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LSUC hearings involving former B.C. lobbyist start today

|Written By Glenn Kauth

A law graduate caught up in British Columbia’s long-running railway scandal will be before the Law Society of Upper Canada today seeking permission to practise law.

Erik Bornmann had been a lobbyist working for U.S. railway company OmniTRAX Inc., according to a B.C. Supreme Court judgment in R. v. Basi in 2009. At the time, the provincial government was seeking to sell BC Rail, a matter that led to corruption and fraud charges against ministerial aides Dave Basi and Bobby Virk. Basi had been executive assistant to then-finance minister Gary Collins, while Virk did the same job for former transportation minister Judith Reid.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Bornmann made about $28,000 in regular payments to Basi. In return, Basi leaked confidential information to Bornmann about the bidding for BC Rail that eventually led to a $1-billion privatization deal with CN Rail. Bornmann worked for Pilothouse Public Affairs, the company that represented OmniTrax.

Bornmann eventually became a key Crown witness in the proceedings against Basi and Virk in exchange for immunity. In the meantime, the accused entered guilty pleas last year following a controversial plea deal.

The LSUC proceedings involving Bornmann are set to take place today and tomorrow. According to the Sun, Bornmann finished his law degree at the University of British Columbia three years ago. The proceedings against Basi and Virk followed the infamous police raids at the B.C. legislature in late 2003.

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