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Abbotsford doctor guilty of influence peddling

Dr. Jonathan Burns in 2003 with his hand-held, wireless system that allows home-care nurses to connect with doctors and treat patients in their houses, rather than transporting them to hospital. - John Van Putten/Black Press
Dr. Jonathan Burns in 2003 with his hand-held, wireless system that allows home-care nurses to connect with doctors and treat patients in their houses, rather than transporting them to hospital.
— image credit: John Van Putten/Black Press

VICTORIA – An Abbotsford doctor has pleaded guilty to two charges related to influencing B.C. government officials who were in charge of his contracts to provide electronic health systems.
Dr. Jonathan Alan Burns was sentenced Tuesday to three years probation and 100 hours of community service, providing free health care to the needy. Six other charges, including fraud and breach of trust, were stayed by Judge Ernie Quantz.
Burns was convicted of offering benefits to former assistant deputy health minister Ronald John Danderfer and James Roy Taylor, who was manager of network services for Fraser Health. Danderfer and Taylor still face charges of fraud on government and breach of trust by a public official.
When charges were revealed in March 2010, prosecutors accused Burns of offering Danderfer and Taylor accommodation at a Kelowna condominium, employment income for relatives and "post-retirement income" in exchange for using their positions to give contracts to Burns and his company WebMed Technology Inc.
In search warrant documents filed in 2009, RCMP commercial crime investigators alleged that WebMed "fraudulently submitted 30 invoices totalling $251,348.40 that Jim Taylor fraudulently authorized."
During the time of the contracts, Burns was accused of hiring Danderfer's wife, their daughter and Taylor's wife, as well as offering to pay for side trips to Paris and Egypt while Burns and Ron Danderfer were on government business in Europe.
Ron and Joan Danderfer, who was also a senior official in the B.C. government, were placed on mandatory leave in July 2007 as provincial officials investigated a $10,000 payment from a consultant, later identified as Burns.

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