann a "pass" are lawyers and we all know what they say about lawyers.
I guess that is why we see so many lawyers in politics and why politics has gone so far down hill in Canada. They actually believe a briber is some one with good character.
As citizens in other countries try to remove corrupt governments, in Canada we are starting to think corruption is an o.k. thing.
It is really a sad thing, a briber to be considered of "good character".

Jonathan Ross said...

As a Liberal who endured his politics far beyond the bribes became tangible and overt, I am disgusted and extremely disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy any issue that brings out all of the whiners and complainers in the left. I am surprised you didn’t blame that passing of the character test on PAB. Surely PAB spies must have infiltrated the panel….

Anonymous said...

To anon 8:44pm

What should the left do? Celebrate and have a party? Hooray! Chalk up another one for bad behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we can expect the law firm of Bornmann & Berardino LLP to be opening soon?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we can expect the law firm of Bornmann & Berardino LLP to be opening soon?

When it does, go there and ask for a one hour consultation.

Anonymous said...

Any legal geeks out there?

What, if any, is the significance of the lawyers [Bryan Finlay QC and Richard Ogden both of WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto] who represented Erik Bornmann at the Law Society of Upper Canada hearing?

Anonymous said...

What, if any, is the significance of the lawyers [Bryan Finlay QC and Richard Ogden both of WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto] who represented Erik Bornmann at the Law Society of Upper Canada hearing?

Simple to answer. Ask them or do your research.

but more practically, who the hell cares??

If Bornmann was found to be professionally accredited and met all the prerequisites for an affirmation of his practising in Ontario, then why continually smack your heads on the wall over it.

Time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Some lawyers I spoke to have stated that the slim majority allowing Erik to practice law may cause the LSUC to review the decision.

Even an admitted escort was allowed to practice law with restrictions and that hearing panel was unanimous.

Anonymous said...

I went to school at UVic with Erik Bornmann and he seemed shady even back then.